Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) is a key element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). THAAD will provide rapidly deployable ground-based missile defense components that deepen, extend and complement the BMDS to any Combatant Commander to defeat ballistic missiles of all types and ranges while in all phases of flight.
THAAD’s combination of high-altitude, long-range capability and hit-to-kill lethality enables it to effectively negate the effects of weapons of mass destruction at intercept ranges well beyond the defended area. These attributes, along with THAAD’s unique endo (in the atmosphere) and exo (out of the atmosphere) atmospheric capability, enlarge the battle space to allow multiple intercept opportunities in both the late-midcourse and terminal phases of ballistic missile trajectories. THAAD can accept cues from Aegis, satellites and other external sensors to further extend the battle space and defended area coverage. THAAD will operate in concert with the lower-tier Patriot/PAC-3 system to provide increased levels of effectiveness.
THAAD is a rapid response weapon system that can be deployed quickly to protect critical assets worldwide. The THAAD element consists of five major components: missiles; launchers; radars; fire control; and THAAD-specific support equipment. All components have been successfully integrated, tested and demonstrated during the first program phase that concluded in 2000.
The THAAD Development Program flight testing began in November 2005 with a successful launch. Flight testing continues at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) through 2006. Operations are then scheduled to transition to the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) in Kauai, Hawaii to conduct flight testing through early 2009. The THAAD government-industry team continues to focus on mission success and delivering, testing and integrating hardware and software components that ensure the highest level of quality, reliability, producibility and affordability.
Industry team members:
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
Recent News: Lockheed Martin Receives $1.96 Billion THAAD Production Contract For The United Arab Emirates December 30, 2011
• THAAD Weapon System Achieves Intercept of Two Targets at Pacific Missile Range Facility – October 5th, 2011