The effects of any budget/program decisions made since the information was collected during 1997-98 are NOT reflected in the National Security Space Road Map (NSSRM).

(U) Theater High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) System

-Road Map
-Text Version

Overview (U):

(U) The Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system forms a land-based upper tier TMD system to intercept theater ballistic missiles at long ranges and high altitudes. THAAD's ability to intercept missiles will give U.S. forces an early opportunity to destroy incoming missiles and the best chance to knock them far enough away so that post-intercept debris will not harm our troops. Furthermore, this ability will give U.S. BMD forces the time to judge the success of an intercept attempt and, if necessary, launch more interceptors from THAAD or other missile defense systems.

(U) The higher altitude and long-range protection furnished by the THAAD system complement the lower tier Patriot missile system, providing a near-leakproof missile defense of critical, high-value assets. Also, the THAAD system's extended air defense umbrella provides greater protection for our forces.

Description (U):

(U) The Theater High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) system consists of four major parts; truck mounted launchers, interceptors, the THAAD Radar system, and the THAAD battle management/command, control, communications, and intelligence (BM/C3I) system.

(U) The mobile launcher will protect and transport the interceptors, in addition to firing them. Each transporter-erector-launcher will be equipped with eight interceptors. With its palletized load system, the launcher can be rapidly reloaded. Interceptors will consist of a single stage booster and a hypervelocity kinetic kill vehicle (KKV) which uses hit-to-kill techniques to intercept targets.

(U) The solid propellant boost motor assembly has a thrust vector control system and a deployable skirt at the rear end to provide additional stability in flight. The kinetic energy kill vehicle has a divert and attitude control system using liquid propellants and a multicolor infrared seeker. The KKV is protected by a conical shroud protecting of the IR seeker window from the aerodynamic heating at low altitudes and that opens in two halves during flight. THAAD is expected to have a range of about 150 km with the ability to intercept at altitudes up to 100 km.

(U) The THAAD radar will support the full range of surveillance, target tracking, and fire control functions, and provide a communications link with THAAD interceptors in-flight. Finally, THAAD's BM/C3I systems will manage and integrate all THAAD components by providing instructions, communications, and by processing sensors data. BM/C3I systems will also link the THAAD system to other missile and air defense systems, and to maneuver forces to support a multi-tiered, highly effective, interoperable TMD architecture. All of these components will be air-liftable by a C-141 cargo aircraft.

(U) The First Unit Equipped (FUE) date for THAAD is scheduled for FY06.

User Impact (U):

(U) To be supplied.

Programmatics (U):

(U) Programmed.

Images (U):

THAAD LaunchTHAAD Night Launch
THAAD LaunchTHAAD Missile in Flight
THAAD LauncherTHAAD Launcher
This Table Is Unclassified.

Related Initiatives (U):
DSPDefense Support Program (DSP)
PAC-3Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3)
SBIRS HighSpace-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) High
SBIRS-LowSpace-Based Infrared System - Low Earth Orbit (SBIRS-Low)
This Table Is Unclassified.

Related Requirements (U): None.

Related Categories (U):
Ground-Based Missile DefenseGround Based Missile Defense
This Table Is Unclassified.

Road Map Placements (U):

This Table Is Unclassified.

Requirements, Funding and Additional Hotlinks (U):

(U) None.

Lead Office (U):


Point of Contact (U):

(U) National Security Space Road Map Team, NSSA, Open Phone: (703) 808-6040, DSN 898-6040.

Date Of Information (U):

(U) 21 November 1997


(U) For comments/suggestions contact: Office of the National Security Space Architect (NSSA), 571-432-1300.

(U) Road Map Production Date: 23 June 2001

The effects of any budget/program decisions made since the information was collected during 1997-98 are NOT reflected in the National Security Space Road Map (NSSRM).