THAAD Radar Test Successful at Kwajalein
28 Feb 1997
US Army Program Executive Office Air and Missile Defense Public Affairs Office Huntsville AL
[ 205-842-0558 - Ms Trousdale]

The Ballistic Missile Defense Organization and the US Army announced today that the Theater High Altitude Area Defense [THAAD] system conducted a successful test of the THAAD Radar at the Kwajalein Missile Range in the South Pacific. The Radar System Test, or RST, was a data collection test on a theater ballistic missile representative target involving the THAAD Radar as primary sensor. The RST was a non-intercept test and the other non-radar elements of the THAAD system; BM/C3I, launcher and interceptor were not present.

This test used the new THAAD User Operational Evaluation System [UOES] radar. The UOES radar uses the same X-band technology as the Demonstration/Validation [Dem/Val] radar being used in the THAAD intercept flight tests at White Sands Missile Range, but has significantly greater capability. The primary difference between the Dem/Val and UOES radars is the UOES antenna unit has a fully populated transmit/receive module array. The UOES radar also utilized software with enhanced capabilities. This radar when combined with the other THAAD elements represents the THAAD UOES.

The test was conducted over KMR and the broad open ocean under controlled conditions. The TCMP target developed by the US Army Space and Strategic Defense Command was launched from Wake Island into KMR. The ballistic missile target consisted of a single stage Castor IV-B motor, an interstage housing a fly-along sensor package suite [ejected during flight to collect data close up], and a modified re-entry vehicle. The target is designed to generate multiple objects to stress the radar's discrimination functions. The THAAD UOES radar detected, tracked and stored the mission data from Roi-Namur Island located in the KMR.

The THAAD Radar uses technologies developed in earlier BMDO programs. It is the first radar developed specifically to defend against theater ballistic missiles. The THAAD program is managed by BMDO and executed by the Army Program Executive Office Air and Missile Defense and the Army THAAD Project Manager in Huntsville, AL. Raytheon is an associate contractor to the Lockheed Martin Missile and Space Company developed, integrated and tested the THAAD radars.

Today's test was part of a planned series of THAAD Program Definition and Risk Reduction [PD&RR] tests to verify the THAAD prototype design and performance of the system components. It was the second test of the User Operational Evaluation System [UOES] Radar acting as the primary sensor. The UOES represents THAAD prototype components that will support early operational assessments of the THAAD system. These components also provide a potential limited defense capability to forward deployed US and allied forces in the event of a National Emergency.

The was the second of two planned radar segment tests. The first RST mission was successfully conducted at the White Sands Missile Range NM on 09 October 1996.