The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has awarded Lockheed Martin a $459 million contract modification for production and delivery of interceptors for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) weapon system. The modification brings the total contract value to $1.28 billion with funding provided in 2017 and 2018. The new interceptors support U.S. Army THAAD units and growing operational requirements.
THAAD is a key element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), and is highly effective at protecting America’s military, allied forces, citizen population centers and critical infrastructure from short-, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missile attacks.
«The THAAD system’s capability and reliability have been demonstrated with 15 out of 15 hit-to-kill intercepts dating back to 1999, and by exceeding readiness rates currently being experienced in the field with operationally deployed batteries», said Richard McDaniel, Lockheed Martin’s vice president for the THAAD system.
«THAAD interceptors defeat dangerous missile threats our troops and allies are facing today, and have capability against advancing future threats. Our focus on affordability, coupled with efficiencies of increased volume, is providing significant cost-savings opportunities to meet growing demand from the U.S. and allies around the globe», he said.
THAAD employs Lockheed Martin’s proven «hit-to-kill» technology. The system is rapidly deployable, mobile, and is interoperable with all other BMDS elements, including Patriot/Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3), Aegis, forward-based sensors and the Command, Control, Battle Management and Communications (C2BMC) system. These unique capabilities make THAAD an important addition to integrated air and missile defense architectures around the world.
The U.S. Army activated the seventh THAAD battery in December 2016. Lockheed Martin delivered the 200th THAAD interceptor in September of 2017. The United Arab Emirates was the first international partner to procure THAAD with a contract awarded in 2011.
U.S. Forces Korea continued its progress in fulfilling the Republic of Korea (ROK) – U.S. Alliance decision to install a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) on the Korean Peninsula as the first elements of the THAAD system arrived in the ROK.
North Korea’s repeated nuclear and ballistic missile tests have underscored the importance of the Alliance decision to deploy THAAD. Work continues to operationalize THAAD as quickly as possible.
«The timely deployment of the THAAD system by U.S. Pacific Command and the Secretary of Defense gives my command great confidence in the support we will receive when we ask for reinforcement or advanced capabilities», said General Vincent K. Brooks, U.S. Forces Korea commander.
THAAD is a missile defense system aimed solely at defending the ROK against North Korea missiles. THAAD is strictly a defensive system.
A THAAD system will enhance Alliance missile defense capabilities and add to a layered missile defense against North Korean missile threats.
A Lockheed Martin PAC-3 Missile successfully intercepted an incoming target on Thursday, November 19, as part of a U.S. Army-led missile defense flight test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. The PAC-3 interceptor successfully detected, tracked and intercepted a Patriot-as-a-Target (PAAT), which is a legacy Patriot missile modified to represent a tactical ballistic missile common in today’s operational environment.
«The PAC-3 Missile continues to demonstrate its reliability in the field, and it remains the only combat proven hit-to-kill interceptor in the world», said Scott Arnold, vice president of PAC-3 programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «As global threats escalate, we expect PAC-3 interceptors to continue serving as a critical defense layer in the protection of soldiers, citizens and infrastructure».
The intercept is the second successful PAC-3 Missile test in just under one week. On Thursday, November 12, a PAC-3 also intercepted an airborne target as part of the U.S. Army’s Integrated Air & Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS) fight test at White Sands.
The PAC-3 Missile is a high-velocity interceptor that defends against incoming threats including tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft using hit-to-kill technology. PAC-3 currently provides missile defense capabilities for six nations – the U.S., the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, United Arab Emirates and Taiwan; and Lockheed Martin is on contract for PAC-3 with four additional nations – Kuwait, Qatar, South Korea and Saudi Arabia.
PATRIOT Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3)
The most mature hit-to-kill weapon system of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), the Patriot Weapon System using Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC)-3 missiles, is now operational and fielded by the U.S. Army.
A land-based element built upon the proven Patriot air and missile defense infrastructure.
PAC-3 was deployed to the Middle East as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom where it intercepted ballistic missiles with a combination of GEM and PAC-3 missiles. The GEM missile uses a blast fragmentation warhead while the PAC-3 missile employs hit-to-kill technology to kill ballistic missiles.
The Army is responsible for production and further development of the PAC-3 and the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS); the Missile Defense Agency remains responsible for the BMDS and PAC-3 interoperability and integration efforts.
Provides simultaneous air and missile defense capabilities as the Lower Tier element in defense of U.S. deployed forces and allies.
Works with Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) to provide an integrated, overlapping defense against missile threats in the terminal phase of flight. Jointly, these systems engage the threat by forming a multi-tier theater defense against adversary missile threats using peer-to-peer engagement coordination, early warning track data, and battle management situational awareness.
Contributes to the entire system’s situational awareness by transmitting precision cueing data to other theater elements while simultaneously protecting system assets against short-range ballistic missiles, large-caliber rockets, and air-breathing threats.
For homeland defense, Patriot provides detection, track, and engagement of short-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles. These engagements are further enhanced by networked remote sensors that supply early warning data to increase the probability of success.
Patriot has added Upper-Tier Debris Mitigation capability to mitigate the excessive radar load and potential missile waste caused by debris from upper-tier intercepts.
October 25, 2012 – A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor is launched from Meck Island and a PATRIOT Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) interceptor is launched from Omelek Island during MDA’s historic integrated flight test on October 24, 2012 (October 25 on Kwajalein)