Saudi Arabia shows interest to purchase US THAAD missile systems

According to the Washington Post, a senior executive of the U.S. Company Lockheed Martin said Tuesday, November 14, 2017, the company is delivering its Patriot missiles to Saudi Arabia who can also be interested to purchase the American-made THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) anti-ballistic air defense missile system.

Saudia Arabia shows interest to purchase US THAAD missile systems 925 001
A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or (THAAD) weapon system assigned to Task Force Talon, 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Oct. 26, 2017. (Source picture U.S. MoD)

Saudi Arabia could become the second customer of the American-made THAAD missile system in the Middle East after United Arab Emirates. Saudi Arabia is involved in the conflict with Yemen, and the country is under the threats of missile fired by Yemen’s Shiite rebels.

In October 6, 2017, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency has announced a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Saudi Arabia for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and related support, equipment and services for an estimated cost of $15 billion.

The Government of Saudi Arabia has requested a possible sale of forty-four (44) Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) launchers, three hundred sixty (360) THAAD Interceptor Missiles, sixteen (16) THAAD Fire Control and Communications Mobile Tactical Station Group, seven (7) AN/TPY-2 THAAD radars. Also included are THAAD Battery maintenance equipment, forty-three (43) prime movers (trucks), generators, electrical power units, trailers, communications equipment, tools, test and maintenance equipment, repair and return, system integration and checkout, spare/repair parts, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics personnel support services, facilities construction, studies, and other related elements of logistics and program support.

The THAAD is an American-made anti-ballistic missile defense system designed to shoot down short, medium, and intermediate range ballistic missiles. The THAAD system is designed, built, and integrated by Lockheed Martin Space Systems acting as prime contractor. Key subcontractors include Raytheon, Boeing, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Honeywell, BAE Systems, Oshkosh Defense, MiltonCAT and the Oliver Capital Consortium.

THAAD missiles have an estimated range of 200 km, and can reach an altitude of 150 km. The radar has the capability to acquire missile threats at ranges up to 1,000km.

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