Air Defense: UAE Getting Its THAAD Batteries

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January 16, 2014:   The UAE (United Arab Emirates) wants to defend itself from potential Iranian use of ballistic missiles. To that end, they are spending $7 billion on American missile defense systems with half of it going to buy two THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) anti-missile batteries. The UAE first proposed buying THAAD in 2008 and has, so far, spent nearly $700 million on the two TPY-2 radars alone and over a billion on other costs of assembling and installing the system. UAE is buying 96 THAAD missiles and expects the system to be operational in two or three years.

A THAAD battery consists of 24 missiles, three launchers and a fire control and communications system. This include the TPY-2 X-Band radar. The gear for each battery costs $400 million. The six meter (18 foot) long THAAD missiles weigh 836 kg (1,400 pounds). This is about the same size as the Patriot anti-aircraft missile, but twice the weight of the anti-missile version of the Patriot. The range of THAAD is 200 kilometers, max altitude is 150 kilometers, and it is intended for short (like SCUD) or medium range (up to 2,000 kilometer) range ballistic missiles. The TPY-2 radar can spot missiles (or aircraft) over 2,000 kilometers away.

THAAD has been in development since the 1980s. The U.S. is in the process of buying five THAAD batteries and three are already in service. UAE’s neighbor Oman has also ordered at least one THAAD battery. THAAD is mobile and can go anywhere the heavy trucks its uses can go.

 

 


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