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US Bolsters Middle East Defenses with THAAD, MIM-104 Patriot Amid Escalating Tensions

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and MIM-104 Patriot air defense systems are the most capable air defense systems owned by the United States to address ballistic missile attacks from hostile parties against the interests of the country and its allies in the Middle East.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — The United States Department of Defense has announced that it will deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) air defense system and additional MIM-104 Patriot air defense batteries to the Middle East, as the escalating conflict between Hamas and Israel is likely to involve several other countries.

The United States and its allies in the Middle East, particularly Israel, are concerned that the Hamas-Israel conflict may involve Iran and armed groups acting as proxies, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon.

According to a statement by the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, the THAAD and Patriot air defense systems will be deployed at ‘several locations’ in the Middle East.

Additionally, he mentioned that additional U.S. military personnel have been instructed to be prepared for deployment in the Middle East, but the exact locations of their deployment were not specified.

At this time, Washington has already deployed two aircraft carriers, the USS Gerald R. Ford and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, along with escort ships and over 2,000 Marine Corps troops to the tense region.

THAAD
THAAD X-Band Radar

 

The THAAD and Patriot air defense systems are the most effective systems possessed by the United States for countering ballistic missile attacks from hostile parties against its interests and allies.

THAAD is an anti-ballistic missile defense system designed to intercept ballistic missiles at mid-course, with an operational range of up to 200 km and an altitude of up to 150 km.

What concerns America’s ‘enemies’ about the THAAD air defense system is the high-powered X-Band AN/TPY-2 radar it utilizes.

 The radar system used by THAAD has high capabilities, with a missile launch detection range of between 1,500 km and 2,000 km.

Middle Eastern countries are worried that if the THAAD radar is directed towards them, it could detect any ballistic missile launch by that country or monitor all military activities of that nation.

Patriot
“MIM-104 Patriot”

 

The high-powered THAAD radar indirectly oversees a significant portion of a country’s military activities.

The MIM-104 Patriot air defense system consists of six components: the guided missile itself, the launch system, radar, control station, power unit, and high-frequency antenna.

The MIM-104 Patriot air defense system can destroy air targets, including ballistic missiles, up to a range of 160 km when using PAC-2 guided missiles, while it can engage targets up to 40 km with PAC-3 guided missiles.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) estimates the cost of each MIM-104 Patriot air defense battery to be $1.1 billion. Each individual Patriot air defense missile is estimated to cost $4.1 million. — DSA

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