Lockheed Martin has received a $528m contract from the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to produce and deliver interceptors for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.

Under the terms of the deal, the company will provide interceptors required for fiscal years 2015 and 2016 for the programme, reported DefenseNews.

Lockheed Martin THAAD system vice-president Richard McDaniel said: "Our THAAD interceptors are on the cutting edge of missile defence technology. With advanced range, agility and accuracy, our interceptors are fully capable of defeating dangerous missile threats today and into the future.

"Our focus on affordability, coupled with efficiencies of increased volume, is providing significant cost-savings opportunities to meet growing demand from the US and allies around the globe."

"Our THAAD interceptors are on the cutting edge of missile defence technology."

Part of the US ballistic-missile defence system, the THAAD missile system is designed to intercept and destroy short, medium, and intermediate ballistic missiles using hit-to-kill technology.

Equipped with launchers, missiles, battle management / command, control, communications and intelligence (BMC3I) units and radars, it defends the US, its deployed forces, and allies against ballistic missile threats during all flight phases.

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By GlobalData

THAAD is claimed to be the only system capable of engaging ballistic missiles at both endo and exo-atmospheric altitudes, providing versatile capability to soldiers.

Since 2005, the THAAD development programme has completed 13 flight tests, and has recorded 11 successful intercepts in 11 attempts. The fifth of seven programmed THAAD batteries was activated by the US Army last year.

In 2015, the company delivered the 100th THAAD interceptor.

Image: A THAAD missile launcher. Photo: courtesy of USSMDC / Wikepedia.