THAAD: Reach Out and Touch Ballistic Missiles
September 1/20: Development And Support Lockheed Martin won a $911.8 million modification for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense element development and support services. The modification provides for the extension of the period of performance for additional incremental development, support to flight and ground test programs and responsive support to warfighter requirements to sustain the Ballistic Missile Defense System throughout the acquisition life cycle. THAAD is an American anti-ballistic missile defense system. It is designed to shoot down short-, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles in their terminal range. Work will take place in California and Alabama. Expected completion dates will be established under subsequent task order awards.
The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system is a long-range, land-based theater defense weapon that acts as the upper tier of a basic 2-tiered defense against ballistic missiles. It’s designed to intercept missiles during late mid-course or final stage flight, flying at high altitudes within and even outside the atmosphere. This allows it to provide broad area coverage against threats to critical assets such as population centers and industrial resources as well as military forces, hence its previous “theater (of operations) high altitude area defense” designation.
This capability makes THAAD different from a Patriot PAC-3 or the future MEADS system, which are point defense options with limited range that are designed to hit a missile or warhead just before impact. The SM-3 Standard missile is a far better comparison, and land-based SM-3 programs will make it a direct THAAD competitor. So far, both programs remain underway.
The THAAD System
The THAAD Program
THAAD: Schedules and Tests
THAAD: Budgets and Exports
Contracts and Key Events
FY 2006 and Earlier
Additional Readings & Sources
Background: THAAD System
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