The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Army said they conducted a flight test of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) weapon system yesterday, detecting, tracking and intercepting two separate targets in the system’s first Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E). 

Lockheed Martin [LMT] is the prime contractor for the THAAD system.

The Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) Operational Test Agency (OTA) with support from MDA conducted FTT-12, the operational test of the THAAD Element of the BMDS MDA is building at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii. 

Soldiers from Alpha Battery, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, under the operational control of the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command operated the THAAD system.

During the test, THAAD system engaged and simultaneously intercepted two short-range ballistic missiles. The first THAAD missile intercepted an air-launched short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) target. A short time later, the second THAAD missile intercepted a sea-launched SRBM target.

The test outcome “is a credit to the soldiers who executed this mission from start to finish,” Tom McGrath, THAAD vice president and program manager at Lockheed Martin said in a statement. “It was, by far, THAAD’s most challenging flight test to date and demonstrates the system’s advanced capabilities.”

The Army and Department of Defense test and evaluation organizations were engaged to ensure the execution and results are representative of the fielded system. 

The U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command and the BMDS Operational Test Agency will review data collected from this event to make an operational assessment of the THAAD system. 

The Director, Operational Test and Evaluation will also independently evaluate the operational effectiveness of the system.