THAAD

Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), a key element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), is designed to defend U.S. troops, allied forces, population centers, and critical infrastructure against short and medium range ballistic missiles.

On November 22, 2005, Lockheed Martin successfully conducted a developmental flight test of the THAAD missile at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), New Mexico. This was the first flight of the Block 04 missile that is being tested under an Engineering and Manufacturing contract awarded to Lockheed Martin in 2000 (Photo by Lockheed Martin)
On November 22, 2005, Lockheed Martin successfully conducted a developmental flight test of the THAAD missile at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), New Mexico. This was the first flight of the Block 04 missile that is being tested under an Engineering and Manufacturing contract awarded to Lockheed Martin in 2000 (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

Each THAAD system is comprised of five major components.

  1. Interceptors: Eight per launcher.
  2. Launchers: Truck-mounted, highly mobile, able to be stored; interceptors can be fired and rapidly reloaded.
  3. Radar: Army Navy/Transportable Radar Surveillance (AN/TPY-2) – Largest air-transportable X-band radar in the world searches, tracks, and discriminates objects and provides updated tracking data to the interceptor.
  4. Fire control unit: Communication and data-management backbone; links THAAD components together; links THAAD to external Command and Control nodes and to the entire BMDS; plans and executes intercept solutions.
  5. THAAD-specific support equipment.
The terminal-mode AN/TPY-2 leads the THAAD ballistic missile defense system by guiding the THAAD missile to intercept a threat
The terminal-mode AN/TPY-2 leads the THAAD ballistic missile defense system by guiding the THAAD missile to intercept a threat

All components have been integrated, tested, and successfully demonstrated during the current flight test program. In addition to flight-testing, the THAAD program is in production, with two THAAD Batteries delivered to the U.S. Army. In early 2012, THAAD received Conditional Materiel Release, which allows the weapon system to be deployed to support warfighter needs.

THAAD can accept cues from Aegis, satellites, and other external sensors to further extend the battle space and defended area coverage, and operates in concert with the lower-tier Patriot/PAC-3 (Patriot Advanced Capability-3) system to provide increased levels of effectiveness.

Managed by the Missile Defense Agency, the THAAD team consists of the THAAD Project Office, prime contractor and systems integrator Lockheed Martin, and multiple subcontractors. The THAAD Weapon System is operated by the U.S. Army.

Launchers: Truck-mounted, highly mobile, able to be stored; interceptors can be fired and rapidly reloaded
Launchers: Truck-mounted, highly mobile, able to be stored; interceptors can be fired and rapidly reloaded

 

Features

  • Land-based BMDS
  • Defends against short and medium range ballistic missiles
  • High lethality with proven hit-to-kill
  • Unique endo- and low exo-atmospheric intercept capability
  • Interoperable with other Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) systems
  • Robust mass raid capacity
  • Flexible emplacement configurations to adapt to changing threat situations
  • Highly mobile and rapidly deployable
The THAAD has activated two Batteries to date from the 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command, 11th BDE. There are 99 soldiers per THAAD Battery (Photo by Lockheed Martin)
The THAAD has activated two Batteries to date from the 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command, 11th BDE. There are 99 soldiers per THAAD Battery (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

 

Development Program – Flight-testing

100% mission success in flight-testing. Twelve tests with 10-for-10 successful intercepts. The first integrated Ballistic Missile Defense System Test conducted in October 2012 with THAAD, Aegis Combat System, and PAC-3.

Flight-testing will continue into the future with increasingly complex missions, further BMDS system integration, and operational testing.

Tactical Operations Station. THAAD flight tests are operated by U.S. Army soldiers. The entire flight test takes 7 soldiers to operate; 2 soldiers for the launcher, 3 soldiers for the TFCC (THAAD Fire Control and Communications), and 2 soldiers for the radar (Photo by Lockheed Martin)
Tactical Operations Station. THAAD flight tests are operated by U.S. Army soldiers. The entire flight test takes 7 soldiers to operate; 2 soldiers for the launcher, 3 soldiers for the TFCC (THAAD Fire Control and Communications), and 2 soldiers for the radar (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

 

Production and Fielding

Delivered first two THAAD Batteries to the U.S. Army with ongoing interceptor deliveries.

Achieved Conditional Material Release in 2012, allowing the weapon system to be deployed at any time.

Three U.S. Army Batteries activated; soldiers are undergoing training.

Maintaining system readiness rate above 95%.

Lockheed Martin logistics support personnel deploy with the system and the soldiers.

The missile carries no warhead but relies on the kinetic energy of the impact to destroy the incoming missile
The missile carries no warhead but relies on the kinetic energy of the impact to destroy the incoming missile

 

International

On contract for the first foreign military sale.

Cultivating ongoing partnerships.

Opportunities for co-development and co-production.

 

THAAD achieved its first Salvo intercept of two THAAD interceptors against one complex separating target at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on March 17, 2009

 

The THAAD weapon system consists of launchers, interceptors, a radar, a fire control unit and THAAD-specific support equipment. These elements work in concert to detect, identify, assign, and destroy incoming ballistic missiles

 

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