UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!




KAUAI, Hawaii - A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor - successfully guided by a BAE Systems' infrared seeker - directly hit and destroyed an incoming target during an Oct. 26 test here at the Pacific Missile Range Facility.

The test was conducted by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and Lockheed Martin, the THAAD weapon system's prime contractor and systems integrator.

"In this test, THAAD missile intercepted its target at a higher altitude than any other test to date," said John Watkins, BAE Systems' THAAD program manager in Nashua, New Hampshire. "This test, combined with three previous intercepts, shows that THAAD can successfully take out an enemy ballistic missile."

THAAD is designed to defend U.S. and allied soldiers, military assets, and population centers from the threat of ballistic missile attacks. The sophisticated system destroys enemy warheads through direct "hit-to-kill" technology. "It's like hitting a bullet with a bullet," Watkins said.

The BAE Systems seeker provides infrared imagery of the targeted warhead to guide the interceptor to its target. This success is part of THAAD intercept testing that will continue through 2009. Upcoming tests at the Pacific Missile Range in Hawaii will be conducted against increasingly complex targets outside the earth's atmosphere.

BAE Systems began work on seekers for missile defense in the late 1970s. Initial work on the THAAD seeker began in 1991. The seeker development program started in 2000 and is scheduled to conclude in December 2007. A manufacturing contract awarded in December 2006 will lead to the delivery of the first unit equipped in fiscal year 2009.

About BAE Systems
BAE Systems is the premier global defense and aerospace company, delivering a full range of products and services for air, land, and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, information technology solutions, and customer support services. BAE Systems, with 96,000 employees worldwide, had 2006 sales that exceeded $27 billion on a pro forma basis, assuming BAE Systems had owned Armor Holdings, Inc. for the whole of 2006.

For further information, please contact:
Karen Spiller, BAE Systems
Tel: +1 603 885 2818 Mobile: +1 603 566 2090

Shannon Smith, BAE Systems
Tel: +1 703 907 8257 Mobile: +1 703 967 3854

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list