The USMissile Defence Agency
(MDA) has awardedLockheed Martin
a $619m contract to begin production of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) Weapon System.
The contract for the first two THAAD fire units includes 48 interceptors, six launchers and two fire control and communications units. The system is scheduled for deployment in fiscal year 2009.
Final assembly, integration and testing of production equipment will take place at Lockheed Martin’s manufacturing facilities in Troy, Alabama, and Camden, Arizona.
THAAD is designed to defend US troops, allied forces, population centres and critical infrastructure against short- to intermediate range ballistic missiles. THAAD comprises a fire control and communications system, interceptors, launchers and radar. Accorinding to Lockheed Martin, the THAAD interceptor uses hit-to-kill technology to destroy targets, and is the only weapon system that engages threat ballistic missiles at both endo- and exo-atmospheric altitudes.