A BAE Systems seeker detected and destroyed a unitary target performing the lowest endo-atmospheric intercept to date for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense weapon system flight test program on June 28 at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii.
The test, conducted by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and Lockheed Martin, the THAAD prime contractor and systems integrator verified the interceptor and other system components capability to detect and to intercept a unitary Short Range Ballistic Missile. The test also demonstrated the seeker’s ability to perform target acquisition and track-and-aim point selection by the interceptor’s seeker and its avionics flight software.
“This was the THAAD interceptor’s lowest endo intercept to date,” said Joe Colosimo, chief engineer for BAE Systems in Nashua, New Hampshire, where the THAAD seeker is built. “As the flight test program continues, the scenarios become more complex requiring our technology to perform on targets that will become more challenging to detect and hit.”
THAAD is designed to defend U.S. troops, allied forces, population centers and critical infrastructure against short to possibly intermediate-range ballistic missiles. BAE Systems worked on missile defense seekers since the late 1970s and achieved the first hit-to-kill intercept of a ballistic-missile target in 1984.