With the recent media coverage of the U.S. government selling arms to Saudi Arabia, the focus has fallen on the THAAD system. THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) is a counter ballistic missile system created by Lockheed Martin. It’s purpose? The aerial defense from missile attacks, whether it is a missile that stays within – or exceeds – the limitations of Earth’s atmosphere. This means that it is capable of taking out missiles that are both short range as well as long range. The THAAD covers the opening left by the Aegis and Patriot ballistic defense systems. Lockheed Martin states that the THAAD is “effective against all types of ballistic missile warheads including Weapons of Mass Destruction.” Lockheed Martin also boasts that the THAAD “has a 100 percent mission success rate in 13 consecutive flight tests since 2005.”The THAAD is the ground-breaking backbone technology for any Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), incorporating with the Patriot or Aegis systems. Integrating radar, communications, the actual BMDS, and a support structure – the THAAD is capable of intercepting single or multiple missiles. Closing the gap on potential threats, when used in conjunction with the Patriot and Aegis systems. Check out this video below of the THAAD in action:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DR6pglLGJMg
THAAD’s on Foreign Soil
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South Korea’s Gen. Sun Jin Lee, Republic of Korea Army chairman and joint chiefs of staff visits Guam. (DVIDs U.S. Air Force Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alexander W. Riedel/Released)[/caption]So, why are we selling it to Saudi Arabia, or anyone else for that matter? Well, it seems that the current (and previous) administration is keen on building our oil resources and allied stability in the Middle-East. The Saudis are not the first middle-eastern nation to purchase the technology. In 2011, the United Arab Emirates implemented THAAD. Just this year, South Korea also started utilizing the technology.Since the U.S. Army operates THAAD, it only makes sense foreign countries with occupying U.S. forces should be armed with the system. Not only does it safeguard our allies, but it also seals off the ballistic umbrella exposing our troops on foreign soil. Mary Poppins would be so proud. Check out this South Korean news report regarding THAAD implementation:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQXCHWo1-yM
The Cost of THAAD
According to The Atlantic, “the U.S. would cover the cost of deploying the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system.” THAAD costs about $1 Billion (USD) to implement, which does not include updates and service for the system. So the entire system costs $1 Billion to integrate, and for good reason. It truly is the ultimate umbrella defense for any country fearing random or coordinated ballistic attacks against its soil. At least the Saudis will pay for this one, compared to the South Korean defense system.
The fact that we are licensing the technology to our allies, and perhaps cover the cost, shouldn’t bother the common American. In all of the cases, there are U.S. military bases located on THAAD protected soil. I’m just glad we’re not allowing Lockheed Martin to license this technology to enemy nations. I guess it'll only be a matter of time before China steals the tech, but look how good that's turned out for them with other military technology.So, what if the current countries employing THAAD turn on the United States? Well that’s the beauty of licensing technology, we simply stop operating the tech and close up shop. Point goes to America! For now, I think it’s a great idea to have THAAD implemented any where our troops are stationed. The cost of any soldier’s life is priceless in my mind. I leave you with one final video of the THAAD in action. If I left any questions in your mind about the THAAD – just watch this video. Also, feel free to voice your opinion in the comments section below. Stay fiery ‘Merica!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dITKYuMEPhs