MDA Conducts Successful THAAD Test

A THAAD interceptor is launched from the Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands on Aug. 30, 2019. Missile Defense Agency photo.

The Missile Defense Agency successfully tested the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system in the Pacific Ocean on Aug. 30, marking the 16th intercept in as many attempts and the first using a remote launcher.

MDA, the Ballistic Missile Defense System Operational Test Agency, and the Army’s E-62 Battery, 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, conducted the test at the Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

THAAD uses its own interceptor weapon to shoot down incoming ballistic missiles during the final flight phase. The system’s new remote launcher extended the range of the defended area, according to an Aug. 30 MDA release.

“This test demonstrates the expanding capabilities of the THAAD weapon system and its ability to intercept and destroy ballistic missile threats in defense of our nation, deployed forces and allies,” MDA Director Vice Adm. Jon Hill said.

In an effort to simulate a real-world incident, the soldiers manning the E-62 battery were not aware of the target launch timing, and still intercepted the medium-range ballistic missile that represented a real weapon, according to the release.