Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Weapon System
Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Weapon System

Lockheed Martin Awarded $35 Million Contract for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)

Lockheed Martin Corp., Sunnyvale, California, is being awarded a $35,559,914 contract for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) weapon system. The total maximum ceiling value of this contract is increased from $6,300,005,882 to $6,335,565,796. Under this contract modification, Lockheed Martin will provide 36 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks (HEMTTs) A2 as a lifetime buy to support the THAAD weapon system. The work will be performed at Sunnyvale, California; Dallas, Texas; and Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The period of performance is from Aug. 4, 2021, through June 28, 2024. The U.S. Missile Defense Agency, Huntsville, Alabama, is the contracting activity.

Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), formerly Theater High Altitude Area Defense, is an American anti-ballistic missile defense system designed to shoot down short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles in their terminal phase (descent or reentry) by intercepting with a hit-to-kill approach.Originally a United States Army program, THAAD has come under the umbrella of the Missile Defense Agency. THAAD was originally scheduled for deployment in 2012, but initial deployment took place in May 2008. THAAD has been deployed in Guam, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Romania, and South Korea.

HEMTT-based M1075 Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Missile Launcher. (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

Two THAAD interceptors and a Standard-Missile 3 Block IA missile were launched resulting in the intercept of two near-simultaneous medium-range ballistic missile targets. The THAAD interceptor carries no warhead, but relies on its kinetic energy of impact to destroy the incoming missile. A kinetic energy hit minimizes the risk of exploding conventional-warhead ballistic missiles, and the warhead of nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles will not detonate upon a kinetic-energy hit. THAAD launchers based on the M1120 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) Load Handling System, a THAAD Fire Control and a THAAD radar.

The Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) is an eight-wheel drive, diesel-powered, 10-short-ton (9,100 kg) tactical truck. The M977 HEMTT first entered service in 1982 with the United States Army as a replacement for the M520 Goer, and since that date has remained in production for the U.S. Army and other nations. By Q2 2021, around 35,800 HEMTTs in various configurations had been produced by Oshkosh Defense through new-build contracts and around 14,000 of these had been re-manufactured. The HEMTT-based M1075 Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile launcher is technically a variant of the HEMTT LHS.

Lockheed Martin’s THAAD weapon system achieves first successful intercept of a separating target.