WASHINGTON — A multibillion-dollar missile defense system owned by the United Arab Emirates and developed by the U.S. military intercepted a ballistic missile on Monday during a deadly attack by Houthi militants in Abu Dhabi, marking the system’s first known use in a military operation, Defense News has learned.
The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System, made by Lockheed Martin, took out the midrange ballistic missile used to attack an Emirati oil facility near Al-Dhafra Air Base, according to two sources granted anonymity because they are not authorized to speak about the UAE’s activities. The Emirati base hosts U.S. and French forces.
The attack, which used cruise missiles, ballistic missiles and drones, killed three civilians and wounded six others, UAE’s ambassador to the United States, Yousef Al Otaiba, said earlier in the week.
“Several attacks, a combination of cruise missiles, ballistic missiles and drones, targeted civilian sites in the UAE. Several were intercepted, a few of them [weren’t], and three innocent civilians unfortunately lost their lives,” Al Otaiba said at a virtual event sponsored by the Jewish Institute for National Security of America.