THAAD Hits Two Targets on the First Unit’s Operational Qualification Test

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The U.S. Army Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system performed a successful intercept October 5, 2011, scoring simultaneous kills of two targets. Photo: Lockheed Martin

The U.S. Army Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system performed a successful intercept today, scoring almost simultaneous kill of two targets. The test was conducted at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) on Kauai, Hawaii, as part of the The test, part of the first THAAD unit’s initial operational qualification phase. During the mission, the first THAAD missile intercepted an air-launched short-range ballistic missile target. The second THAAD missile intercepted a sea-launched short-range ballistic missile target a short time later.

The first THAAD unit, Alpha Battery, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade deployed from its home base at Fort Bliss, Texas, in mid-August, operating at the PMRF under the control of the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command during the flight test. In order to make this a realistic tactical environment, the soldiers did not know what day or time the mission would occur. Since 2005, the program has completed 12 flight tests, with nine-for-nine intercepts. the first THAAD battery was activated in 2008.

The U.S. Army Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system performed a successful intercept October 5, 2011, scoring simultaneous kills of two targets. Photo: Lockheed Martin