BAE Systems has received a contract from Lockheed Martin to design and produce next-generation infrared seeker technology.
The tech will be integrated into the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor missile to provide critical sensing and guidance capabilities.
According to the company, the seeker’s design will leverage BAE Systems’ expertise in precision munitions, electronic warfare systems, and small form factor electronics.
The firm will also reportedly utilize its “extensive knowledge” of the threat environment to develop an effective seeker technology.
Once installed, the infrared seeker will guide THAAD interceptors in engaging ballistic missiles and destroying enemy warheads using kinetic force.
“THAAD is a highly effective system for mitigating high-speed missile threats and we’re making it more capable,” BAE Systems director Greg Procopio said.
“We’re anticipating the capabilities of tomorrow’s ballistic missiles and designing adaptable electronic systems to counter those threats.”
Developed by Lockheed Martin, THAAD is an easily transportable defensive weapon system capable of protecting military assets against threats up to 200 kilometers (124 miles) away.
It can reportedly intercept enemy missiles within and beyond the atmosphere.
Prior to launch, target object data and the predicted intercept point are downloaded to the missile to guide it toward its target.
Changes or updates in the target and intercept data are also transmitted to the missile during flight.
“The system uses proven Lockheed Martin technology to destroy a threat with direct impact – providing ensured negation of weapons of mass destruction, enhanced reliability and safety,” the developer states.
Work for THAAD’s new infrared seeker technology will be performed at BAE’s electronic systems facilities in New York, Alabama, and New Hampshire.