BIG COST CUTS FOR ADVANCED PATRIOT MISSILES
to bring the cost of the Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) interceptor
down, Army officials believe they have a multi-step process that
could cut the cost of each missile by more than half.
on detail, Brig. Gen. John M. Urias, who oversees the Patriot program,
claimed the cost of each interceptor could be brought down to $2
million from about $5 million that each missile currently costs.
Pentagon officials, primarily leaders of the Ballistic Missile Defense
Office, have pushed for cost cutting so the Defense Dept. can afford
to buy more than just a limited number of the ballistic missile
interceptors. Urias said the money saved will free up funds to buy
at least 500 more missiles.
efforts center on manufacturing initiatives associated with both
the missile and ground system. The Army hopes to have an initial
PAC-3 capability fielded next year. Meanwhile, the service has replaced
all its faulty PAC-2 missiles that were forward deployed with the
upgraded guidance enhancement missiles. It is still undergoing fault
analysis on the missiles that were recently removed from operational
use when hardware flaws were detected during testing.