Specifications of THAAD, Ballistic Missile Interceptor System in Terminal Phase

Specifications of THAAD, Ballistic Missile Interceptor System in Terminal Phase
A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense interceptor being fired during an exercise in 2013

International Military - Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) is a system that can intercept ballistic missiles during their final phase. The system incorporates an X-band radar, AN/TPY-2 , and a single-stage hit-to-kill interceptor to defeat ballistic missiles in or out of the atmosphere.

In the United States Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), THAAD occupies an intermediate level. This means, it covers a larger defense area than the Patriot while serving as the basis for the Aegis BMD and GMD systems in the atmosphere. In flight tests, it has demonstrated capability against short and medium-range ballistic missiles.

Quoted from missilethreat.csis.org, the US Army began developing THAAD, which entered Program Development and Risk Reduction (PDRR) in 1992. The Army's first test launched the THAAD prototype in April 1995.

On December 13, 1995, the Army attempted its first THAAD intercept test, but to no avail. Five consecutive flights—running from 1996 to 1999 also failed, largely due to "lack of quality control in the manufacture of the interceptor".

However, two flights were ultimately successful in June and August 1999. The US Army opted to redesign THAAD and relax its requirements to intercept targets at lower altitudes.

THAAD then entered Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) in June 2000. Reporting from hotcars.com, this vehicle-based platform can fire missiles further. It is an anti-ballistic missile defense system designed to counter ballistic missiles in their terminal phase.

It can strike targets located just outside the Earth's atmosphere at a distance of up to 200 km, minimizing the effects of weapons of mass destruction before they reach the ground.

Quoted from lockheedmartin.com, during the March 29, 2022 test at the White Sands Missile Range, the THAAD system successfully launched the PAC-3 MSE to intercept a tactical ballistic missile target. It is known to use the proven Hit-to-Kill technology without the support of Patriot fire units.

Ultimately, this will result in more flexibility for the fighter. The system uses proven Lockheed Martin technology to destroy threats with immediate impact.

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