Saudi Arabia will buy THAAD air defense missile systems from US

Wednesday, November 28, 2018, the U.S. Department of Defense has announced that Saudi Arabia will buy the American-made THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) air defense missile systems for an amount of $15 billion.

Saudi Arabia will buy THAAD air defense missile systems from US 925 001
A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or (THAAD) weapon system assigned to Task Force Talon, 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command. Task Force Talon is responsible for the U.S. Army’s first forward deployed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense unit on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Oct. 26, 2017. (Picture source U.S. DoD)

In October 2017, the U.S. State Department has released information about a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Saudi Arabia for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and related support, equipment and services for an estimated cost of $15 billion.

The Government of Saudi Arabia had requested the purchase of forty-four (44) Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) launchers, three hundred sixty (360) THAAD Interceptor Missiles, sixteen (16) THAAD Fire Control and Communications Mobile Tactical Station Group, seven (7) AN/TPY-2 THAAD radars. Also included are THAAD Battery maintenance equipment, forty-three (43) prime movers (trucks), generators, electrical power units, trailers, communications equipment, tools, test and maintenance equipment, repair and return, system integration and checkout, spare/repair parts, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics personnel support services, facilities construction, studies, and other related elements of logistics and program support.

Saudi Arabia armed forces would like to increase its capability to defend itself against the growing ballistic missile threat in the region. THAAD’s exo-atmospheric, hit-to-kill capability will add an upper-tier to Saudi Arabia’s layered missile defense architecture and will support modernization of the Royal Saudi Air Defense Force (RSADF).

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) is an American anti-ballistic missile defense system designed to destroy short, medium, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. The THAAD system is being designed, built, and integrated by the American Company Lockheed Martin Space Systems acting as prime contractor. Key subcontractors include Raytheon, Boeing, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Honeywell, BAE Systems, Oshkosh Defense, and MiltonCAT.

The missile of the THAAD has an estimated range of 200 km, and can reach an altitude of 150 km. A THAAD battery consists of at least six launcher vehicles, each equipped with eight missiles, with two mobile tactical operations centers (TOCs) and the AN/TPY-2 Ground-Based Radar (GBR).