THAAD: Reach Out and Touch Ballistic Missiles
January 19/21: UAE Lockheed Martin Space won a $254.7 million contract under a Foreign Military Sales case to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Under this follow-on contract, the contractor will provide maintenance and sustainment for two Terminal High Altitude Area Defense batteries for UAE. The maintenance and sustainment scope of work includes providing logistics management, logistics product database, training, missile and ground repair and return, hardware/software development and sustainment, hardware in the loop, engineering services, missile field surveillance program and country unique specialty engineering for FMS client. Lockheed Martin’s THAAD is an integrated defensive missile system designed to protect against high-altitude ballistic missile threats. Notably, apart from this product line’s well-established market in the United States, THAAD batteries have been deployed in other countries like the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Japan, South Korea and Israel. The latest contract win is an example of the solid demand enjoyed by this missile in the global space. Work will take place in California, Texas, Arkansas and Alabama. The performance period is from January 15, 2021, through January 14, 2026.
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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