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Video: THAAD – the US missile system which Ukraine so desperately wants to deploy on the Russian border

Lockheed Martin's Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system (Image courtesy: Lockheed Martin)

Wary of a Russian attack, Ukraine has reportedly requested the United States to deploy battalions of its Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile system near Kharkiv on the eastern border.

"An AN/TPY-2 radar that makes part of the THAAD system is capable of tracking the aerospace situation over a substantial part of Russian territory and will enable Kiev and its NATO allies to look deep into the territory of Russia to a distance of up to 1,000 km," Russian news agency Tass quoted a source as saying. 

What is THAAD?

A state-of-the-art advanced missile system, THAAD is highly effective at defending against a host of ballistic missile threats to include mass raid scenarios. The system uses hit-to-kill technology to destroy a threat with direct impact neutralizing lethal payloads before they reach protected assets on the ground. The system is rapidly deployable, mobile and interoperable with all other Ballistic Missile Defence System (BMDS) elements, including Patriot/PAC-3, Aegis, forward-based sensors and the Command, Control, Battle Management and Communications system. 

Who developed THAAD?

THAAD is developed by American company Lockheed Martin which is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland. The global security and aerospace company employs approximately 105,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.

Where has it been used recently? 

It has been reported that the United Arab Emirates has used THAAD recently to destroy missiles fired by Houthi rebels. General Kenneth McKenzie, the head of US forces in the Middle East, had last week cited two "successful intercepts by Thaad" when UAE faced incoming missiles fired from Yemen by the Houthis.

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