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Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), formerly Theater High Altitude Area Defense, is a United States Army anti-ballistic missile system designed to shoot down short, medium, and intermediate range ballistic missiles in their terminal phase using a hit-to-kill approach. THAAD was developed as a need to develop missile defense system against Iraq's Scud missile attacks during the Gulf War in 1991. The missile carries no warhead but relies on the kinetic energy of the impact to destroy the incoming missile. A kinetic energy hit minimizes the risk of exploding conventional warhead ballistic missiles, and nuclear tipped ballistic missiles will not explode upon a kinetic energy hit, although chemical or biological warheads may disintegrate or explode and pose a risk of contaminating the environment. THAAD was designed to hit Scuds and similar weapons.