U.S. Department of Defense - Missile Defense Agency

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Missile Defense Agency

MDA News Release

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

THAAD System Successfully Intercepts Target in Missile Defense Flight Test

August 30, 2019

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency, Ballistic Missile Defense System Operational Test Agency and U.S. Army soldiers of the E-62 Battery, 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, conducted an intercept test today of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) element of the nation's Ballistic Missile Defense System.

Preliminary indications are that planned flight test objectives were achieved and the target was successfully intercepted by the THAAD weapon system.

The test, designated Flight Test THAAD (FTT)-23, was the first time the THAAD system used a government-developed remote launcher kit that extended the range of the defended area.

“The Missile Defense Agency is committed to supporting the warfighter and we are proud of this success and the U.S. Army soldiers who executed this flight test,” said MDA Director Vice Adm. Jon A. Hill. “This test demonstrates the expanding capabilities of the THAAD weapon system and its ability to intercept and destroy ballistic missile threats in defense of our nation, deployed forces and allies.”

While initial indications show the test met its primary objective, program officials will continue to evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test.

Soldiers from the E-62 Battery conducted radar operations, launcher and fire control operations using the same procedure they would use during combat. Simulating a real-world scenario, soldiers were unaware of the target-launch timing.

This was the 16th successful intercept in 16 attempts for the THAAD weapon system, which is designed to intercept threats both inside and outside the Earth’s atmosphere. This rapidly-deployable system provides a critical capability for defense against ballistic missile attacks. Additional information about all elements of the Ballistic Missile Defense System can be found at https://www.mda.mil.

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Please direct all media related queries to Mark Wright at 571-231-8212, Mark.Wright@mda.mil or Latonja Martin at 256-450-3239, Latonja.Martin@mda.mil.