Missile Defense: Meeting the Challenge Head On

Missile threats around the world are growing quickly. In fact, according to the Missile Defense Agency, there has been an increase of over 1,200 additional ballistic missiles over the past 5 years and the total number of ballistic missiles outside the United States, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Russia, and China has risen over 5,900.

There is no doubt that threats around the world are growing quickly. Technology is advancing fast and adversaries are acquiring more missiles, with better range, agility, accuracy and lethality.

To protect soldiers, citizens and infrastructure — governments need highly advanced missile defense systems that can overmatch the
evolving threats.

Enter Hit-to-Kill Missile Defense Technology

Lockheed Martin pioneered what’s called Hit-to-Kill technology and it’s rapidly transforming how the world looks at missile defense. With Hit-to-Kill, an interceptor now has the sensing ability, agility and accuracy to directly hit a target head on, completely destroying the threat and keeping dangerous debris away from protected areas when it matters most.

Lockheed Martin interceptors like PAC-3, PAC-3 MSE and MHTK, as well as our THAAD and MEADS systems, all employ Hit-to-Kill tech and can achieve intercepts at higher altitudes and ranges, which is important when defending against weapons of mass destruction and making sure that these threats stay safely far away from home.

How It’s Different

Older or less advanced missile defense systems do not have the sensing or agility components required to intercept a threat head-on, and instead rely on proximity fragmentation. In this approach, an interceptor gets close to its target and then detonates itself in an effort to disable or deflect the threat off course. This older technology is not as accurate and can result in dangerous debris.

So as threats around the globe escalate, more and more governments are turning to Hit-to-Kill technology to protect their soldiers and citizens.