A possible deployment of the Army’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System to South Korea is still being discussed, but the service is also looking at possibly sending THAAD batteries to the European and Central Command areas of operations, the commanding general of Army Space and Missile Defense Command said.
“There’s a requirement coming out of EUCOM and also out of CENTCOM and so what we are looking at right now is how do we ensure that we meet the regional missile defense requirements, but at the same time retain flexibility to respond to the unknown,” Lt. Gen. David Mann told a group of reporters at the Pentagon Tuesday.
The Army will have five operational THAAD units by the end of the year, Mann noted, as demand signals for the capability grow across multiple regions. The Army still has a requirement for nine batteries but has only funded seven THAAD batteries in the five-year defense plan.
Mann added that employing THAAD to a specific location requires some preparation such as leveling the ground and ensuring the safety of operators from things like radiation, so deploying a battery takes longer than its lower-tier missile defense counterpart, the Patriot air-and-missile defense system.
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Image courtesy of Missile Defense Agency