The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has successfully conducted the first intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) intercept test for its terminal high altitude area defence (THAAD) system.

Known as Flight Test THAAD (FTT)-18, the flight was carried out in collaboration with the US Army.

The Lockheed Martin-built THAAD system located at Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska detected, tracked and intercepted a threat representative IRBM target launched by Orbital ATK.

Orbital ATK is currently producing 16 launch vehicles for the IRBM target programme, under a $1.4bn contract.

Upon detecting, acquiring and tracking the target, the THAAD system launched an interceptor that destroyed the target's re-entry vehicle, Lockheed Martin stated.

Lockheed Martin Upper Tier Integrated Air and Missile Defense Systems vice-president Richard McDaniel said: "Our THAAD system performed flawlessly in today's test and we are proud to support the Missile Defense Agency and US Army as they demonstrate the system's unmatched capabilities.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.
"The THAAD system continues to prove its ability to intercept and destroy many classes of the ballistic missile threat."

"With this successful test, the THAAD system continues to prove its ability to intercept and destroy many classes of the ballistic missile threat to protect citizens, deployed forces, allies and international partners around the globe."

The latest test was the 14th successful intercept in 14 attempts for the THAAD system since 2005, according to the statement.

Using hit-to-kill technology, the THAAD system can destroy a threat with a direct impact to neutralise lethal threats before they reach protected assets on the ground.

The system is claimed to be interoperable with other ballistic missile defence system (BMDS) elements, including Patriot / PAC-3, Aegis, forward-based sensors and the command, control, battle management and communications system.

Image: THAAD interceptors during a successful intercept test. Photo: courtesy of the US Missile Defense Agency / US Department of Defense.