United States approves upgrade of Saudi Arabia THAAD air defense missile systems
Posted On Friday, 04 February 2022 16:13
According to information published by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) on February 3, 2022, the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving for a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to upgrade the THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Air Defense) American-made air defense missile system with Multi functional Information Distribution System-Low Volume Terminals (MIDS-LVT) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $23.7 million.
A U.S. Army Terminal High Altitude Area Defense launching station. (Picture source U.S. DoD)
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has requested to buy thirty-one (31) Multifunctional Information Distribution System-Low Volume Terminals (MIDS-LVT) Block Upgrade 2 (BU2), that will be mounted on THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Air Defense) American-made air defense missile system. The original FMS case, valued at $3.0 million, includes eleven (11) Multifunctional Information Distribution System-Low Volume Terminals (MIDS-LVT) Block Upgrade 1 (BU1).
Therefore, this notification is for a total of eleven (11) Multifunctional Information Distribution System-Low Volume Terminals (MIDS-LVT) Block Upgrade 1 (BU1) and thirty-one (31) Multifunctional Information Distribution System-Low Volume Terminals (MIDS-LVT) Block Upgrade 2 (BU2).
Also included is communications equipment; support equipment; engineering and technical support and assistance; training; and other related elements of logistics and program support. The total estimated cost is $23.7 million. The proposed sale will provide the Saudi armed forces with the equipment, training, and follow-on support necessary to protect Saudi Arabia, and the region, from the destabilizing effects of terrorism, countering Iranian influence, and other threats. The proposed MIDS-LVT (BU2) terminals will be installed on Terminal High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) platforms, while the previously provided MIDS-LVT (BU1) terminals were installed on PATRIOT. Saudi Arabia will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces. The US approved a $15 billion FMS deal in October 2017 to sell THAAD systems and support services to Saudi Arabia. The deal included 44 THAAD launchers, 360 interceptor missiles, 16 mobile fire control units, and seven AN/TPY-2 THAAD radars, with Lockheed Martin as prime contractor and systems integrator. The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) is an American-made air defense missile system that is designed to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles inside or outside the atmosphere during their final, or terminal, phase of flight. The THAAD system consists of four principal segments: truck-mounted launchers, interceptors, the THAAD radar system, and the THAAD battle management/command, control, communications, and intelligence (BM/C3I) system.
The mobile launcher will protect and transport the interceptors, in addition to firing them. With its palletized load system, the launcher can be rapidly reloaded. Interceptors will consist of a single stage booster and a kinetic kill-vehicle that will destroy targets by the force of kinetic impact "hit-to-kill". The THAAD radar will support the full range of surveillance, target tracking, and fire control functions, and provide a communications link with THAAD interceptors n-flight. The THAAD missile has a firing range from 150 to 200 km. The (AN/TPY-2) radar is able to detect and track enemy missiles at ranges from 870 to 3,000 km