DALLAS, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- The U.S. Missile Defense Agency awarded Lockheed Martin with a $528 million contract to produce and deliver Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile systems.
The THAAD defense systems will be used to support the U.S. Army by providing ballistic missile interception capabilities. The systems are used for protecting ground units, allied forces and civilian population centers.
"Our THAAD interceptors are on the cutting edge of missile defense technology," Lockheed Martin THAAD system vice president Richard McDaniel said in a statement. "With advanced range, agility and accuracy, our interceptors are fully capable of defeating dangerous missile threats today and into the future."
THAAD systems are land-based defense elements that use hit-to-kill technology, where kinetic energy is employed to destroy incoming warheads. The interceptors are capable of shooting down ballistic missiles both inside and just outside of Earth's atmosphere.
THAAD batteries consist of a truck-mounted launchers, each armed with eight interceptors. An AN/TPY-2 radar and fire control system are also equipped for added support.
The U.S. Army activated its fifth of seven planned THAAD batteries in 2015.