Missile defense

Missile defense

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Missile defense is a system, weapon, or technology involved in the detection, tracking, interception and destruction of attacking missile
Missile
Though a missile may be any thrown or launched object, it colloquially almost always refers to a self-propelled guided weapon system.-Etymology:The word missile comes from the Latin verb mittere, meaning "to send"...

s. Originally conceived as a defence against nuclear-armed
Nuclear weapon
A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion. Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first fission bomb test released the same amount...

 Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), its application has broadened to include shorter-ranged non-nuclear tactical
Military tactics
Military tactics, the science and art of organizing an army or an air force, are the techniques for using weapons or military units in combination for engaging and defeating an enemy in battle. Changes in philosophy and technology over time have been reflected in changes to military tactics. In...

 and theater
Theater (warfare)
In warfare, a theater, is defined as an area or place within which important military events occur or are progressing. The entirety of the air, land, and sea area that is or that may potentially become involved in war operations....

 missiles.

The interception technology used has varied over time. In the 1960s, missile defense against ICBMs emphasized nuclear warhead
Warhead
The term warhead refers to the explosive material and detonator that is delivered by a missile, rocket, or torpedo.- Etymology :During the early development of naval torpedoes, they could be equipped with an inert payload that was intended for use during training, test firing and exercises. This...

s. In recent decades non-nuclear kinetic warheads have been used. Directed-energy weapon
Directed-energy weapon
A directed-energy weapon emits energy in an aimed direction without the means of a projectile. It transfers energy to a target for a desired effect. Intended effects may be non-lethal or lethal...

s such as lasers have been investigated and deployed on a limited basis.

The United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 and Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 have all developed such air defense systems. In the United States, missile defense was originally the responsibility of the Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

. The U.S. Missile Defense Agency
Missile Defense Agency
The Missile Defense Agency is the section of the United States government's Department of Defense responsible for developing a layered defense against ballistic missiles. The agency has its origins in the Strategic Defense Initiative, which was established in 1983 and was headed by Lt...

 has developed maritime systems and command and control that will eventually be transferred to the Navy and Air force for operation and sustainment.

Missile defense categories


Missile defense can be divided into categories based on various characteristics: type/range of missile intercepted, the trajectory phase where the intercept occurs, and whether intercepted inside or outside the Earth's atmosphere:

Type/range of missile intercepted


The types/ranges are strategic, theater and tactical. Each entails unique requirements for intercept, and a defensive system capable of intercepting one missile type frequently cannot intercept others; however there is sometimes overlap in capability.

Strategic missile defense


Targets long-range ICBMs, which travel at about 7 km/s (15,700 mph). Examples of currently active systems: Russian A-135
A-135 anti-ballistic missile system
The A-135 or ABM-3 anti-ballistic missile system is a Russian military complex deployed around Moscow to counter enemy missiles targeting the city or its surrounding areas. It became operational during 1995...

 system which defends Moscow, and the U.S. Ground-Based Midcourse Defense
Ground-Based Midcourse Defense
Ground-Based Midcourse Defense is the United States system for intercepting incoming warheads in space. Currently, it is a major component of the U.S. national missile defense strategy aimed against ballistic missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles...

 system that defends the United States from missiles launched from Asia. Geographic range of strategic defense can be regional (Russian system) or national (U.S. system).

Theater missile defense


Targets medium-range missiles, which travel at about 3 km/s (6,700 mph) or less. In this context the term "theater" means the entire localized region for military operations, typically a radius of several hundred kilometers. Defense range of theater defensive systems is usually on this order. Examples of deployed or soon-to-be deployed theater missile defenses: American THAAD
Terminal High Altitude Area Defense
Terminal High Altitude Area Defense , formerly Theater High Altitude Area Defense, is a United States Army system to shoot down short, medium, and intermediate ballistic missiles in their terminal phase using a hit-to-kill approach. The missile carries no warhead but relies on the kinetic energy...

 and Russian S-400 Triumf.

Tactical missile defense


Targets short-range tactical ballistic missiles, which usually travel at less than 1.5 km/s (3,400 mph). Tactical anti-ballistic missiles (ABMs) have short ranges, typically 20–80 km (12–50 miles). Examples of currently-deployed tactical ABMs: American MIM-104 Patriot
MIM-104 Patriot
The MIM-104 Patriot is a surface-to-air missile system, the primary of its kind used by the United States Army and several allied nations. It is manufactured by the Raytheon Company of the United States. The Patriot System replaced the Nike Hercules system as the U.S. Army's primary High to Medium...

 and Russian S-300V.

Trajectory phase


Ballistic missiles can be intercepted in three regions of their trajectory: boost phase, midcourse phase or terminal phase.

Boost phase


Intercepting the missile while its rocket motors are firing, usually over the launch territory (example: American aircraft-mounted laser weapon Boeing YAL-1
Boeing YAL-1
The Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser Testbed, weapons system is a megawatt-class chemical oxygen iodine laser mounted inside a modified Boeing 747-400F. It is primarily designed as a missile defense system to destroy tactical ballistic missiles , while in boost phase. The aircraft was designated...

 [under development]).
Advantages
  • Bright, hot rocket exhaust makes detection, discrimination and targeting easier.
  • Decoy
    Decoy
    A decoy is usually a person, device or event meant as a distraction, to conceal what an individual or a group might be looking for. Decoys have been used for centuries most notably in game hunting, but also in wartime and in the committing or resolving of crimes.-Duck decoy:The term duck decoy may...

    s cannot be used during boost phase.

Disadvantages
  • Difficult to geographically position interceptors to intercept missiles in boost phase (not always possible without flying over hostile territory).
  • Short time for intercept (typically about 180 seconds).

Mid-course phase


Intercepting the missile in space after the rocket burns out (example: American Ground-Based Midcourse Defense
Ground-Based Midcourse Defense
Ground-Based Midcourse Defense is the United States system for intercepting incoming warheads in space. Currently, it is a major component of the U.S. national missile defense strategy aimed against ballistic missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles...

 (GMD)).
Advantages
  • Extended decision/intercept time (the coast period through space before reentering the atmosphere can be several minutes, up to 20 minutes for an ICBM).
  • Very large geographic defensive coverage; potentially continental.

Disadvantages
  • Requires large/heavy anti-ballistic missile
    Anti-ballistic missile
    An anti-ballistic missile is a missile designed to counter ballistic missiles .A ballistic missile is used to deliver nuclear, chemical, biological or conventional warheads in a ballistic flight trajectory. The term "anti-ballistic missile" describes any antimissile system designed to counter...

    s and sophisticated powerful radar which must often be augmented by space-based sensors.
  • Must handle potential space-based decoys.

Terminal phase


Intercepting the missile after it reenters the atmosphere (examples: American Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System
Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System
The Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System is a United States Department of Defense Missile Defense Agency program developed to provide defense against ballistic missiles. It is part of the United States national missile defense strategy...

, American Sprint
Sprint (missile)
The Sprint was a two-stage, solid-fuel anti-ballistic missile, armed with a W66 enhanced radiation thermonuclear warhead. It was designed as the short-range high-speed counterpart to the longer-range LIM-49 Spartan as part of the Sentinel program. Sentinel never became operational, but the...

, Russian ABM-3 Gazelle)
Advantages
  • Smaller/lighter anti-ballistic missile required
  • Balloon decoys do not work during reentry.
  • Smaller, less sophisticated radar required.

Disadvantages
  • Very short intercept time, possibly less than 30 seconds.
  • Less defended geographic coverage.
  • Possible blanketing of target area with hazardous materials in the case of detonation of nuclear warhead(s).

Intercept location relative to the atmosphere


Missile defense can take place either inside (endoatmospheric) or outside (exoatmospheric) the Earth's atmosphere. The trajectory of most ballistic missiles takes them inside and outside the Earth's atmosphere, and they can be intercepted either place. There are advantages and disadvantages to either intercept technique.

Some missiles such as THAAD can intercept both inside and outside the Earth's atmosphere, giving two intercept opportunities.

Endoatmospheric


Endoatmospheric anti-ballistic missiles are usually shorter ranged (example: American MIM-104 Patriot
MIM-104 Patriot
The MIM-104 Patriot is a surface-to-air missile system, the primary of its kind used by the United States Army and several allied nations. It is manufactured by the Raytheon Company of the United States. The Patriot System replaced the Nike Hercules system as the U.S. Army's primary High to Medium...

).
Advantages
  • Physically smaller/lighter
  • Easier to move and deploy
  • Endoatmospheric intercept means balloon-type decoys won't work

Disadvantages
  • Limited range and defended area
  • Limited decision and tracking time for the incoming warhead

Exoatmospheric


Exoatmospheric anti-ballistic missiles are usually longer ranged (example: American Ground-Based Midcourse Defense
Ground-Based Midcourse Defense
Ground-Based Midcourse Defense is the United States system for intercepting incoming warheads in space. Currently, it is a major component of the U.S. national missile defense strategy aimed against ballistic missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles...

).
Advantages
  • More decision and tracking time
  • Fewer missiles required for defense of a larger area

Disadvantages
  • Larger/heavier missiles required
  • More difficult to transport and emplace than smaller missiles
  • Must handle decoys

History



In the 1950s and 1960s, the term meant defense against strategic (usually nuclear-armed) missiles. The technology mostly centered around detecting offensive launch events and tracking in-bound ballistic missiles, but with limited ability to actually defend against the missile. The Soviet Union achieved the first nonnuclear intercept of a ballistic missile warhead by a missile at the Sary Shagan
Sary Shagan
Sary Shagan is an anti-ballistic missile testing range located in Kazakhstan at coordinates .On 17 August 1956 the Soviet Council of Ministers authorized plans for an experimental facility for missile defense located at Sary Shagan, on the west bank of Lake Balkhash...

 antiballistic missile defense test range on 4 March 1961.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the United States Project Nike
Project Nike
Project Nike was a U.S. Army project, proposed in May 1945 by Bell Laboratories, to develop a line-of-sight anti-aircraft missile system. The project delivered the United States' first operational anti-aircraft missile system, the Nike Ajax, in 1953...

 air defense program focused initially on bombers, then ballistic missiles. In the 1950s, the first United States anti-ballistic missile system was the Nike Hercules, which had a limited ability to intercept incoming ballistic missiles, although not ICBMs. This was followed by Nike Zeus, which using a nuclear warhead could intercept ICBMs. However Nike Zeus had other limitations which prevented it being deployed. In any case, by the early 1960s the Nike Zeus was the first anti-ballistic missile to achieve hit-to-kill (physically colliding with the incoming warhead).

The Zeus missile was enhanced, and the shorter range Sprint missile
Sprint (missile)
The Sprint was a two-stage, solid-fuel anti-ballistic missile, armed with a W66 enhanced radiation thermonuclear warhead. It was designed as the short-range high-speed counterpart to the longer-range LIM-49 Spartan as part of the Sentinel program. Sentinel never became operational, but the...

 was added to the Nike defense system, then called Nike-X. The system included large powerful radars and a computer complex.

Eventually, the Nike-X program was realigned and renamed Sentinel. This program's goal was to protect major U.S. cities from a limited ICBM attack, especially focusing on China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

.
This in turn reduced tensions with the Soviet Union, which retained the offensive capability to overwhelm any U.S. defense.

The Soviet Union deployed the A-35 anti-ballistic missile system
A-35 anti-ballistic missile system
The A-35 anti-ballistic missile system, or A-35 Aldan, was a Soviet military battle management radar complex deployed around Moscow to intercept enemy missiles targeting the city or its surrounding areas. In development since the 1960s and in operation from 1971 until the 1990s, It featured the...

 around Moscow in 1966, which also defended nearby ICBM sites. That system has been upgraded several times and is still operational. The United States announced an ABM
Anti-ballistic missile
An anti-ballistic missile is a missile designed to counter ballistic missiles .A ballistic missile is used to deliver nuclear, chemical, biological or conventional warheads in a ballistic flight trajectory. The term "anti-ballistic missile" describes any antimissile system designed to counter...

 program to protect twelve ICBM sites in 1967.

In 1967, then-Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara stated: "Let me emphasize -- and I cannot do so too strongly -- that our decision to go ahead with a limited ABM deployment in no way indicates that we feel an agreement with the Soviet Union on the limitation of strategic nuclear offensive and defensive forces is in any way less urgent or desirable."

The SALT I talks began in 1969, and led to the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty
Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty
The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty was a treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union on the limitation of the anti-ballistic missile systems used in defending areas against missile-delivered nuclear weapons....

 in 1972, which ultimately limited the U.S. and U.S.S.R. to one defensive missile site each, with no more than 100 missiles per site.

As a result of the treaty and of technical limitations, along with public opposition to nearby nuclear-armed defensive missiles, the U.S. Sentinel program was redesignated the Safeguard Program
Safeguard Program
The Safeguard Program was a United States Army anti-ballistic missile system developed during the late 1960s. Safeguard was designed to protect U.S. ICBM missile sites from counterforce attack, thus preserving the option of an unimpeded retaliatory strike. Safeguard used much of the same technology...

, with the new goal of defending U.S. ICBM sites, not cities. The U.S. Safeguard system was deployed to defend the LGM-30 Minuteman
LGM-30 Minuteman
The LGM-30 Minuteman is a U.S. nuclear missile, a land-based intercontinental ballistic missile . As of 2010, the version LGM-30G Minuteman-III is the only land-based ICBM in service in the United States...

 ICBMs near Grand Forks, North Dakota. It was deactivated in 1976 after being operational for less than four months due to a changing political climate plus concern over limited effectiveness, low strategic value, and high operational cost.

In the early 1980s, technology had matured to consider space based missile defense options. Precision hit-to-kill systems more reliable than the early Nike Zeus were thought possible. With these improvements, the Reagan Administration
Reagan Administration
The United States presidency of Ronald Reagan, also known as the Reagan administration, was a Republican administration headed by Ronald Reagan from January 20, 1981, to January 20, 1989....

 promoted the Strategic Defense Initiative
Strategic Defense Initiative
The Strategic Defense Initiative was proposed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan on March 23, 1983 to use ground and space-based systems to protect the United States from attack by strategic nuclear ballistic missiles. The initiative focused on strategic defense rather than the prior strategic...

, an ambitious plan to provide a comprehensive defense against an all-out ICBM attack. Reagan established the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO), which was later changed to the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization
Ballistic Missile Defense Organization
The Ballistic Missile Defense Organization was an agency of the United States Department of Defense that began on 20 May 1974 with the responsibility for all U.S. ballistic missile defense efforts. It evolved from the SAFEGUARD System Organization. The original mission of BMDO was comparable to...

 (BMDO). In 2002, BMDO's name was changed to its current title, the Missile Defense Agency
Missile Defense Agency
The Missile Defense Agency is the section of the United States government's Department of Defense responsible for developing a layered defense against ballistic missiles. The agency has its origins in the Strategic Defense Initiative, which was established in 1983 and was headed by Lt...

 (MDA). See National Missile Defense
National Missile Defense
National missile defense is a generic term for a type of missile defense intended to shield an entire country against incoming missiles, such as intercontinental ballistic missile or other ballistic missiles. Interception might be by anti-ballistic missiles or directed-energy weapons such as lasers...

 for additional details. In the early 1990s, missile defense expanded to include tactical missile defense, as seen in the first Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

. Although not designed from the outset to intercept tactical missiles, upgrades gave the Patriot
MIM-104 Patriot
The MIM-104 Patriot is a surface-to-air missile system, the primary of its kind used by the United States Army and several allied nations. It is manufactured by the Raytheon Company of the United States. The Patriot System replaced the Nike Hercules system as the U.S. Army's primary High to Medium...

 system a limited missile defense capability. The effectiveness of the Patriot system in disabling or destroying incoming Scud
Scud
Scud is a series of tactical ballistic missiles developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and exported widely to other countries. The term comes from the NATO reporting name SS-1 Scud which was attached to the missile by Western intelligence agencies...

s was the subject of Congressional hearings and reports in 1992.

In the late 1990s, and early 2000s, the issue of defense against cruise missile
Cruise missile
A cruise missile is a guided missile that carries an explosive payload and is propelled, usually by a jet engine, towards a land-based or sea-based target. Cruise missiles are designed to deliver a large warhead over long distances with high accuracy...

s became more prominent with the new Bush Administration
Foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration
During his campaign for election as President of the United States, George W. Bush's foreign policy platform included support for a stronger economic and political relationship with Latin America, especially Mexico, and a reduction of involvement in "nation building" and other small-scale military...

. In 2002, President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 withdrew the US from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty
Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty
The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty was a treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union on the limitation of the anti-ballistic missile systems used in defending areas against missile-delivered nuclear weapons....

, allowing further development and testing of ABMs under the Missile Defense Agency
Missile Defense Agency
The Missile Defense Agency is the section of the United States government's Department of Defense responsible for developing a layered defense against ballistic missiles. The agency has its origins in the Strategic Defense Initiative, which was established in 1983 and was headed by Lt...

, and allowing for deployment of interceptor vehicles beyond the single site allowed under the treaty.

There are still technological hurdles to an effective defense against ballistic missile attack. The United States National Ballistic Missile Defense System has come under scrutiny about its technological feasibility. Intercepting midcourse (rather than launch or reentry stage) ballistic missiles traveling at several miles per second with a "kinetic kill vehicle
Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle
Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle can refer to two related missile defense concepts:* Most common: the Raytheon-manufactured interceptor component with subcontractor Aerojet of the U.S...

" has been characterized as trying to hit a bullet with a bullet. Despite this difficulty, there have been several successful test intercepts and the system was made operational in 2006, while tests and system upgrades continue. Moreover, the warheads or payloads of ballistic missiles can be concealed by a number of different types of decoys. Sensors that track and target warheads aboard the kinetic kill vehicle may have trouble distinguishing the "real" warhead from the decoys, but several tests that have included decoys were successful. Nira Schwartz's and Theodore Postol
Theodore Postol
Theodore A. Postol is a professor of Science, Technology, and International Security at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is a prominent critic of U.S. government statements about missile defense.-Background:...

's criticisms about the technical feasibility of these sensors have led to a continuing investigation of research misconduct and fraud at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.Founded in 1861 in...

.

As of February 2007, the U.S. missile defense system consists of 13 ground-based interceptors at Ft Greely in Alaska, plus two interceptors at Vandenberg AFB, California. The U.S. plans to have 21 interceptor missiles by the end of 2007. The system was initially called National Missile Defense
National Missile Defense
National missile defense is a generic term for a type of missile defense intended to shield an entire country against incoming missiles, such as intercontinental ballistic missile or other ballistic missiles. Interception might be by anti-ballistic missiles or directed-energy weapons such as lasers...

 (NMD), but in 2003 the ground-based component was renamed Ground-Based Midcourse Defense
Ground-Based Midcourse Defense
Ground-Based Midcourse Defense is the United States system for intercepting incoming warheads in space. Currently, it is a major component of the U.S. national missile defense strategy aimed against ballistic missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles...

 (GMD).

Defending against cruise missile
Cruise missile
A cruise missile is a guided missile that carries an explosive payload and is propelled, usually by a jet engine, towards a land-based or sea-based target. Cruise missiles are designed to deliver a large warhead over long distances with high accuracy...

s is similar to defending against hostile, low-flying manned aircraft. As with aircraft defense, countermeasures such as chaff, flares, and low altitude can complicate targeting and missile interception. High-flying radar aircraft such as AWACS can often identify low flying threats by using doppler radar
Doppler radar
A Doppler radar is a specialized radar that makes use of the Doppler effect to produce velocity data about objects at a distance. It does this by beaming a microwave signal towards a desired target and listening for its reflection, then analyzing how the frequency of the returned signal has been...

. Another possible method is using specialized satellites to track these targets. By coupling a target's kinetic inputs with infrared
Infrared
Infrared light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength longer than that of visible light, measured from the nominal edge of visible red light at 0.74 micrometres , and extending conventionally to 300 µm...

 and radar signatures it may be possible to overcome the countermeasures.

In March 2008, the U.S. Congress convened hearings to re-examine the status of missile defense in U.S. military strategy. Upon taking office, President Obama directed a comprehensive review of ballistic missile defense policy and programs. The review's findings related to Europe were announced on 17 September 2009. The full Ballistic Missile Defense Review (BMDR) Report was published in February 2010.

Mechanisms


The Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD) is the senior NATO committee which acts as the tasking authority for the theater missile defense program. The ALTBMD Program Management Organization, which comprises a Steering Committee and a Program Office hosted by the NATO C3 Agency, directs the program and reports to the CNAD.
The focal point for consultation on full-scale missile defense is the Reinforced Executive Working Group. The CNAD is responsible for conducting technical studies and reporting the outcome to the Group.
The NRC Ad hoc Working Group on TMD is the steering body for NATO-Russia cooperation on theater missile defense.

Missile Defense


By early 2010, NATO will have an initial capability to protect Alliance forces against missile threats and is examining options for protecting territory and populations. This is in response to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems, including missiles of all ranges.
The Alliance is conducting three missile defense related activities:

Active Layered Theater Ballistic Missile Defense System capability


Active Layered Theater Ballistic Missile Defense System is "ALTBMD" for short.

By early 2010, the Alliance will have an interim capability to protect troops in a specific area against short-range and medium-range ballistic missiles (up to 3,000 kilometers).

The end system will consist of a multi-layered system of systems, comprising low and high-altitude defenses (also called lower and upper layer defenses), including Battle Management Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (BMC3I), early warning sensors, radar, and various interceptors. NATO member countries will provide the sensors and weapon systems, while NATO will develop the BMC3I segment and facilitate the integration of all these elements.

Missile Defense for the protection of NATO territory


A Missile Defense Feasibility Study was launched after the 2002 Prague Summit. The NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A) and NATO’s Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD) were also involved in negotiations. The study concluded that missile defense is technically feasible, and it provided a technical basis for ongoing political and military discussions regarding the desirability of a NATO missile defense system.

During the 2008 Bucharest Summit, the alliance discussed the technical details as well as the political and military implications of the proposed elements of the US missile defense system in Europe. Allied leaders recognized that the planned deployment of European-based US missile defense assets would help protect many Allies, and agreed that this capability should be an integral part of any future NATO-wide missile defense architecture. However, these opinions are in the process of being reconstructed given the Obama Administration’s decision in 2009 to scrap the missile shield
US missile defense complex in Poland
The US missile defense complex in Poland, also called the European Interceptor Site was part of the Ballistic Missile Defense European Capability of the US, to be placed in Redzikowo, Słupsk, Poland, forming a Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system in conjunction with a US narrow-beam midcourse...

 in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Theater Missile Defense cooperation with Russia


Under the auspices of the NATO-Russia Council, a study was launched in 2003 to assess possible levels of interoperability among in-theater missile defense systems of NATO Allies and Russia.

Together with the interoperability study, several computer-assisted exercises have been held to provide the basis for future improvements to interoperability and to develop mechanisms and procedures for joint operations in the area of in-theater missile defense.

Aegis based system


In order to accelerate the deployment of a missile shield over Europe, Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 sent ships with the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System
Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System
The Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System is a United States Department of Defense Missile Defense Agency program developed to provide defense against ballistic missiles. It is part of the United States national missile defense strategy...

 to European waters, including the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 as needed.

Defense systems and initiatives

  • Arrow missile
  • HQ-9
    HQ-9
    The HQ-9 is China’s new generation medium- to long-range, active radar homing air defence missile.Initially an indigenous design with limited capabilities, the HQ-9 missile has undergone a redesign to incorporate Russian rocket technology after the acquisition of S-300 5V55-series missiles from...

     regional air defence/anti-ballistic missile
  • Iron Dome
    Iron Dome
    Iron Dome is a mobile air defense system in development by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems designed to intercept short-range rockets and artillery shells. The system was created as a defensive countermeasure to the rocket threat against Israel's civilian population on its northern and southern...

  • KS-1 regional air defence missile
  • Medium Extended Air Defense System
    Medium Extended Air Defense System
    Medium Extended Air Defense System is a military project intended to replace the aging Patriot missile system through a NATO-managed development. The USA, Germany and Italy are contributing toward the project...

     (MEADS)
  • MIM-104 Patriot
    MIM-104 Patriot
    The MIM-104 Patriot is a surface-to-air missile system, the primary of its kind used by the United States Army and several allied nations. It is manufactured by the Raytheon Company of the United States. The Patriot System replaced the Nike Hercules system as the U.S. Army's primary High to Medium...

     surface-to-air missile system
  • Hawk
    MIM-23 Hawk
    The Raytheon MIM-23 Hawk is a U.S. medium range surface-to-air missile. The Hawk was initially designed to destroy aircraft and was later adapted to destroy other missiles in flight. The missile entered service in 1960, and a program of extensive upgrades has kept it from becoming obsolete. It was...

     medium range surface-to-air missile
    Surface-to-air missile
    A surface-to-air missile or ground-to-air missile is a missile designed to be launched from the ground to destroy aircraft or other missiles...

     (SAM) system
  • RIM-161 Standard Missile 3
    RIM-161 Standard Missile 3
    The RIM-161 Standard Missile 3 is a ship-based missile system used by the US Navy to intercept short-to intermediate-range ballistic missiles as a part of Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System. Although primarily designed as an anti-ballistic missile, the SM-3 has also been employed in an...

  • Russia
    Russia
    Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

    n A-135 anti-ballistic missile system
    A-135 anti-ballistic missile system
    The A-135 or ABM-3 anti-ballistic missile system is a Russian military complex deployed around Moscow to counter enemy missiles targeting the city or its surrounding areas. It became operational during 1995...

  • S-400 Triumf
  • Strategic Defense Initiative ("Star Wars")
    Strategic Defense Initiative
    The Strategic Defense Initiative was proposed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan on March 23, 1983 to use ground and space-based systems to protect the United States from attack by strategic nuclear ballistic missiles. The initiative focused on strategic defense rather than the prior strategic...

  • Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)
    Terminal High Altitude Area Defense
    Terminal High Altitude Area Defense , formerly Theater High Altitude Area Defense, is a United States Army system to shoot down short, medium, and intermediate ballistic missiles in their terminal phase using a hit-to-kill approach. The missile carries no warhead but relies on the kinetic energy...

  • Vigilant Eagle
    Vigilant Eagle
    The Vigilant Eagle Airport Protection System is a proposed directed-energy weapon under development by the U.S. military under a Defense Department contract with Raytheon...

     Airport surface-to-air missile protection system

See also


  • Anti-satellite weapon
    Anti-satellite weapon
    Anti-satellite weapons are designed to incapacitate or destroy satellites for strategic military purposes. Currently, only the United States, the former Soviet Union, and the People's Republic of China are known to have developed these weapons. On September 13, 1985, the United States destroyed US...

  • Missile Defense Agency
    Missile Defense Agency
    The Missile Defense Agency is the section of the United States government's Department of Defense responsible for developing a layered defense against ballistic missiles. The agency has its origins in the Strategic Defense Initiative, which was established in 1983 and was headed by Lt...

  • National Missile Defense in Canada
    National Missile Defense in Canada
    On 24 February 2005, Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew announced Canada would not be joining the United States' missile defense program.In Canada, there was some level of debate over participation in the U.S. missile defense program. Many Canadians felt that the program would do great...

  • Surface-to-air missile
    Surface-to-air missile
    A surface-to-air missile or ground-to-air missile is a missile designed to be launched from the ground to destroy aircraft or other missiles...



External links