Lockheed Martin has awarded BAE Systems a contract to design and build infrared seeks for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) weapon system.
“BAE Systems has been awarded a contract from Lockheed Martin to design and manufacture next-generation infrared seekers for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) weapon system, providing critical targeting technology that helps protect the US and its allies from ballistic missiles,” BAE Systems said in a statement Tuesday.
The sensor design work will improve the missile defense system's ability to neutralize more threats and improve its manufacturability, BAE claimed.
The THAAD weapon system intercepts hostile ballistic missiles with kinetic force during their final, or terminal, phase of flight. BAE Systems' seeker provides infrared imagery that guides interceptors to their intended targets, destroying enemy warheads inside or outside the Earth's atmosphere. The company has delivered more than 500 THAAD seekers to date.
THAAD is an integral part of the Missile Defense Agency's mission to field an integrated, layered, ballistic missile defense system. Its high-altitude intercept capability mitigates the effects of enemy weapons before they reach the ground, and its non-explosive kinetic impact minimizes the risk of detonation.