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THAAD intercept target missile successfully flight tested

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Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile flight test in Hawaii. Photo: Missile Defense Agency (MDA)

HAWAII (BNS): US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and US Army soldiers of the 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade have successfully conducted an intercept test for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile on Tuesday.

The test involved the intercept of a short-range unitary target in the endo-atmosphere (inside the earth’s atmosphere).

The target missile (a short-range ballistic missile threat), was launched at approximately 7:32 a.m. (GMT), from an at-sea mobile launch platform located in the Pacific Ocean west of Hawaii.

Five minutes later, a THAAD interceptor missile was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) off the island of Kauai, Hawaii, after detecting and tracking the target, the MDA said in a press release.

The intercept has occurred at the lowest altitude to date for the THAAD interceptor missile, which has the capability to engage targets both inside and outside the earth’s atmosphere.

US Army soldiers of the 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade of Fort Bliss have conducted launcher, fire control and radar operations by using accurate tactics, techniques, and procedures in this launch.

The test personnel have used the Simulation-Over-Live Driver (SOLD) software system to inject multiple simulated threat scenarios into the THAAD radar. This exercised THAAD’s capability to track and engage a mass raid of enemy ballistic missiles.

The Command and Control, Battle Management and Communications (C2BMC) system and elements of the US Army’s PATRIOT system have observed the launch and also gathered data for future analysis.

The PATRIOT system which was located at PMRF has conducted engagement coordination with THAAD and conducted upper tier debris mitigation exercises during the intercept engagement.

This was the seventh successful intercept in seven attempts for the operationally-configured THAAD system. The system continues to undergo development and testing to provide a robust layered defence against ballistic missiles of all ranges in all phases of flight.

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