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Pentagon budget 2024: MDA seeks USD484.7 million for THAAD, 8th battery

THAAD is intended to engage targets both inside and outside the earth's atmosphere. (US Missile Defense Agency)

The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has requested USD484.7 million for the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) programme in fiscal year (FY 2024).

This funding would integrate the THAAD capability into the US Army's Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS) and continue development of an 8th THAAD battery, according to the agency's budget documents, published on 13 March.

A battery typically consists of 6 truck-mounted launchers, 48 Interceptors (8 per launcher), one Army/Navy Transportable Radar Surveillance and Control Mode 2 (AN/TPY-2) radar, a Tactical Fire Control/Communications component, and Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks (HEMTTs), MDA said.

The FY 2024 THAAD request includes USD267.9 million for research, development, test, and evaluation, as well as USD216.8 million to procure 11 THAAD interceptors (up from USD75 million to procure three interceptors in FY 2023). THAAD interceptor procurement is to ramp up in the coming years: 31 in FY 2025, 32 in FY 2026, 48 in FY 2027, and 48 in FY 2028, according to a briefing chart on MDA's projected five-year plan.

The agency added that the requested funding would provide “software upgrades to improve reliability, availability and readiness, defense planning, and improved capability to engage [short-, medium-, and limited intermediate-range ballistic missile] SRBM, MRBM, and limited IRBM threats”.

It would also bankroll “flight and ground testing, test operations and infrastructure, war-games, and exercises to execute Integrated Master Test Plan requirements”, MDA said.

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