Military Embedded Systems

MDA, Army complete missile defense test with THAAD system


July 11, 2017

Mariana Iriarte

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

MDA, Army complete missile defense test with THAAD system
Lockheed Martin's THAAD weapon system achieves first successful intercept of a separating target. (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

KODIAK, Alaska. U.S. Missile Defense Agency engineers with support by the U.S. Army and the Ballistic Missile Defense System Operational Test Agency completed a flight test of the Lockheed Martin-built Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. This was the 14th intercept in 14 attempts for the THAAD system since 2005, officials say.

During the missile defense test, the THAAD system detected, tracked, and intercepted a threat representative intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) target. The system is located at Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska in Kodiak, Alaska.

During the test, designated Flight Test THAAD (FTT)-18, the THAAD radar first detected, acquired and tracked the target. The THAAD system then developed a fire control solution and launched an interceptor that destroyed the target's reentry vehicle with sheer force of a direct collision.

The THAAD system uses hit-to-kill technology to destroy a threat with direct impact to neutralize lethal threats before they reach protected assets on the ground. The system is rapidly deployable, mobile and also interoperable with other Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) elements, including Patriot/PAC-3, Aegis, forward-based sensors and the Command, Control, Battle Management and Communications system.

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