WASHINGTON — Raytheon Corp. has delivered the 10th AN/TPY-2 ballistic missile defense radar to the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, according to an Oct. 13 press release from the company.

As of October, five AN/TPY-2 radars have been deployed as forward-based sensors for U.S. missile defenses. The 10th radar will be part of the U.S. Army’s fifth Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system built by Lockheed Martin.

“The delivery of the tenth radar makes the world a safer place because the AN/TPY-2 has an unmatched ability to detect, discriminate and precisely track every category of ballistic missiles,” Dave Gulla, vice president of Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems’ Global Integrated Sensors business area, said in the release.

U.S. Intelligence agencies estimate more than 6,300 ballistic missiles exist outside the control of the United States, NATO, China and Russia.

Raytheon said the latest delivery, like the previous one, took place six months earlier than anticipated. The company is under contract to provide two more radars to the MDA.

Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin expects to begin formal negotiations on the sale of regional missile defense systems to Qatar and Saudi Arabia within the next year, company officials said Sept. 23.

The company is already in informal negotiations with both countries, said Richard McDaniel, director of PAC-3 programs at Dallas-based Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

Lockheed Martin last year finalized a multibillion deal to provide THAAD units to the United Arab Emirates and to the U.S. Army.

The THAAD system includes a truck-mounted launcher, interceptor missiles, an AN/TPY-2 tracking radar and an integrated fire control system. The interceptor, designed primarily for overseas deployment to protect against regional threats, is capable of engaging missile threats both inside and outside the atmosphere.

Lockheed Martin is under contract for five THAAD batteries with the U.S. Army. The first two were activated in 2008 and 2009. Batteries three and four are expected to be delivered in December, with a fifth to be completed by 2015.

Mike Gruss covers military space issues, including the U.S. Air Force and Missile Defense Agency, for SpaceNews. He is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.