BAE Systems' infrared imaging seekers detected two short range ballistic missiles for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) weapon system flight test program at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii.
During the test, which occurred on Sept. 29, the first THAAD intercepted an air-launched short-range ballistic missile target and a second THAAD missile intercepted a sea-launched short-range ballistic missile target a short time later. Since 2005, the program has completed 12 flight tests, with nine-for-nine intercepts.
"This was the THAAD weapons systems' first opportunity to demonstrate a multi-target engagement," said Fred Olszanakyj, seeker production program manager for BAE Systems in Nashua, N.H., where the THAAD seeker was designed and is being built.
BAE Systems' THAAD seeker program is delivering seekers to the U.S. government for the second production lot, which is comprised of 48 interceptors. A contract for the third production lot is anticipated in the first quarter of 2012, as is the first of several anticipated foreign military sales contracts. In addition, BAE Systems is participating on the Lockheed Martin lead team competing for the design and production of the next generation missile defense interceptor, called the standard missile three - Block 2B.
The THAAD system is designed to defend U.S. and allied forces, population centers, and critical infrastructure against short to possibly intermediate-range ballistic missiles. BAE Systems has worked on missile defense seekers since the late 1970s and achieved the first hit-to-kill intercept of a ballistic-missile target in 1984.
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