Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control devision has been awarded a firm-fixed-price contract modification, worth around $1.473 billion, for the procurement of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Interceptor support items in support of the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) case to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
Following the award of the modification by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), the value of the contract is increased from around $38 billion to around $5.36 billion.
The work will be performed in Dallas, Texas; Sunnyvale, California; Huntsville, Alabama; Camden, Arkansas; and Troy, Alabama. The period of performance is from July 19, 2019, through July 31, 2023.
Saudi Arabia and the U.S. entered formal discussions for THAAD missile system in December 2016. The U.S. State Department approved the sale under the U.S. Foreign Military Sale (FMS) route in October 2017 following the Saudi Arabian request for 44 THAAD launchers, 360 THAAD Interceptor Missiles, 16 THAAD Fire Control and Communications Mobile Tactical Station Group and 7 AN/TPY-2 THAAD radars.
The THAAD procurement will substantially increase Saudi Arabia’s capability to defend itself against the growing ballistic missile threat in the region. THAAD’s exo-atmospheric, hit-to-kill capability will add an upper-tier to Saudi Arabia’s layered missile defense architecture and will support modernization of the Royal Saudi Air Defense Force (RSADF).
Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), formerly Theater High Altitude Area Defense, is a ballistic missile defense (BMD) system designed to shoot down short, medium, and intermediate range ballistic missiles (SRBM, MRBM, IRBM) in their terminal phase by intercepting with a hit-to-kill approach.
Although the actual figures are classified, THAAD missiles have an estimated range of 125 miles (200 km), and can reach an altitude of 93 miles (150 km).
The THAAD interceptor carries no warhead, but relies on its kinetic energy of impact to destroy the incoming missile. A kinetic energy hit minimizes the risk of exploding conventional warhead ballistic missiles.