US Missile Defense Agency purchases 8th ‘Hit-to-Kill’ THAAD battery

WASHINGTON — The US Missile Defense Agency will receive its 8th Terminal High Altitude Area Defense [THAAD] battery, which should be produced in the coming years, and in 2025 to be adopted and begin its combat duty. The information comes after US high-tech concern Lockheed Martin was awarded a $74 million contract by the US government, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

THAAD successfully fired Patriot's PAC-3 MSE missile using AN/TPY-2
Photo credit: Lockheed Martin

BulgarianMilitary.com reminds us that THAAD has successfully registered participation in real combat conditions, and that out of 16 flight tests performed, the system has successfully intercepted its targets 16 times. Three years from now, when the eighth THAAD battery is commissioned, the United States will further increase its anti-aircraft capabilities against ballistic missile threats.

“This award demonstrates the U.S. the government’s continued confidence in the THAAD Weapon System and in its unique endo- and exo-atmospheric defense capability,” said Dan Nimblett, Vice President of Upper Tier Integrated Air and Missile Defense at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

BulgarianMilitary.com reminds us that the first battery was introduced in 2008 in the 4th American Artillery Regiment for Air Defense, the 11th Artillery Brigade for Air Defense, and the seventh battery began its combat duty nearly six years ago, in 2016.

Lockheed Martin Revealed the Delivery of the 300th THAAD Interceptor

About THAAD

Also, according to Reuters and their March 17, 2022 publication, Germany is ready to ask the United States to acquire the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense [THAAD] anti-ballistic missile defense system. The reason for this is the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the fact that Russia uses ballistic missiles in these attacks.

Terminal High Altitude Area Defense [THAAD] is an anti-ballistic missile system developed and manufactured by Lockheed Martin. Entered service in the United States in 2008. From then until today THAAD continues to be produced and sold successfully. In addition to the United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are its operators and use it to protect their airspace from medium-range and short-range missiles.

UAE has used THAAD's 'hit-to-kill approach' against missiles and UAVs
Photo credit: Quora

Although the system is many years old, it was only in January this year that it managed to make the first documented interception of a ballistic missile that was launched by the Yemeni Hutus in the UAE.

The THAAD rocket weighs 900 kilograms and is powered by a single-stage Pratt & Whitney solid-fueled engine. The operational distance that can reach and hit a target is 200 km. It can fly at an altitude of up to 150 km, and the maximum speed of the THAAD missile that can be reached is Mach 8 or 10,000 km / h.

Saudi Arabia will produce THAAD's missile launchers and canisters
Photo credit: Wikipedia

The missile has an indium-antimonide imaging infra-red seeker head, and the entire missile system is transported by a transporter erector launcher [TEL], which means a missile vehicle with an integrated prime mover [tractor unit].

THAAD uses AN / TPY-2 Army Navy / Transportable Radar. It operates in the X-band of the electromagnetic spectrum. This enables it to see targets more clearly and distinguish between an actual menace and non-threats, like launch debris. AN / TPY-2 can operate in two modes: forward-based mode and Terminal mode.

In Forward-based mode, the radar detects ballistic missiles after they are launched. In Terminal mode, the radar helps guide interceptors toward a descending missile to defeat the threat.

Saudi Arabia will produce THAAD's missile launchers and canisters
Photo credit: Raytheon

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