The US Missile Defense Agency conducted a successful missile defence test using the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.

The USMDA say a medium-range ballistic missile was air launched by a US Air Force C-17 over the Pacific Ocean. The THAAD weapon system located at Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska in Kodiak, Alaska, detected, tracked and intercepted the target.

The test, designated Flight Experiment THAAD (FET)-01, was conducted to gather threat data from a THAAD interceptor in flight.

MDA Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves said:

“In addition to successfully intercepting the target, the data collected will allow MDA to enhance the THAAD weapon system, our modeling and simulation capabilities, and our ability to stay ahead of the evolving threat.”

According to a press release:

“Soldiers from the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade conducted launcher, fire control and radar operations using the same procedures they would use in an actual combat scenario.  Soldiers operating the equipment were not aware of the actual target launch time.

This was the 15th successful intercept in 15 tests for the THAAD weapon system.

The THAAD element provides a globally-transportable, rapidly-deployable capability to intercept ballistic missiles inside or outside the atmosphere during their final, or terminal, phase of flight. THAAD is strictly a defensive weapon system.  The system uses hit-to-kill technology where kinetic energy destroys the incoming target.

The mission of the Missile Defense Agency is to develop and deploy a layered ballistic missile defense system to defend the United States, its deployed forces, allies and friends from ballistic missile attacks of all ranges in all phases of flight.”

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Dennis R
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Dennis R

….do we have ANYTHING like this looking after the UK?
Bloodhound have long since been put down.

Evan
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Evan

I don’t think we do, we only have the warning system to tell us the game’s over! The closest thing to it is the in-development Aster 30 Block 1NT that might be used on the T45s but that won’t provide brilliant coverage. But hey, if it gets to nuclear war, we are all stuffed anyway.

Tomkat
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Tomkat

No they don’t. They could if they bought the THAAD, SM-3 or the GBI. They could host those systems in the UK if they didn’t want to buy them, but I can imagine the public backlash on either options.
They’re not cheap, but it’s better to have those capabilities than not have them. The ability to shoot down ballistic missiles or other threats near space or in space is incredible. It renders ballistic missiles much less potent and no wonder that Russia and China as well as North Korea hate them. Takes the bite out of their arsenals.

Will
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Will

I wonder if the system can distinguish between real warheads and decoys?