“Our nation's newest and most comprehensive missile defense system, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system is being deployed to the island of Guam in protection of the American territory's citizens and all of the United States military forces deployed on there from North Korea's ballistic missile threat as announced today by the Department of Defense. This best in the world capability is able to detect, target, discriminate, and destroy, with kinetic energy, multiple incoming ballistic missiles during their downward flight phase in lower space as well as in the upper atmosphere. Additionally, the heat and friction of reentry into the earth's atmosphere is used to further discriminate incoming debris and missile warheads for successful THAAD intercepts.
"THAAD relies on its own X-Band Radar to detect and target with its own interceptors similar to those forward based X band radars deployed today that protect the United States, Israel, Turkey, Europe, and Japan. The THAAD system fills the gap of interceptor battle space between the higher Aegis ship based interceptors that operate in space and the lower Patriot land-based systems operating in the lower atmosphere for regional ballistic missile threats. THAAD remains the most successfully tested Missile Defense system since 2003, with a 10 for 10 intercept flight record. The system's last intercept test was October 24, 2012, in the Kwajalein Island in the Pacific where it shot down ballistic missiles alongside the Patriot and Aegis Ship BMD systems.
"This capability protects and enhances one of our military's largest staging areas, located in Guam, to project and deploy forces including strategic aircraft throughout the Pacific region. Protecting Guam from ballistic missile threats would further deter North Korea's rational or irrational decision of launching ballistic missiles as well as maintain their fear of offensive retaliation. It is a necessary strategic move by the United States to assure our allies in this region, specifically South Korea and Japan, that we have our best capabilities deployed so that they do not need to take pre-emptive or reactive action against North Korea.
"This decision to deploy THAAD will help prevent conflict and a potential war with North Korea.”