The United States is planning to test its THAAD missile defense system from a launch site in Alaska “in early July”, according to an exclusive Reuters report.
The test will be the first of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) to defend against a simulated attack by an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), the US officials were quoted as saying.
Chris Johnson, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) spokesman, said the THAAD weapon system at the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska in Kodiak, Alaska, would "detect, track and engage a target with a THAAD interceptor".
"The test is designated as Flight Test THAAD (FTT)-18," Johnson said, without elaborating further.
In recent testimony to Congress, Vice Admiral James Syring, then the director of the Missile Defense Agency, had said FTT-18 would aim to demonstrate THAAD's ability to intercept a separating IRBM target.
THAAD is a ground-based missile defense system designed to shoot down short-, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles.
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The US and Saudi Arabia are likely to finalize a series of arms deals that include THAAD, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, M109 artillery, Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) and munitions as part of the touted $3oo billion arms package during US President Donald Trumps visit to Riyadh Friday. The arms package could end up surpassing more than $300 billion over a decade to help Saudi Arabia boost its defensive capabilities, Reuters reported last week quoting a senior White House official
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