Lockheed Martin’s THAAD Program Celebrates 10- And 25-Year Hit-To-Kill Intercept Anniversaries
HUNTSVILLE, AL, 06/10/2009 -- Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] employees celebrated the 10th anniversary of the first successful intercept of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) weapon system today. On June 10, 1999, a THAAD missile successfully intercepted a ballistic missile target over White Sands Missile Range, NM.
"Ten years ago, THAAD hit its first target, which was a significant milestone in the history of this program," said Tom McGrath, program manager and vice president for THAAD at Lockheed Martin. "Since that time, our mission success continues to speak loudly, as we have seen success-after-success on the THAAD program. I am very excited for our Soldiers, who will take delivery of this incredible missile defense system later this year."
Today also marks the 25th anniversary of the first hit-to-kill intercept of a ballistic missile target outside of the Earth's atmosphere. Developed by Lockheed Martin, the U.S. Army's Homing Overlay Experiment vehicle destroyed a target missile through force of impact alone above the Pacific Ocean on June 10, 1984, pioneering today's non-nuclear ballistic missile defense technology.
"Although it still seems relatively new, Lockheed Martin has been proving that hit-to-kill technology works for decades," said Mike Trotsky, vice president of Air & Missile Defense at Lockheed Martin. "And it remains true that pure kinetic energy interceptors, such as THAAD and PAC-3, are the only proven way to defeat today's most challenging threats facing the Warfighter."
A production contract for the first two THAAD batteries was awarded to Lockheed Martin in late 2006. Production of the THAAD launcher and fire control and communications unit is underway at Lockheed Martin's manufacturing facility in Camden, AR, and interceptor production is being conducted at Lockheed Martin's Pike County Facility in Troy, AL.
Lockheed Martin rolled out the new THAAD weapon system launcher and fire control and communications during a ceremony at the company's THAAD Launcher Integration Complex in Camden, AR, in April. The new hardware is being delivered this year to Soldiers at Fort Bliss, TX, who will begin training with the equipment.
THAAD is designed to defend U.S. troops, allied forces, population centers and critical infrastructure against short- to medium range ballistic missiles. THAAD comprises a fire control and communications system, interceptors, launchers and a radar. The THAAD interceptor uses hit-to-kill technology to destroy targets, and THAAD is the only weapon system that engages threat ballistic missiles at both endo- and exo-atmospheric altitudes.
A key element of the nation's Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), THAAD is a Missile Defense Agency program, with their project office located in Huntsville, AL. The agency is developing a BMDS to defend the United States, its deployed forces, friends and allies against ballistic missiles of all ranges and in all phases of flight.
Lockheed Martin is a world leader in systems integration and the development of air and missile defense systems and technologies, including the first operational hit-to-kill missile. It also has considerable experience in missile design and production, infrared seekers, command and control/battle management, and communications, precision pointing and tracking optics, as well as radar and signal processing. The company makes significant contributions to all major U.S. missile defense systems and participates in several global missile defense partnerships.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 146,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.