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Missile Defense Agency

MDA News Release

5700 18th Street, Bldg 245
Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-5573

Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Army Test Interoperability of THAAD and PATRIOT Missile Defense Systems

April 6, 2018

The Missile Defense Agency and the U.S. Army successfully conducted a missile defense tracking exercise today from White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. The test supported the materiel release of the THAAD 3.0 software upgrades and demonstrated the interoperability between the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and PATRIOT weapons systems.

This tracking exercise was a simulated engagement of a live short-range Lynx missile target. During the exercise, the target was launched from White Sands Missile Range and was detected and tracked by THAAD’s Army-Navy/Transportable Surveillance Radar Model 2 (AN/TPY-2).  PATRIOT similarly detected and tracked the target. Both THAAD and PATRIOT exchanged messages through tactical data links and verified interoperability between the weapon systems.  

THAAD and PATRIOT launchers were used in the exercise for simulation purposes only, but no live interceptors were launched.

“I am proud of today’s success in testing the interoperability of the THAAD and PATRIOT systems,” said MDA Director Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves. “These two weapon systems are vitally important as components of our layered ballistic missile defense system and it is critical that they are able to transmit data and communicate with one another.”

This exercise, known as Flight Test Other (FTX)-35, was a developmental and operational test overseen by the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) Operational Test Agency. U.S. Army soldiers from the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade from Fort Hood, Texas, participated in the exercise. Soldiers operating the equipment were not aware of the actual target launch time.

FTX-35 supports the materiel release of the THAAD 3.0 software upgrades and meets the requirements of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act for the MDA and U.S. Army to annually test the interoperability and integration of the THAAD and PATRIOT weapon systems.

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