Information on (THAAD) and Other Theater Missile Defense Systems GAO/T-NSIAD-94-167
Ballistic Missile Defense: Information on Theater High Altitude Area
Defense (THAAD) and Other Theater Missile Defense Systems (Testimony,
05/03/94, GAO/T-NSIAD-94-167).

The Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, a mobile,
land-based system being developed by the Defense Department (DOD), is
intended to take out ballistic missiles at high altitudes and long
ranges using hit-to-kill technology.  This should reduce the probability
that debris and chemical or biological agents from a warhead will reach
the ground in damaging amounts. The system is designed to protect wide
areas, such as cities, small countries, and dispersed military forces.
The THAAD system will consist of missiles, mobile launchers,
ground-based radars, a tactical operations center, and support
equipment.  The United States is now discussing with the Russians a
proposal to allow systems like THAAD to be developed and deployed.  The
Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty prohibits mobile, land-based systems
that can counter strategic ballistic missiles, but it does not define
the characteristics of either a strategic or a theater missile.  Some
theater missiles, however, do not approach the capabilities of the
older, shorter range strategic missiles in terms of maximum range.  The
concern is that THAAD, if given the ability to counter the new, more
capable theater threats, would have some capability against strategic
ballistic missiles.  This would have serious implications for THAAD and
the ABM Treaty.

--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------

     TITLE:  Ballistic Missile Defense: Information on Theater High 
             Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and Other Theater Missile
             Defense Systems
      DATE:  05/03/94
   SUBJECT:  Life cycle costs
             Advanced weapons systems
             Air defense systems
             Intercontinental ballistic missiles
             Defense contingency planning
             Research and development costs
             Defense capabilities
             Weapons research
             Arms control agreements
IDENTIFIER:  SDI Theater High Altitude Area Defense System
             Persian Gulf War
             Patriot Air Defense System
             Patriot PAC-2
             Patriot PAC-3
             DOD Future Years Defense Program
             SDI Extended Range Interceptor
             Strategic Defense Initiative Program
             Standard Missile II Block IV System
             Aegis Weapon System
             F-15 Aircraft
             F-14 Aircraft
             DOD Bottom-Up Review

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