Air Defense: July 3, 2001


Taiwan has conducted test firings under which its PAC-2 (Patriot Advanced Capability Phase 2) anti-aircraft missiles shot down a ballistic missile and a simulated cruise missile. Taiwan does not have the more capable PAC-3 version. PAC-2 explodes near the target, which would damage a ballistic missile and possibly knock it off course, but would not destroy it. PAC-3 is a "hit to kill" weapon which would destroy a ballistic warhead and kill the momentum of the debris.--Stephen V Cole




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