Author Topic: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted  (Read 12725 times)

Online Chris Bergin

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THAAD INITIAL OPERATIONAL TEST AND EVALUATION CONDUCTED

The BMDS Operational Test Agency (OTA) conducted, with support of the Missile Defense Agency, an operational test of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) on Oct. 5, 2011, 1:56 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii.  Soldiers from Alpha Battery, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, under the operational control of the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command operated the THAAD system. 

Today's event was THAADís first Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E).  This was an operational test, with the Army and Department of Defense test and evaluation organizations fully engaged to ensure the execution and results are representative of the fielded system. 

During the test, THAAD system engaged and simultaneously intercepted two short-range ballistic missiles. The U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command and the BMDS Operational Test Agency will review data collected from this event to make an operational assessment of the THAAD system.  The Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, will also independently evaluate the operational effectiveness of the system.

News media point of contact is Pamela Rogers at 256-450-4697, 256-503-3726 (cell), pamela.rogers@mda.mil.


Offline kevin-rf

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #1 on: 10/05/2011 05:32 PM »
aaah, was wondering what the news talking heads where babbling about this morning
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Offline spaceStalker

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #3 on: 10/05/2011 06:30 PM »
I like the thermal images especially when it hits.
Looking at the ball make me think that if it was real, thaad was hitting live nuclear head, what will happen then?

Offline Jim

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #4 on: 10/05/2011 06:44 PM »
I like the thermal images especially when it hits.
Looking at the ball make me think that if it was real, thaad was hitting live nuclear head, what will happen then?


Nothing different.  Nukes do not go off from impact of other objects.

Offline spaceStalker

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #5 on: 10/05/2011 07:12 PM »
Well inside the nuke there is some active material - plutonium? Will it burn or will salt the ground bellow?

Offline ugordan

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #6 on: 10/05/2011 07:18 PM »
Probably burn up given that an impact is likely to set off the high explosive charge surrounding the plutonium, dispersing and vaporizing it even before reentry. Doesn't mean the plutonium just vanishes, but it will be spread out over a largish area.

Offline Downix

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #7 on: 10/05/2011 07:45 PM »
Well inside the nuke there is some active material - plutonium? Will it burn or will salt the ground bellow?
burn up on re-entry.
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Offline iamlucky13

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #8 on: 10/05/2011 10:41 PM »
Well inside the nuke there is some active material - plutonium? Will it burn or will salt the ground bellow?
burn up on re-entry.

Correct, followed by dispersal on the wind, which isn't exactly benign since plutonium is extremely toxic and moderately radioactive, but it's several million times better than having the warhead reach its target.

Thermonuclear bombs also typically have depleted uranium in them to act as a mass tamper for the explosion and generate additional yield from fission under bombardment from fusion neutrons. Same story - toxic, slightly radioactive material dispersed over a wide area.

It's also conceivable, perhaps even likely that some some chunks of the RV and warhead may reach the ground intact.

The brightness and size of the apparent "fireball" in the video is still surprising to me given that it's a purely kinetic weapon, even after having seen several similar videos in the past. I kind of wonder how much of that perceived fireball is sensor bloom and how much is the actual diameter of the radiating cloud.

Offline ugordan

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #9 on: 10/05/2011 10:46 PM »
Thermonuclear bombs also typically have depleted uranium in them to act as a mass tamper for the explosion and generate additional yield from fission under bombardment from fusion neutrons. Same story - toxic, slightly radioactive material dispersed over a wide area.

From a health hazard standpoint, Pu-239 is much worse than U-238. It was said somewhere that the majority of depleted uranium's toxicity comes from it being a heavy metal, i.e. similar to lead, mercury, etc, not from its radioactivity.

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #10 on: 10/05/2011 11:27 PM »
Sigh.  If you were in a tank hit by a sabot round with a DU penetrator AND you had your head in at the point of penetration AND you deeply inhaled before it took your head off, you would suffer the amount of radiation you get from a radium wristwatch in a year.  Or so they told us when DU rounds were introduced into our basic load and people were worried about the radiation.

If the windscreen broke (the nose cone - the penetrator itself is sort of blunt) and the penetrator cracked, then you could have a problem with beta particles lodging in the soft tissue of your respitory tracts.  We would get swipe tests if this occured to see if there was any contaminiation.  Alpha particles just bounce off your skin, and gamma rays go right through, so don't worry about those.

No one I new in my time in the Army ever reported evidence of contamination from broken DU rounds (around 10 people).


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Sigh.  If you were in a tank hit by a sabot round with a DU penetrator AND you had your head in at the point of penetration AND you deeply inhaled before it took your head off, you would suffer the amount of radiation you get from a radium wristwatch in a year.

Heh! :)

Offline N45deg

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #12 on: 10/06/2011 01:08 AM »
Well inside the nuke there is some active material - plutonium? Will it burn or will salt the ground bellow?
burn up on re-entry.
These intercepts are not re-entry tests, just ballistic.   Also, the interceptors do not appear large enough to reach the altitude before re-entry. If these were Plutonium warheads, and destruction occurred in the lower atmosphere, it would be a environmental disaster in the area.  One microscopic Plutonium particle in you lung is a guarantee for lung cancer.  A re-entry burn up in the atmosphere could be even worse, since the Plutonium does not burn into nothing, it just breaks down to smaller and smaller particles at a higher altitude, making the danger more widespread.

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #13 on: 10/06/2011 01:50 AM »
Well inside the nuke there is some active material - plutonium? Will it burn or will salt the ground bellow?
burn up on re-entry.
If these were Plutonium warheads, and destruction occurred in the lower atmosphere, it would be a environmental disaster in the area.   

The environmental damage would be catastrophic if those warheads weren't intercepted and survived to detonate.
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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #14 on: 10/06/2011 02:05 AM »
Interesting. The THAADs appear to have been launched from the same truck, at least
10 s apart (but probably much more as there was an edit in the video).
Presumably the two targets were launched from two different platforms? They have been using the ship launch (MLP) and the C-17 air launch platform, AFAIK
they only have one of each and I don't know if the MLP can do two launches at once.
I don't think they have any land based pads they can use except at Kauai itself
which would be a bit *too* short-range :-).

edit: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-10-05/lockheed-s-thaad-missile-defense-hits-two-targets-in-test.html reports indeed that the first target was air-launched and the second one sea-launched. No reports I can see of how close together the launches were.
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Offline jjnodice

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #15 on: 10/06/2011 11:45 AM »
MDA finally got the video added to their THAAD media site:

http://www.mda.mil/news/gallery_thaad.html#Video11

Compared to the one on Fox News this one has wide angle footage of both launches.

This program had major problems in the mid to late 1990's.  It is very satisfying to see how well it is performing now. :)

Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #16 on: 10/06/2011 02:27 PM »
MDA finally got the video added to their THAAD media site:

http://www.mda.mil/news/gallery_thaad.html#Video11

Compared to the one on Fox News this one has wide angle footage of both launches.

This program had major problems in the mid to late 1990's.  It is very satisfying to see how well it is performing now. :)

THAAD is really just an upgrade or replacement to the old Patriot missle defense systems that were used in the first gulf war, right ? Perhaps they are more accurate, but we are still targetting SCUD-class missles here, right ?

Offline jjnodice

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #17 on: 10/06/2011 03:15 PM »
THAAD is really just an upgrade or replacement to the old Patriot missle defense systems that were used in the first gulf war, right ?

THAAD is not a PAC-3 replacement or an upgrade.  It is a totally different system.  The two systems complement each other.  The US has a multi-tiered approach to ballistic missile defense.  THAAD & Patriot make up the land based lower tier systems.

The need for THAAD was made apparent during the 1991 Gulf War that exposed Patriot's inability to defend a large area vs ballistic missiles.  Patriot is good for point defense.  THAAD's niche is expanded coverage area (AREA is part of the acronym).

Perhaps they are more accurate, but we are still targetting SCUD-class missles here, right ?
The stated threat set for THAAD are short-range and medium-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs and MRBMs).  No airbreathers unlike Patriot. 


« Last Edit: 10/06/2011 03:17 PM by jjnodice »

Offline iamlucky13

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #18 on: 10/06/2011 11:28 PM »
If these were Plutonium warheads, and destruction occurred in the lower atmosphere, it would be a environmental disaster in the area.  One microscopic Plutonium particle in you lung is a guarantee for lung cancer.  A re-entry burn up in the atmosphere could be even worse, since the Plutonium does not burn into nothing, it just breaks down to smaller and smaller particles at a higher altitude, making the danger more widespread.

It would be a major environmental concern requiring immediate response to identify what areas were being exposed and protect the residents, but disaster is an exaggeration. It is indeed a severe ingestion hazard, but it is not true that any arbitrarily small particle causes lung cancer. As always, cancer from radiological exposure is probabilistic, and the risk is believed to increase linearly with dose. It is conceivable that a few cancer cases may result, but certainly nothing compared to if the weapon successfully detonated.

For some perspective, the bomb dropped on Nagasaki released about 300 curies of unfissioned plutonium (only about 20% of the plutonium fissioned). A modern bomb would be comparable, but not more than a couple times the total material. This is compared to several million curies of fission products and induced radioactive isotopes produced by the explosion itself. Another data point to consider is the 8-17 million curies believed to have been released by the Fukushima accident...tens of thousands as many times as much radioactivity.

Offline iamlucky13

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #19 on: 10/06/2011 11:59 PM »
THAAD is really just an upgrade or replacement to the old Patriot missle defense systems that were used in the first gulf war, right ?

THAAD is not a PAC-3 replacement or an upgrade.  It is a totally different system.  The two systems complement each other.  The US has a multi-tiered approach to ballistic missile defense.  THAAD & Patriot make up the land based lower tier systems.

The need for THAAD was made apparent during the 1991 Gulf War that exposed Patriot's inability to defend a large area vs ballistic missiles.  Patriot is good for point defense.  THAAD's niche is expanded coverage area (AREA is part of the acronym).

PAC-3 was a major variant on the older versions (PAC-2, PAC-1, and the initial system) of the Patriot surface to air missile system, which is probably the reason for the confusion.

The missile itself is completely new, designed to destroy targets by direct impact instead of proximity fused blast-and-fragmentation. The older missiles (PAC-2 and prior) have a huge (200 pound) explosive/frag warhead and a long range (over 150km), and needed to be huge. The PAC-3 has a smaller warhead and quite a bit less range. The radar is common between versions, and I believe the launcher is common, too, except it holds 16 PAC-3 missiles compared to 4 PAC-2 missiles.

As I understand it, the Army's short term plan is to keep all three missiles in service - THAAD for defense against ballistic missiles at long ranges, PAC-3 for ballistic missiles at short ranges, and PAC-2 for defense against aircraft and cruise missiles.

The hit-to-kill technique arose out of questionable effectiveness of blast/frag warheads against missiles. Fragments can do a lot of damage to the distributed systems of an aircraft, but might do very little to the dense warhead of a missile. THAAD and PAC-3 are supposedly accurate enough to steer directly at the warhead portion of a target.

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #20 on: 10/07/2011 11:22 PM »
Well inside the nuke there is some active material - plutonium? Will it burn or will salt the ground bellow?
burn up on re-entry.
These intercepts are not re-entry tests, just ballistic.   Also, the interceptors do not appear large enough to reach the altitude before re-entry.
THAAD is capable of exo-atmospheric intercepts and we have conducted them in the past. Don't know if I can say whether this one was or not.

Interesting. The THAADs appear to have been launched from the same truck, at least
10 s apart (but probably much more as there was an edit in the video).
Presumably the two targets were launched from two different platforms? They have been using the ship launch (MLP) and the C-17 air launch platform, AFAIK
they only have one of each and I don't know if the MLP can do two launches at once.
I don't think they have any land based pads they can use except at Kauai itself
which would be a bit *too* short-range :-).

edit: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-10-05/lockheed-s-thaad-missile-defense-hits-two-targets-in-test.html reports indeed that the first target was air-launched and the second one sea-launched. No reports I can see of how close together the launches were.

The launches were a few minutes apart. The air-dropped target was longer range than the one launched from the MLP.

I watched this one from the airstrip at PMRF. We were able to see both intercepts from the ground which surprised all of us. We were figuring they would be too faint to be visible. It was awesome to finally see hardware performance that validates the simulations I work on. Being paid to go to Kaua'i for a week was also a perk.

Offline ChileVerde

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #21 on: 10/09/2011 01:45 PM »

The launches were a few minutes apart. The air-dropped target was longer range than the one launched from the MLP.

So were both interceptors and/or targets in the air at the same time? IOW, was this actually a simultaneous engagement of two targets as you'd have if the attacker were to salvo launch his missiles, or just two closely-spaced individual engagements?

Also, where was the AN/TPY-2 engagement radar?
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Offline Torlek

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #22 on: 10/09/2011 07:49 PM »
It was a salvo engagement. I can't talk about the interceptor spacing beyond the fact it was "simultaneous" though.

TPY-2 is located on the PMRF facility but not co-located with the launcher. Can't get any more specific than that.

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #23 on: 10/10/2011 03:05 PM »
It was a salvo engagement. I can't talk about the interceptor spacing beyond the fact it was "simultaneous" though.

TPY-2 is located on the PMRF facility but not co-located with the launcher. Can't get any more specific than that.

OK, thank you for the reply.
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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #24 on: 10/11/2011 01:20 PM »
If you were in a tank hit by a sabot round with a DU penetrator AND you had your head in at the point of penetration AND you deeply inhaled before it took your head off, you would suffer the amount of radiation you get from a radium wristwatch in a year.  ...

Well, that doesn't sound so bad, does it?
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Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #25 on: 10/11/2011 02:01 PM »
If you were in a tank hit by a sabot round with a DU penetrator AND you had your head in at the point of penetration AND you deeply inhaled before it took your head off, you would suffer the amount of radiation you get from a radium wristwatch in a year.  ...

Well, that doesn't sound so bad, does it?

I don't know how much of that "deep breath" actually gets into your lungs before the shell takes your head off.

I thought they were trying to associate some of the "Gulf War Syndrome" cases to exposure to DU, but I guess I wasn't following it that closely.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #26 on: 10/11/2011 02:57 PM »
Correct me if I am wrong, but the THAAD system is not capable of shooting down an artillery round, talking about a capability it is not designed or used for is off topic?

This isn't the Israeli Iron dome system...
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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #27 on: 10/11/2011 03:18 PM »
Correct me if I am wrong, but the THAAD system is not capable of shooting down an artillery round, talking about a capability it is not designed or used for is off topic?

This isn't the Israeli Iron dome system...
DU is generally used in small kinetic energy rounds (fired maybe 100 at a time from a Gatling gun), not ever used in the sort of singular, large explosive rounds that an interceptor generally can defeat. Yes, it's completely off-topic.
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Offline iamlucky13

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #28 on: 10/11/2011 06:04 PM »
Correct me if I am wrong, but the THAAD system is not capable of shooting down an artillery round, talking about a capability it is not designed or used for is off topic?

This isn't the Israeli Iron dome system...

It's never been tested for it, but I honestly would not be surprised if the system could track and with some consistency make contact with an artillery round sized target. However, THAAD is probably too long-range to actually hit an artillery round...it would likely reach the target before the booster had burned out and separated and not be able to maneuver.

To reduce the minimum engagement range (while still having a sizable maximum range), THAAD actually flies a corkscrew during the boost phase for some intercepts to use up excess energy. Wikipedia has a picture of this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/THAAD#Production_and_deployment

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #29 on: 10/11/2011 06:06 PM »
I was actually surprised to not see the corkscrew in the mda video of the Oct 5th test.
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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #30 on: 10/12/2011 02:22 AM »
Correct me if I am wrong, but the THAAD system is not capable of shooting down an artillery round, talking about a capability it is not designed or used for is off topic?

This isn't the Israeli Iron dome system...

It's never been tested for it, but I honestly would not be surprised if the system could track and with some consistency make contact with an artillery round sized target. However, THAAD is probably too long-range to actually hit an artillery round...it would likely reach the target before the booster had burned out and separated and not be able to maneuver.

To reduce the minimum engagement range (while still having a sizable maximum range), THAAD actually flies a corkscrew during the boost phase for some intercepts to use up excess energy. Wikipedia has a picture of this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/THAAD#Production_and_deployment

The corkscrew maneuver was purely an energy management maneuver to limit the range of the interceptor. They engineered it when we were testing at White Sands and we had to worry about debris landing in populated areas. Now that we're at Barking Sands we shoot over the ocean so there's no need for that maneuver.

And, no, THAAD couldn't engage artillery rounds even if we wanted to. Our sensor isn't configured for it. Our interceptor isn't configured for it. THAAD is supposed to deploy a fair way behind the front lines. It's original name was Theater High Altitude Area Defense. THAAD's not point defense, that's PAC3's job.
« Last Edit: 10/12/2011 02:28 AM by Torlek »

Offline jcm

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #31 on: 10/12/2011 01:30 PM »
Well inside the nuke there is some active material - plutonium? Will it burn or will salt the ground bellow?
burn up on re-entry.
These intercepts are not re-entry tests, just ballistic.   Also, the interceptors do not appear large enough to reach the altitude before re-entry.
THAAD is capable of exo-atmospheric intercepts and we have conducted them in the past. Don't know if I can say whether this one was or not.

Interesting. The THAADs appear to have been launched from the same truck, at least
10 s apart (but probably much more as there was an edit in the video).
Presumably the two targets were launched from two different platforms? They have been using the ship launch (MLP) and the C-17 air launch platform, AFAIK
they only have one of each and I don't know if the MLP can do two launches at once.
I don't think they have any land based pads they can use except at Kauai itself
which would be a bit *too* short-range :-).

edit: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-10-05/lockheed-s-thaad-missile-defense-hits-two-targets-in-test.html reports indeed that the first target was air-launched and the second one sea-launched. No reports I can see of how close together the launches were.

The launches were a few minutes apart. The air-dropped target was longer range than the one launched from the MLP.

I watched this one from the airstrip at PMRF. We were able to see both intercepts from the ground which surprised all of us. We were figuring they would be too faint to be visible. It was awesome to finally see hardware performance that validates the simulations I work on. Being paid to go to Kaua'i for a week was also a perk.


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Offline jcm

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #32 on: 10/12/2011 01:32 PM »
Well inside the nuke there is some active material - plutonium? Will it burn or will salt the ground bellow?
burn up on re-entry.
These intercepts are not re-entry tests, just ballistic.   Also, the interceptors do not appear large enough to reach the altitude before re-entry.
THAAD is capable of exo-atmospheric intercepts and we have conducted them in the past. Don't know if I can say whether this one was or not.

Interesting. The THAADs appear to have been launched from the same truck, at least
10 s apart (but probably much more as there was an edit in the video).
Presumably the two targets were launched from two different platforms? They have been using the ship launch (MLP) and the C-17 air launch platform, AFAIK
they only have one of each and I don't know if the MLP can do two launches at once.
I don't think they have any land based pads they can use except at Kauai itself
which would be a bit *too* short-range :-).

edit: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-10-05/lockheed-s-thaad-missile-defense-hits-two-targets-in-test.html reports indeed that the first target was air-launched and the second one sea-launched. No reports I can see of how close together the launches were.

The launches were a few minutes apart. The air-dropped target was longer range than the one launched from the MLP.

I watched this one from the airstrip at PMRF. We were able to see both intercepts from the ground which surprised all of us. We were figuring they would be too faint to be visible. It was awesome to finally see hardware performance that validates the simulations I work on. Being paid to go to Kaua'i for a week was also a perk.


Thanks for sharing what you can.
As to the question of burnup on reentry, it's not just whether the intercept is
exoatmospheric, but the overall velocity. A lot of these tests would not be going fast enough for the sort of reentry heating you get on a long range missile.
-----------------------------

Jonathan McDowell
http://planet4589.org

Offline catdlr

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #33 on: 07/12/2017 03:58 AM »
bump....

THAAD System Shoots Down Target Over Alaska In First-of-its Kind Test

AiirSource Military
Published on Jul 11, 2017


The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), the Ballistic Missile Defense System Operational Test Agency, and U.S. Army soldiers of the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade from Fort Bliss, Texas, conducted an intercept test on July 11, 2017, of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) element of the nationís ballistic missile defense system.

A ballistic missile target was air-launched by a U.S. Air Force C-17 over the Pacific Ocean north of Hawaii. A THAAD weapon system located at PSCA in Kodiak, Alaska, detected, tracked and intercepted the target. The test, Flight Test THAAD-18 (FTT-18), was the first-ever of the THAAD system against an incoming IRBM target, or intermediate-range ballistic missile.

The successful demonstration of THAAD against an IRBM-range missile threat bolsters the countryís defensive capability against developing missile threats in North Korea and other countries around the globe and contributes to the broader strategic deterrence architecture.

AiirSource Military covers events and missions from the United States Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Xqezi-gsKQ?t=001

Tony De La Rosa

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #34 on: 07/17/2017 04:26 PM »
Not to throw us off target, has Orbital released much information on the air launched targets? All I seem to be able to find is a decent video from May,


Just reminds me of the Air Launched Ballistic Missile program from the 1970's.
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Offline Hog

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #35 on: 07/22/2017 09:53 AM »
I didn't realize that this system has been deployed for almost a decade.
Here is some Wikipedia info about the system and where its being used.

Quick Wiki
"Sometimes called Kinetic Kill technology, the THAAD missile destroys missiles by colliding with them, using hit-to-kill technology, like the MIM-104 Patriot PAC-3 (although the PAC-3 also contains a small explosive warhead). This is unlike the Patriot PAC-2 which carried only an explosive warhead detonated using a proximity fuse. 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). A THAAD battery consists of at least six launcher vehicles, each equipped with eight missiles, with two mobile tactical operations centers (TOCs) and the AN/TPY-2 ground-based radar (GBR); the U.S. Army plans to field at least six THAAD batteries,at a purchase cost of $800 million per battery. By September 2018 MDA plans to deliver 52 more interceptors to the Army."


Originally South korea said that they would not buy THAAD and that they wanted to develop their own ABM systems.

South Korea requests info abut ABM systems, THAAD and Israeli Arrow-3 systems
On 17 October 2013, the South Korean military asked the Pentagon to provide information on the THAAD system concerning prices and capabilities as part of efforts to strengthen defenses against North Korean ballistic missile. However, South Korea decided it will develop its own indigenous long-range surface-to-air missile instead of buying the THAAD. South Korean Defense Ministry officials previously requested information on the THAAD, as well as other missile interceptors like the Israeli Arrow 3, with the intention of researching systems for domestic technology development rather than for purchase.

China objects
In February 2016, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed concerns that deployment of THAAD in South Korea, despite being directed at North Korea, could jeopardize China's "legitimate national security interests
The major controversy among Chinese officials is that they believe the purpose of the THAAD system, "which detects and intercepts incoming missiles at high altitudes, is actually to track missiles launched from China" not from North Korea Chinese nuclear experts report that China is focused on the positioning of another THAAD radar system, this one on the Korean peninsula, for gleaning details about China's nuclear weapons delivery systems, such as THAAD's ability to distinguish which missiles might be carrying decoy warheads

South Korea agrees that THAAD is required due to North Korea aggression
In July 2016, American and South Korean military officials agreed to deploy the THAAD missile defense system in the country to counter North Korea's growing threats and use of ballistic missile and nuclear tests; each THAAD unit consists of six truck-mounted launchers, 48 interceptors, a fire control and communications unit, and an AN/TPY-2 radar.

Local afraid of Emitter Radiation from THAAD RADAR
Seongju County in North Gyeongsang Province was chosen as the site to base the THAAD, partly because it is out of range of North Korean rocket artillery along the DMZ,which sparked protests from Seongju County residents from fear of the radiation emitted by the AN/TPY-2 radar. On 30 September 2016, the U.S. and South Korea announced that THAAD would be relocated to Lotte Skyhill Seongju Country Club, farther from the town's main residential areas and higher in elevation, to alleviate concerns.

THAAD is airlifted into South Korea, just hours after North Korea launches 4 missiles
On 6 March 2017, two THAAD launcher trucks arrived by air transport at Osan Air Base South Korea, for a deployment. Earlier that day, North Korea had launched 4 missiles. A Reuters article stated that with the THAAD defense system, a North Korean missile barrage would still pose a threat to South Korea, while an article in the International Journal of Space Politics & Policy said that South Korean forces already possess Patriot systems for point defense and Aegis destroyers capable of stopping ballistic missiles that may come from the north in a three-layer antimissile defense for South Korea. On 16 March 2017, a THAAD radar arrived in South Korea. The THAAD system is kept at Osan Air Base until the site where the system is due to be deployed is prepared, with an expected ready date of June 2017.Osan Air Base has blast-hardened command posts with 3 levels of blast doors

THAAD arrives at operational site, and goes operation in South Korea
By 25 April 2017, six trailers carrying the THAAD radar, interceptor launchers, communications, and support equipment entered the Seongju site. On 30 April 2017, it was reported that South Korea would bear the cost of the land and facilities for THAAD, while the US will pay for operating it. On 2 May 2017, Moon Sang-gyun, with the South Korean Defense Ministry and Col. Robert Manning III, a spokesman for the U.S. military announced that the THAAD system in Seongju is operational and "has the ability to intercept North Korean missiles and defend South Korea.
 It was reported that the system will not reach its full operational potential until later this year when additional elements of the system are onsite.In June 2017 South Korea decided to halt further deployment. The 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade (United States) has integrated THAAD into its layered defense on the Korean Peninsula.

July 11th Test, Operators exposed to Simulated Combat Conditions
Even in the face of a North Korean ICBM test on 4 July 2017, which newly threatens Alaska, a Kodiak, Alaska-based THAAD interceptor test (FTT-18) against a simulated attack by an Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile had long been planned.FTT-18 was successfully completed by Battery A-2 THAAD (Battery A, 2nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense)of the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade (United States) on 11 July 2017. The soldiers used the procedures of an actual combat scenario and were not aware of the IRBM's launch time.

Paul

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #36 on: 07/24/2017 12:10 AM »
Just to tamp it down a little, the latest test is the first to actually intercept an IRBM class target. All other tests have been against shorter range targets. That said, THAAD is a bit of overkill for South Korea since North Korea would use shorter range missiles against it. Something the Patriot missiles are better suited for. A THAAD in Japan would make sense since the distance requires IRBM's.

Also worth noting that this spring is the first time the GDI system in Alaska and Vandenberg was tested a representitive ICBM class target. Again all previous tests had been against shorter range missiles.

Now for both to be truly effective the entire kill chain from launch detection to interceptmust be finished.
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Offline RotoSequence

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #37 on: 07/24/2017 12:18 AM »
Just to tamp it down a little, the latest test is the first to actually intercept an IRBM class target. All other tests have been against shorter range targets. That said, THAAD is a bit of overkill for South Korea since North Korea would use shorter range missiles against it. Something the Patriot missiles are better suited for. A THAAD in Japan would make sense since the distance requires IRBM's.

Also worth noting that this spring is the first time the GDI system in Alaska and Vandenberg was tested a representitive ICBM class target. Again all previous tests had been against shorter range missiles.

Now for both to be truly effective the entire kill chain from launch detection to interceptmust be finished.

North Korea's long range ballistic missiles used in highly lofted trajectories are far more difficult to intercept with Patriots; that's the trajectory profile that THAAD was designed to counter, and the reason why it was deployed.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #38 on: 07/24/2017 02:25 AM »
My problem with that, is why would North Korea use long range missiles against South Korea. They have plenty of short range missiles. To me, THAAD in Japan would make sense, but it just seems overkill and more to send a message.
« Last Edit: 07/24/2017 02:26 AM by kevin-rf »
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Offline spacenut

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #39 on: 07/24/2017 11:45 AM »
Probably a bargaining chip.  We remove the THAAD system (to Japan) and N. Korea stops missile testing with pressure from China and Russia.  N. Korea would fail completely if not for trade with China.  China could force a government change in N. Korea if they wanted to.  I think China knows N. Korea is a thorn in the side of the westernized countries, and uses that as leverage.  THAAD could be put in Japan, Alaska, Wake Island, or Guam, even the west coast. 

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #40 on: 07/24/2017 01:34 PM »
Not to throw us off target, has Orbital released much information on the air launched targets? All I seem to be able to find is a decent video from May,


Just reminds me of the Air Launched Ballistic Missile program from the 1970's.

Official video (Wake Island THAAD launch:

Offline catdlr

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #41 on: 07/30/2017 08:40 PM »
another round of testing...

THAAD Missile-Defense System Intercepts Test Target Over Pacific Ocean

AiirSource Military
Published on Jul 30, 2017


The U.S. Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Army soldiers of the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade from Fort Bliss, Texas, conducted a successful missile defense test today using the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. A medium-range target ballistic missile (MRBM) was air-launched by a U.S. 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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctZN9-Y2Mf4?t=001



**Updated post with better video**
« Last Edit: 07/31/2017 02:29 AM by catdlr »
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Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: THAAD Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Conducted
« Reply #42 on: 07/31/2017 08:08 AM »
MDA release.

https://www.mda.mil/news/17news0008.html

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