Product Type:

Ballistic Missile Defense System

Using Service:

Joint Program managed by MDA

Program Status:

In Production

Prime Contractor:

Systems Integrator: Lockheed Martin Corp.

AN/TPY-2 Radar: Raytheon Company

THAAD Missile Launch

About the THAAD System:

Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), formerly Theater High Altitude Area Defense, is an American missile defense system designed to shoot down short, medium, and intermediate ballistic missiles in the terminal phase of flight inside and outside the atmosphere (endo- and exo-atmospheric intercept capability).

THAAD is a key element of the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) and the program is managed by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). THAAD will provide a rapidly-transportable ballistic missile defense capability, using so-called "hit-to-kill" technology (the THAAD interceptor missile carries no warhead but relies on the kinetic energy of the impact to destroy enemy missiles).

A THAAD Battery consists of six truck-mounted M1075 launchers, 48 interceptors (8 per launcher), a THAAD Fire Control and Communications (TFCC) unit aka Tactical Station Group (TSG), and one AN/TPY-2 radar (the world's most advanced mobile radar).

The terminal phase is very short and begins once the missile reenters the earth's atmosphere. It is the last opportunity to intercept the missile before the warhead reaches its target. Intercepting a warhead during the terminal phase is difficult and the least desirable phase because there is little margin for error and the intercept will occur close to the intended target. To intercept missiles in the midcourse phase of flight, the MDA is developing the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system.

The THAAD missile/interceptor is manufactured by Lockheed Martin and is more than 20 feet (6.2 meters) long, weighs 1,984 pounds (900 kg), and travels at speeds of up to 6,250 mph (10,000 km/h). The missile has a range of 124 miles (200 km) and a ceiling of 93 miles (150 km).

The THAAD missile is powered by an Aerojet single-stage solid propellant rocket motor with thrust vectoring. After burnout, the booster separates from the kill vehicle, which continues to the interception point. For maneuvering outside the atmosphere, the missile is equipped with the Aerojet Rocketdyne liquid Divert and Attitude Control System (DACS) which provides quick reaction propulsion that positions the THAAD missile to intercept its target (the DACS was originally developed by Boeing which sold its Rocketdyne business to Pratt & Whitney in 2005. In 2013, GenCorp purchased Rocketdyne and formed Aerojet Rocketdyne. In the final intercept phase, the kill vehicle is guided by a focal plane array infrared seeker (made by BAE Systems). THAAD Guidance and control systems are supplied by Honeywell.

THAAD can accept cues from the AEGIS BMD Combat System, as well as from satellites and other external sensors (including JLENS) to further extend the battle space and defended area covered. THAAD can operate in concert with the lower-tier Patriot/PAC-3 missile defense system to provide increased levels of effectiveness.

The truck platform used for THAAD is the Oshkosh M1120 HEMTT LHS from the Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicles (FHTV).

The AN/TPY-2 radar, manufactured by Raytheon, is the largest air-transportable X-band Radar in the world. Its task is to search, track, and discriminate objects and provide updated tracking data to the interceptor. The ground-based radar unit can be transported by C-5, C-17 and C-130 military transport aircraft. On October 14, 2014, Raytheon delivered the 10th AN/TPY-2 radar to the MDA.

The THAAD Prime Power Unit (THAAD-PPU) is designed and manufactured by Enercon Engineering. This transportable mobile power unit provides primary power to the THAAD radar components.

The initial fielding of the first two THAAD batteries was completed in FY 2012. The batteries are stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas. On March 7, 2012, Lockheed Martin completed the delivery of all hardware and components associated with the fielding of the first U.S. Army THAAD Battery. In FY 2013, the delivery of Battery #3 was completed. Delivery of Battery #4 completes in FY 2014 followed by Battery #5 and #6 in FY 2015 and FY 2016, respectively.

On October 25, 2012, the AEGIS BMD Combat System, the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile, and THAAD (incl. two AN/TPY-2 radars) engaged in the first-ever test of all three systems working together to detect, track, engage, and eliminate two ballistic missile targets (out of three) and one cruise missile target (out of two). The SM-3 Block IA missile employed by the AEGIS BMDS failed to engage two of the missile threats. During the test, THAAD successfully intercepted and destroyed an Extended Long Range Air Launch Target (E-LRALT) missile. The live-fire flight test, Flight Test Integrated-01 (FTI-01), was conducted by the MDA at the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site in the South Pacific.

Since 2005, the THAAD program has successfully completed 12 flight tests with 11-for-11 intercepts. The THAAD concept was first proposed in 1987 with a formal request for proposals submitted to the defense industry in 1990. In September 1992, the Army selected Lockheed Martin as the prime contractor for the initial development of THAAD and, in June 2000, Lockheed Martin won the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) contract. In December 2011, Lockheed Martin announced that it had been awarded a $1.96 billion production contract by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to deliver two full THAAD batteries as well as other equipment.

On September 23, 2013, Lockheed Martin was awarded a production contract worth $3.9 billion for the manufacture and delivery of up to 110 interceptors for the U.S. Army. The contract also includes interceptors and other ground hardware for the UAE.


Excluding support equipment, the cost of a full THAAD battery is $757 million in FY 2014 (was $809 million in FY 2012). This includes 48 interceptors at a unit cost of $11.02 million, 6 launchers at a unit cost of $7.74 million, and two TFCC Tactical Station Groups at a unit cost of $9.27 million, and one AN/TPY-2 Ground Based Radar at a cost of $172.77 million.


Provide combatant commanders with rapidly deployable, ground-based missile defense components that deepen, extend and complement the BMDS, which will defeat ballistic missiles of all types and ranges in all phases of flight.

FY 2014 DoD Program:

FY 2014 supports procurement of one THAAD Battery, 33 interceptors and associated components, as well as support and training equipment. Also supports continued development of the Build 2.0 capability, and testing of THAAD components. Also, FY 2014 funding for the AN/TPY-2 includes the purchase of one Float Cooling Equipment Unit (CEU), critical spares and long lead Transmit/Receive Integrated Microwave Modules (TRIMMs) for the Float Antenna Equipment Unit (AEU).

FY 2015 DoD Program:

Supports procurement of 31 interceptors and associated components, as well as support and training equipment. Supports the development of the initial Build 2.0 capability, and continues development and flight and ground testing of THAAD components. Provides support for the four THAAD batteries as well as the planned delivery of the fifth battery in FY 2015. For more information, click to view the FY 2015 THAAD Budget.

The FY 2015 AN/TPY-2 budget procures long lead Transmit/Receive Integrated Microwave Modules (TRIMMs) for the Float Antenna Equipment Unit (AEU) and one Electronic Equipment Unit (EEU) Modification Kit For more information, click to view the FY 2015 AN/TPY-2 Budget.

Sources Used: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Lockheed Martin Corp.,
Raytheon, The Boeing Company, Aerojet Rocketdyne, and BAE Systems.

Specifications DoD Spending FY2015 Budget

Last Update: October 22, 2014.

By Joakim Kasper Oestergaard Balle /// (

External Resources:

Lockheed Martin: THAAD
Raytheon Company: THAAD

Raytheon Company: AN/TPY-2 X-Band Radar System
Aerojet Rocketdyne: THAAD DACS

Missile Defense Agency (MDA): THAAD Photos & Videos
YouTube: THAAD | YouTube Videos

Fact Sheet: THAAD | Fact Sheet
Fact Sheet: Raytheon AN/TPY-2 | Fact Sheet

THAAD U.S. Defense Budget Charts:

DoD Spending on the THAAD Program in FY 2011, FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014 and FY 2015
DoD Purchases of THAAD Interceptors in FY 2011, FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014 and FY 2015

AN/TPY-2 U.S. Defense Budget Charts:

DoD Spending on AN/TPY-2 Radars in FY 2011, FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014 and FY 2015
DoD Purchases of AN/TPY-2 Mobile Ground Radars in FY 2011, FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014 and FY 2015
Defense Budget Data

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DoD Spending, Procurement and RDT&E: FY 2011/12/13 + Budget for FYs 2014 + 2015

DoD Defense Spending, Procurement, Modifications, Spares, and RDT&E for the THAAD MDA Program
DoD Defense Spending, Procurement, Modifications, Spares, and RDT&E for the AN/TPY-2 Ground Radar System

Download Official U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Budget Data:

THAAD Purchases (MDA) AN/TPY-2 Purchases (MDA) Sequestration FY2013

Specifications: THAAD BMDS

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Specifications | THAAD Interceptor

Primary Function: Hit-to-kill missile
Prime Contractor: Lockheed Martin Corp.
Propulsion: AeroJet Rocketdyne solid-fuel rocket + DACS
Length: 20 ft 3 in (6.17 m)
Diameter: 14.5 in (37 cm)
Weight: 1,984 lbs (900 kg)
Speed: 6,250 mph (10,000 km/h)
Range: 108 nm/124 miles (200+ km)
Ceiling: 93 miles (150 km)
Guidance System: GPS/INS
Warhead: None (uses hit-to-kill technology)
Platforms: M1075 Launcher mounted on the chassis of an M1120 LHS HEMMT Heavy Tactical Vehicle
Price/Unit Cost: $11.02 million (in FY 2014)
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): To be decided

Defense Program

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