LWI - Land Warfare

THAAD carries out missile intercept test

2nd September 2019 - 07:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Lockheed Martin's Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system demonstrated its ability to intercept a medium-range ballistic missile target during a test led by the US Missile Defense Agency on 30 August. 

During the designated Flight Test THAAD (FTT-23), the air defence system located at US Army Garrison Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands detected, tracked and intercepted a representative threat target using a THAAD launcher that was positioned at distance from the other THAAD end items.

The THAAD radar detected, acquired and tracked the target, and the system then launched an interceptor from a remotely-located THAAD launcher that destroyed the target's re-entry vehicle.

This was the 16th successful intercept in 16 attempts for the THAAD system since 2005, Lockheed says. 

The THAAD system now has the capability to physically untether a THAAD launcher from the battle manager and launch interceptors remotely, which enhances launcher emplacement options and increases the area that can be defended.

‘The enhanced THAAD system performed flawlessly in today's test, and we are proud to support the Missile Defense Agency and US Army as they continue to demonstrate the system's unmatched capabilities,’ Richard McDaniel, vice president of upper tier integrated air and missile defence systems at Lockheed Martin, said. 

‘This successful test paves the way for delivery of an urgent need capability that will enhance THAAD's emplacement options resulting in greater asset protection.’

The system uses hit-to-kill technology to intercept and destroy a threat with direct impact, neutralising lethal payloads before they reach the ground. 

The system is mobile and interoperable with other ballistic missile defence system elements, including Patriot/PAC-3, Aegis, forward-based sensors, and command, control, battle management and communications systems. 

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