The THAAD anti-missile system intercepted a ballistic missile during a Houthi attack in Abu Dhabi. According to Defense News, this is the first known use of the American complex in a combat operation.
THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) is a mobile ground-based missile defense system for intercepting missiles at a range of 200 kilometers and an altitude of up to 150 kilometers. It was developed by the American company Lockheed Martin in the nineties, and now it is in service in the USA, Israel, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Japan.
The UAE received the first THAADs in 2015 and installed them along the Persian Gulf coast, fearing a threat from Iran. Although the complex has been tested many times, its combat use has not been reported before.
THAAD was first used in a military operation last week in the UAE. The complex intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile. Representatives of the ruling Ansar Allah movement in northern Yemen, also known as the Houthis, launched it at an oil facility near the Al-Dhafra airbase. The Houthis also used cruise missiles and drones in this attack. Three civilians were killed and six were injured.
Developing: Suspected drone attack by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels on oil tankers near UAE’s Abu Dhabi airport, and on the site of Abu Dhabi airport expansion, has resulted in multiple explosions and at least three fatalities. #AbuDhabi pic.twitter.com/sUXHxNHJzE— Alex Macheras (@AlexInAir) January 17, 2022
In addition to THAAD, the US military is armed with GMD, MKV, Patriot PAC-3 complexes, as well as the Aegis ship system. In addition, in 2018, the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Development Agency announced a tender for the development of protection systems against atmospheric hypersonic maneuvering munitions, including gliders and missiles.