Lockheed Martin's THAAD Missile Records First Target Intercept Over White Sands Missile Range
WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, NM, June 10th, 1999 -- The Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) weapon system, built by Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space, today successfully intercepted a target missile over White Sands Missile Range, NM. The test was conducted by the U.S. Army, Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) and a contractor team led by Missiles & Space. The intercept occurred at a high altitude over the central portion of the national missile range. The target, which simulated a Scud ballistic missile, was destroyed on impact. All segments of the THAAD weapon system were successfully integrated during the flight test. These systems included the radar, Battle Management Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (BM/C4I), launcher and missile.
"We are proud to be part of the government and industry team that has demonstrated effective theater missile defense is technically feasible," said Thomas A. Corcoran, president and chief operating officer of Lockheed Martin's Space & Strategic Missiles Sector. "I am very pleased with our Missiles & Space unit based in Sunnyvale, CA. The perseverance and dedicated effort by everyone on this team has resulted in a successful test."
"Given the growing Theater Ballistic Missile threat, we feel a special responsibility to be successful in developing and testing this vital weapon system," said Ed Squires, THAAD vice president. "The THAAD team has shown remarkable resolve and is now focused on achieving similar success during the weapon system's next flight test."
Today's test was the tenth in a planned series of THAAD Program Definition Risk Reduction (PDRR) flight tests to verify the THAAD prototype design and performance of system components.
Flight tests conducted since April 21, 1995 have verified the ability of the missile's guidance and control system to process radar-provided target information; proven the design of the Palletized Load System (PLS) launcher, the solid rocket motor, the THAAD radar, and BMC4I system; and validated the THAAD Energy Management Steering (TEMS) maneuver, which allows the missile to reduce speed immediately after it leaves the canister to remain within range safety constraints.
For Lockheed Martin, THAAD represents the culmination of several years of development and testing activities conducted under earlier BMDO programs -- including the Homing Overlay Experiment (HOE) and the Exoatmospheric Re-entry Interceptor Subsystem (ERIS). Technologies such as body-to-body intercepts and target tracking and characterization originally conceived and developed under these programs have been applied to THAAD so the U.S. Army can field a robust, flexible and mobile theater missile defense.
THAAD is the first weapon system being designed specifically to defend U.S. and allied soldiers, military assets and population centers from the threat of a theater ballistic missile attack, both inside and outside the atmosphere. To achieve the lethality required to defeat weapons of mass destruction, the THAAD system destroys the target through direct, "hit-to- kill" impact. This technology employs mass and velocity in lieu of explosive warheads.
The program is managed by the BMDO and is executed by the U.S. Army Program Executive Office, Air and Missile Defense, and the U.S. Army THAAD Project Manager in Huntsville, AL.
Missiles & Space, based in Sunnyvale, CA, is an operating unit of Lockheed Martin's Space & Strategic Missile Sector headquartered in Bethesda, MD. The company designs, develops, tests and manufactures a variety of advanced technology systems for space and defense. Primary products of Missiles & Space include missile defense systems, fleet ballistic missiles and spacecraft for commercial and government customers.
Joan Underwood, Manager, Communications, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, 303-971-7398 (office) or 1-888-369-2496 (pager) or e-mail: email@example.com
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