THAAD: Reach Out and Touch Ballistic Missiles
August 18/16: They’re THAAD as hell, and they’re not going to take it any more. 900 South Korean protestors angry at their government’s deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) have taken part in a mass head shaving . Citizens from the southeastern county of Seongju have brought up several issues including safety issues regarding the system’s sophisticated radar and its potential to be a wartime target. Meanwhile, the US continues to lobby Beijing , saying THAAD’s deployment on the Korean peninsula does not threaten China.
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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