Actually it wasn't the angle... the whole missile was flawed in that they extended the range by quite a margin, but didn't make any structural changes to the design. The resulting extended range meant the missile was coming in at much higher speeds than it was designed for and was breaking up... which would have happened at any angle it came in at.
Even for shorter ranged shots however the main problem for Patriot was fusing... Patriot was an anti aircraft missile, not an anti missile missile, so it tended to hit the centre of mass, or more accurately the warhead was exploded near the centre of mass, which for a modified Scud was the rear area with the engines and fuel tanks. Of course a ballistic missile uses its engines and fuel to climb up and then it pretty much follows a ballistic path and falls on the target... shredding the engine and fuel tanks has very little effect on the rocket... though sometimes it might result in a change in trajectory and effect its impact point, it doesn't stop the missile.
When the warhead explodes the fragments from the explosion are rapidly accelerated but as they move through the air they rapidly decelerate, so if the warhead has passed its warhead then most of the fragment damage will be to the middle to rear of the missile so it has little chance of setting off the warhead, which is the best way to defeat an incoming missile.
Last edited by GarryB on Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:39 am; edited 1 time in total