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Here's how the world's most advanced missile-defence system works

And all from a truck.

thaad-missile-lockheed-martin-1 Source: Lockheed Martin

THE MOST ADVANCED missile system on the planet can hunt and blast incoming missiles right out of the sky with a 100% success rate — from a truck.

With its unmatched precision, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) can equalise tensions around the world with its mobility and strategic battery-unit placement: In April 2013, the Pentagon deployed a THAAD battery to Guam in order to deter North Korean provocations and further defend the Pacific region.


Impressively, the THAAD missile does not carry a warhead, instead using pure kinetic energy to deliver “hit-to-kill” lethality to ballistic missiles inside or outside of the atmosphere.

Each launcher carries up to eight missiles and can send multiple kill vehicles out, depending on the severity of the threat.

Lockheed’s THAAD launcher is one element of this highly integral anti-missile system. This graphic from Raytheon shows the rest of the equipment needed for each enemy-target interception.

screen shot 2015-01-16 at 1.13.47 pm Source: Raytheon

How THAAD works

First, an incoming target missile is first launched from another location. Five minutes later a truck-mounted THAAD interceptor missile launches in pursuit of the target.

This is a close shot of what the THAAD missile looks like when launched:

thaad gif 1 Source: armyreco

 And here’s what the launch looks like from far away:

thaad gif 2 Source: YouTube

This colour infrared imagery shows the THAAD missile demolishing the target:

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thaad 3 gif Source: armyreco

According to the US Missile Defense Agency, there are more than 6,300 ballistic missiles outside of US, NATO, Russian, and Chinese control, and other US partners around the globe are looking to broker a deal to purchase THAAD.

The United Arab Emirates has become the first foreign buyer after signing a deal with the Department of Defense for $3.4 billion.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar have “expressed interest,” according to Richard McDaniel, vice president of Patriot Advanced Capability programs at Lockheed Martin. “We expect deals,” he added.

Read: Russia is training killer robots, as you do>

Published with permission from:

Business Insider
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