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Lockheed gets $74M to deliver 8th THAAD battery to US Missile Defense Agency

Rendering Shows Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD ) Weapon System Launcher With Eight Canisters.
Photo: Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin has received a $74 million contract for the delivery of the eighth Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile defense system for the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA).

The award amount covers the production of an eighth THAAD battery, which is expected to be fielded by 2025.

The first THAAD Battery (Alpha Battery, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade) was activated in May 2008 and the seventh was activated by the US Army in December 2016.

THAAD provides defense against short, medium and intermediate-range ballistic missile threats, and is the only US system designed to intercept targets outside and inside the atmosphere. The system uses hit-to-kill technology to destroy a threat with direct impact neutralizing lethal payloads before they reach protected assets on the ground.

“This award demonstrates the US government’s continued confidence in the THAAD weapon system and in its unique endo- and exo-atmospheric defense capability,” said Dan Nimblett, vice president of upper tier integrated air and missile defense at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

“With 16 of 16 successful flight test intercepts and recent combat success clearly documenting the effectiveness of THAAD, adding an eighth battery will further enhance readiness against existing and evolving ballistic missile threats.”

Lockheed revealed the contract after the MDA and the US Army tested the integration of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC)-3 Missile Segment Enhanced (MSE) interceptors in a live-fire trial at the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

FTT-21 was the first live intercept flight test of a software build that provides the capability for the THAAD weapon system to compute PAC-3 MSE firing solutions, communicate with an M903 patriot launching station, and simultaneously control multiple PAC-3 MSE interceptors in flight.