Saudi Arabia to buy Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)
The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving 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 Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale, October 6, 2017.
The Government of Saudi Arabia has requested a possible sale 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. The estimated cost is $15 billion.
This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a friendly country. This sale furthers U.S. national security and foreign policy interests, and supports the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region in the face of Iranian and other regional threats. This potential sale will substantially increase Saudi Arabia’s 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). Saudi Arabia will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.
The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
The principal contractors for the THAAD system are Lockheed Martin Space Systems Corporation, Dallas, TX, Camden, AR, Troy, AL and Huntsville, AL; and Raytheon Corporation, Andover, MA. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), formerly Theater High Altitude Area Defense, is an American anti-ballistic missile defense system designed to destroy short, medium, and intermediate range ballistic missiles.
The THAAD (theatre high-altitude area defence) missile system is an easily transportable defensive weapon system to protect against hostile incoming threats such as tactical and theatre ballistic missiles at ranges of 200km and at altitudes up to 150km.
Each THAAD system is comprised of five major components: interceptors, launchers, a radar, a fire control unit and THAAD-specific support equipment. THAAD is the only missile defense system with the operational flexibility to intercept in both the endo- and exo-atmospheres to provide versatile capability to the warfighter.