THAAD was developed to counter Iraqs Scud missile attacks during the Gulf War in 1991. The missile carries no warhead, but relies on the energy of impact to destroy the incoming missile. A kinetic energy hit minimizes the risk of exploding conventional warhead ballistic missiles, originally a US Army program, THAAD has come under the umbrella of the Missile Defense Agency. The Navy has a program, the sea-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System. THAAD was originally scheduled for deployment in 2012, but initial deployment took place in May 2008, THAAD has been deployed in the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and South Korea. The THAAD system is being designed, built, and integrated by Lockheed Martin Space Systems acting as prime contractor, key subcontractors include Raytheon, Boeing, Aerojet, Rocketdyne, Honeywell, BAE Systems, Oshkosh Defense, MiltonCAT and the Oliver Capital Consortium. The THAAD missile defense concept was proposed in 1987, with a formal request for proposals submitted to industry in 1991, in September 1992, the US Army selected Martin Marietta as prime contractor for THAAD development. Prior to development of a prototype, the Aero-Optical Effect software code was developed to validate the intended operational profile of Lockheeds proposed design. The first THAAD flight test occurred in April 1995, with all flight tests in the Demonstration-Validation program phase occurring at White Sands Missile Range, the first six intercept attempts missed the target. The first successful intercepts were conducted on 10 June 1999, and 2 August 1999, in June 2000, Lockheed won the Engineering and Manufacturing Development contract to turn the design into a mobile tactical army fire unit. Flight tests of this system resumed with missile characterization and full system tests in 2006 at White Sands Missile Range, the Interceptor was lead through development and initial production by Tory Bruno, who later became CEO of United Launch Alliance. The company performed static fire trials of a modified THAAD booster in 2006, although the kill vehicle would not need redesign, the ground-based launcher would have only five missiles instead of eight. As of early 2015 THAAD-ER is only a concept. If funding for the THAAD-ER begins in 2018, a system could be produced by 2022 to provide a capability against a rudimentary hypersonic threat. Sometimes called Kinetic Kill technology, the THAAD missile destroys missiles by colliding with them, using hit-to-kill technology and this is unlike the Patriot PAC-2 which carried only an explosive warhead detonated using a proximity fuse. Although the actual figures are classified, THAAD missiles have a range of 125 miles. The THAAD missile is manufactured at the Lockheed Martin facility near Troy, the facility performs final integration, assembly and testing of the THAAD missile. The THAAD Radar is an X Band active electronically scanned array Radar developed and built by Raytheon at its Andover and it is the worlds largest ground/air-transportable X-Band radar
A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense interceptor being fired during an exercise in 2013
The AN/TPY-2 radar
THAAD Energy Management Steering maneuver, used to burn excess propellant
A THAAD interceptor is launched from a THAAD battery during Flight Test Operational (FTO)-02 Event 2a where two air-launched ballistic missile targets were successfully intercepted in November 2015.