US deploys THAAD missile defence system to Israel

5 March 2019 (Last Updated June 11th, 2020 12:09)

The US European Command (EUCOM) has announced the deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to Israel as part of a month-long joint exercise.

US deploys THAAD missile defence system to Israel
The first of two Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptors is launched during a successful intercept test. Credit: Ralph Scott / Missile Defense Agency / US DoD.

The US European Command (EUCOM) has announced the deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to Israel as part of a month-long joint exercise.

The THAAD battery belongs to the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command (AAMDC) based at Fort Bliss, Texas, US.

The deployment represents the US’s ‘commitment to Israel’s regional security’ and demonstrates that the ability of US Armed Forces to ‘respond quickly and unpredictably to any threat, anywhere, at any time’.

In a statement, EUCOM said: “This deployment incorporates key capabilities, systems and people stationed in the continental United States and Europe, and with our partners in the Israel Defense Force.”

It is also part of the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) Dynamic Force Employment concept.

“THAAD is an advanced integrated air and missile defence weapon system capable of intercepting exo-atmospheric and endo-atmospheric threats.”

EUCOM further stated: “DoD’s Dynamic Force Employment changes the way the US Military employs our forces to provide proactive and scalable options in support of national defence objectives. These actions make our activities unpredictable to adversaries while maintaining strategic predictability for our allies and partners.”

The command noted that US service members will carry out network connectivity refinement and validation for the weapon system.

Furthermore, multinational training and security cooperation activities will be conducted to boost interoperability between the nations and allies, as well as strengthen readiness.

Working in different locations across Israel, members will also train on operational procedures to enhance the air and missile defence architecture of the country.

THAAD is an advanced integrated air and missile defence weapon system capable of intercepting exo-atmospheric and endo-atmospheric threats.

Manufactured by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, it is designed to destroy threats such as tactical and theatre ballistic missiles at ranges of 200km and altitudes of up to 150km.