Elements

Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) element provides the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) with a globally transportable, rapidly deployable capability to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles inside or outside the atmosphere during their final, or terminal, phase of flight.

Overview

  • Land-based element capable of shooting down a ballistic missile both inside and just outside the atmosphere.
  • Highly effective against the asymmetric ballistic missile threats.
  • Uses hit-to-kill technology whereby kinetic energy destroys the incoming warhead.
  • The high-altitude intercept mitigates effects of enemy weapons of mass destruction before they reach the ground.

Details

  • A THAAD Battery consist of four main components:
    Launcher: Truck-mounted, highly-mobile, able to be stored; interceptors can be fired and rapidly reloaded.
    Interceptors: Eight per launcher.
    Radar: Army Navy/Transportable Radar Surveillance (AN/TPY-2) – Largest air-transportable X-band Radar in the world searches, tracks, and discriminates objects and provides updated tracking data to the interceptor.
    Fire Control: Communication and data-management backbone; links THAAD components together; links THAAD to external Command and Control nodes and to the entire BMDS; plans and executes intercept solutions.
  • Rapidly deployable by being globally transportable via air, land and sea.

Development

  • State-of-the-art engineering ensures high standards and efficient production and maintenance.
  • Comprehensive program of ground and flight tests, quality assurance, and design and development activities support mission success.
  • Major events in the THAAD program:
    • Returned to flight test on November 22, 2005 at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico;
    • Completed 12 successful tests, including 10 intercepts, and operationally-realistic tests in March 2009, June 2010, October 2011 and October 2012;
    • Continuing element development to incrementally improve missile defense capability.

Procurement

  • First two Batteries fielded at Fort Bliss, Texas. Total hardware for Batteries #1 & #2 includes six Launchers, two Fire Control & Communications components, two AN/TPY-2 Radars, and 48 Interceptors. Delivered 50th operational interceptor in 2012.
  • Batteries #3 and #4 hardware began delivery in 2013.
  • Battery #5 on contract in 2012 with delivery and fielding to start in 2014.

Fielding

  • Activated first three THAAD Batteries in 2008, 2009, and 2012.
  • Received Conditional Materiel Release of two Batteries and transition of operations to the Army in February 2012.
  • New Equipment Training (NET) for Battery #3 began in 2013.

Selected THAAD Images

THAAD image THAAD image THAAD image
THAAD image THAAD image THAAD image
THAAD image THAAD image THAAD image

see more images

Selected THAAD Video

Click here to view the selected THAAD video.

THAAD October 5, 2011 (4.24 MB WMV*)

Current THAAD Fact Sheet