WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Department of Defense plans to buy additional Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) batteries worth nearly two thirds of a billion dollars in order to face growing ballistic missile threats, according to media reports.
"In its fiscal year 2017 budget request, the Defense Department is asking for $370 million to procure THAAD equipment, and an additional $270 million for research, development, test and evaluation," National Defense journal reported in its April 1 issue online.
The journal quoted Missile Defense Agency chief Vice Admiral James Syring as saying the Defense Department plans to continue THAAD interceptor procurement over the next five years, for a total of more than 400 missiles.
Syring noted that the US Army currently has five batteries, but two more batteries should be delivered by 2018.
The system is designed to shoot down short- and medium-range missiles, but the Defense Department is planning to test it against an intermediate range ballistic missile next year or 2018, the report said.