Lockheed Martin has awarded BAE Systems a contract for the design and delivery of next-generation infrared seekers for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile weapon system.
According to an announcement from BAE Systems, the sensor design work will improve THAAD’s ability to neutralize more threats and improve its manufacturability.
“The THAAD seeker is a key product in our precision munitions portfolio that’s recognized for its proven intercept capabilities. It demonstrates our ability to deliver advanced targeting and guidance systems for critical precision munitions,” said Barry Yeadon, THAAD program director at BAE Systems.
The THAAD weapon system intercepts hostile ballistic missiles with kinetic force during their final, or terminal, phase of flight. BAE Systems’ seeker provides infrared imagery that guides interceptors to their intended targets, destroying enemy warheads inside or outside the Earth’s atmosphere.
The company has delivered more than 500 THAAD seekers to date.
THAAD is an integral part of the MDA’s mission to field an integrated, layered, ballistic missile defense system. Its high-altitude intercept capability mitigates the effects of enemy weapons before they reach the ground, and its non-explosive kinetic impact minimizes the risk of detonation. THAAD is a highly effective system for addressing ballistic missile threats.
BAE Systems’ THAAD seekers are assembled, integrated, and tested at the company’s facilities in Nashua, New Hampshire and Endicott, New York. Portions of the design work for the next-generation seeker technology will be conducted in Huntsville, Alabama.