Locally-assembled missile successful in defense test

Published 5:28 pm Thursday, September 12, 2013

A defense missile assembled in Troy proved successful in a complex missile defense flight test by the United States in the Marshall Islands.

The Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Weapon System which receives final assembly at the Troy-based Lockheed Martin facility, and the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System were able to intercept two medium-range ballistic missile targets in a realistic operational environment, according to Lockheed Martin.

The test was conducted at U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll/Reagan Test Site to stress the ability of both systems to defeat a raid of two near-simultaneous medium-range ballistic missile targets.

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“The sailors and soldiers manning Aegis BMD and THAAD performed as they would in an operational or tactical scenario,” said Nick Bucci, director for Aegis BMD Programs at Lockheed Martin. “This test showed that sailors and soldiers can plan and execute a complex engagement against multiple targets in an integrated and layered defense architecture that mimics a regional missile defense operation.”

During the test, an Army-Navy radar detected the target and relayed the information to Command Control Battle Management and Communications system. The USS Decatur then detected and tracked the missile with its onboard radar. The ship was equiped with the Aegis BMD weapon system and developed a fire control solution to intercept the target.

The Army-Navy radar acquired the target and sent tracking information to Comand Control. The THAAD system, using a second radar, tracked the target, developed a fire control solution, launched a THAAD interceptor missile and successfully interepted the medium-range ballistic missile.

Since 2005, the THAAD program has successfully completed 12 flight tests, with 11-for-11 successful intercepts.

THAAD is one of the few missile defense systems with the operational flexibility to intercept in both the endo- and exo-atmospheres to provide versatile capability to the warfighter.