United States of America
- Ballistic Missile Defense System
- Missile Defense Agency
- Theater High Altitude Area Defense
- White Sands Missile Range
Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) successfully conducted
an integrated Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) flight test at White
Sands Missile Range (WSMR), New Mexico, today. This is the first developmental
flight test to engage the entire THAAD weapon system including the THAAD
interceptor, launcher, radar and fire control system.
Specific test objectives included demonstrating all major elements of the THAAD
weapon system during engagement of a virtual target: interceptor launch and
control; kill vehicle control in response to in-flight uplinks; seeker
operation; and radar acquisition, track and in-flight communications with the
interceptor. All test objectives were achieved.
U. S. Army soldiers from Fort Bliss' 6th Brigade participated in today's test,
with two soldiers conducting radar operations, two soldiers assisting
contractors at the launcher, and one soldier assisting contractors at the THAAD
fire control and communications.
This is the second successful THAAD developmental flight test conducted since
flight testing resumed for the program in November 2005. Three more test flights
are scheduled to occur at WSMR before THAAD testing moves to Pacific Missile
Range Facility in Hawaii.
THAAD is designed to defend U.S. troops, allied forces, population centers and
critical infrastructure against short- to medium-range ballistic missiles. THAAD
comprises a fire control system, interceptors, launchers and radar. The THAAD
interceptor uses hit-to-kill technology to destroy targets, and is the only
weapon system that engages threat ballistic missiles at both endo- and exo-atmospheric
A key element of the nation's Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), THAAD is
a Missile Defense Agency program, with the program office located in Huntsville,
Alabama. The agency is developing a BMDS to defend the United States, its
deployed forces, friends and allies against ballistic missiles of all ranges and
in all phases of flight.
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