U.S. THAAD air defense system successfully intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile
Lockheed Martin's Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system successfully intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) target today in a missile defense test led by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency with critical support provided by the U.S. Army.
Terminal High Altitude Area Defense successfully intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile. (Picture source Lockheed Martin)
During the test, designated Flight Test THAAD (FTT-23), the THAAD system located at U.S. Army Garrison Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands successfully detected, tracked and intercepted a threat representative target using a THAAD launcher that was positioned at distance from the other THAAD end items.
The THAAD radar detected, acquired and tracked the target. The THAAD system then developed a fire control solution and launched an interceptor from a remotely-located THAAD launcher that destroyed the target's reentry vehicle. This was the 16th successful intercept in 16 attempts for the THAAD system since 2005.
The THAAD system now has the capability to physically untether a THAAD launcher from the battle manager and launch interceptors remotely, greatly enhancing launcher emplacement options and increasing the defended area.
"The enhanced THAAD system performed flawlessly in today's test, and we are proud to support the Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Army as they continue to demonstrate the system's unmatched capabilities," said Richard McDaniel, vice president of Upper Tier Integrated Air and Missile Defense Systems at Lockheed Martin. "This successful test paves the way for delivery of an urgent need capability that will enhance THAAD's emplacement options resulting in greater asset protection."
THAAD is highly effective at defending against a host of ballistic missile threats to include mass raid scenarios. The system uses hit-to-kill technology to destroy a threat with direct impact neutralizing lethal payloads before they reach protected assets on the ground. The system is rapidly deployable, mobile and interoperable with all other Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) elements, including Patriot/PAC-3, Aegis, forward-based sensors and the Command, Control, Battle Management and Communications system.