A problem with the US Army's Theater High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) weapon's inertial measurement unit (IMU) has forced a delay of the demonstration/validation test flight, due in mid-December, says the Army.

The IMU anomaly was discovered during a detailed pre-flight review conducted by Lockheed Martin project officials. The problem is understood and corrective action is being taken, says the Army. The flight test will be rescheduled as soon as the weapon system is ready.

In mid-July, a prototype THAAD missile failed to destroy a simulated ballistic missile, marking the third misfire in as many intercept attempts. The THAAD project is expected to cost the Pentagon $17 billion.

A decision on whether to proceed to the engineering and manufacturing development phase has been set for March 1997, and a production decision is due in early 2003.

Source: Flight International