NASHUA, New Hampshire — BAE Systems’ Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) infrared imaging seeker successfully engaged a medium-range ballistic missile target recently in the largest, most complex missile defense test in U.S. history.
The THAAD weapon system acquired a medium-range missile that was launched from a C-17 aircraft during the 2012 test conducted by the Missile Defense Agency and Lockheed Martin, the THAAD prime contractor and systems integrator. With this test, BAE Systems’ THAAD seeker has now successfully engaged short- and medium-range ballistic missile targets.
“The THAAD weapon system is proven and reliable,” said Barry Yeadon, THAAD program manager for BAE Systems. “THAAD has a spotless flight test record of 10-for-10 intercepts.”
THAAD is designed to defend U.S. and allied soldiers, military assets, and metropolitan areas from ballistic missile attack threats. BAE Systems’ seeker provides the infrared imagery from the targeted warhead to the missile to guide the interceptor to its target, destroying enemy warheads through direct “hit-to-kill” technology.
The Missile Defense Agency completed the ballistic missile defense system flight test integrated-01 live-fire demonstration at the U.S. Army's Kwajalein Atoll/Reagan test site in the Pacific Ocean.
BAE Systems’ THAAD seeker program is delivering seekers to the U.S. government for the second production lot. BAE Systems manufactures the THAAD seeker in its Nashua, New Hampshire factory. The company has worked on missile defense seekers since the late 1970s and achieved the first hit-to-kill intercept of a ballistic missile target in 1984.