The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) radar, built by Raytheon Co., performed successfully in the latest integrated flight test conducted by the Missile Defense Agency and THAAD prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii.

The test marked a significant ‘first’ for the THAAD program: the intercept of a ‘mid-endoatmospheric’ (inside Earth’s atmosphere), separating target over the Pacific Ocean. The THAAD radar played a critical role in discriminating the lethal object within the threat complex, leading to the subsequent successful intercept of the lethal object.

The test demonstrated fully integrated radar, launcher, fire control missile and engagement functions of the THAAD weapon system. “This latest test of THAAD’s missile defense capability is the most challenging thus far, and once again, Raytheon’s components have performed exceptionally,” said Pete Franklin, vice president, National & Theater Security Programs for Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems.

“The success underscores THAAD’s ability to meet the missile defense mission and provide a reliable and affordable terminal missile defense capability for our nation.” The THAAD radar, also known as the AN/TPY-2, achieved all test objectives: acquiring the target complex, discriminating the lethal object, providing track and discrimination data to the fire control, and communicating with the in-flight THAAD interceptor.

The fire control software, jointly developed by Raytheon and THAAD prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, also performed successfully, engaging the target complex and initializing the launch sequence.

Raytheon’s AN/TPY-2 radar provides a common capability, enabling both a terminal mode in support of the THAAD weapon system and a forward-based mode enabling MDA’s Ballistic Defense System. The AN/TPY-2 is a phased array, capable of search, threat detection classification, discrimination and precision tracking at extremely long ranges.