Lockheed Martin has secured a $74m contract to produce the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) weapon system for the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA).

The system is expected to be deployed by 2025.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Upper Tier Integrated Air and Missile Defense vice-president Dan Nimblett said: “This award demonstrates the US government’s continued confidence in the THAAD weapon system and in its unique endo- and exo-atmospheric defence capability.

“With 16 of 16 successful flight test intercepts, and recent combat success clearly documenting the effectiveness of THAAD, adding an eighth battery will further enhance readiness against existing and evolving ballistic missile threats.”

The THAAD element is a transportable and rapidly deployable defensive weapon system that can be used to intercept short, medium, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. The system leverages Hit-to-Kill technology to destroy the threat on direct impact, before it hits the on-ground assets.

It can also target aerial threats outside the atmosphere.

In a statement, Lockheed Martin said: “THAAD continues incremental capability improvements within the weapon system to continually improve capability against current and emerging threats.”

To date, the US Army received seven THAAD batteries, the last of which was activated in December 2016.

The latest contract will deliver the eighth THAAD battery to the US.

Lockheed Martin recently reported its earnings in the first quarter of 2022. The company recorded sales of $15bn in the quarter, down 8% compared to same period last year.

It expects to generate net sales of approximately $66bn this year.