The Department of Defense announced today that two
independent review teams examining the Theater High Altitude Area
Defense (THAAD) missile defense system have completed their
individual assessments and forwarded recommendations to senior
officials of the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, U.S.
Army and other government agencies.
The teams found that
although THAAD has failed to intercept a target ballistic missile
in four attempts, the THAAD design as a hit-to-kill interceptor
is sound, as is the concept that THAAD will meet its operational
After the fourth intercept attempt, Air Force Lt. Gen.
Lester L. Lyles, Director, Ballistic Missile Defense
Organization, chartered the U.S. Army's Program Executive Officer
for Missile Defense to establish two independent review teams.
A Systems Concept Team was established to review and evaluate the
THAAD concept, including requirements and program baseline, and
determine if the system design is sound and capable of meeting
The Missile Assessment Team, was chartered to
review and evaluate the THAAD missile design to determine if it
is capable of performing its intended mission, focusing on
engineering design, quality assurance, system and subsystem
testing and overall reliability.
Recommendations from the two
* Conduct additional component testing during and
after the missile assembly process, and with high-
fidelity simulations of missile and system components
* Keep missile configuration consistent through the
program Definition and Risk Reduction phase,
including structural and electronics components
* Continue to ensure quality assurance procedures
are followed throughout the production and assembly
* Further refine concept of operations to best take
advantage of available external cueing (target data
and tracking provided by external sources, i.e., satellites,
* Minimize the difference between User Operational
Evaluation system (UOES) and objective system
design, and incorporate new technologies proven in ground
The team's recommendations are now under evaluation by BMDO
and the Army to assess implementation.
The next THAAD intercept
test was scheduled for this summer, but may be delayed until late
this year in order to implement the recommendations.
For additional information, contact Lt. Col. Rick Lehner,
BMDO External Affairs, at (703) 695-8743.