U.S. Department of Defense - Missile Defense Agency

U.S. Department of Defense - Missile Defense Agency

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ELEMENTS

Sea-Based Weapons Systems

Sea-Based Weapon Systems is the naval component of the Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) Missile Defense System (MDS). U.S. Navy destroyers and cruisers equipped with the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system builds upon the Aegis Weapon System, Standard Missile (SM), Navy and joint forces' Command, Control and Communication systems. In recognition of its scalability, Aegis BMD is also a keystone in the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) for missile defense.

Regional Defense – Aegis BMD Engagement Capability

  • Defeats short- to intermediate-range, unitary and separating, midcourse-phase, ballistic missile threats with the SM-3, as well as short-range ballistic missiles in the terminal phase with the SM-6.
  • Flight tests are conducted by fleet warships. Each test increases the operational realism and complexity of targets and scenarios and is witnessed by Navy and Defense Department testing evaluators.
  • In 2020 an Aegis BMD-equipped destroyer successfully intercepted a simple intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)-threat representative target with a SM-3 Block IIA missile, illustrating how the system could be used in a layered missile defense architecture, enhancing U.S. homeland missile defense.

Homeland Defense – Aegis BMD Long Range Surveillance and Track

  • Aegis BMD ships on Ballistic Missile Defense patrol, detect and track ballistic missiles of all ranges — including ICMBs and report track data to the MDS. This capability shares tracking data to cue other missile defense sensors and provides fire control data to Ground-based Midcourse Defense interceptors located at Fort Greely, Alaska; Vandenberg Air Force Base, California; other elements of the MDS including land-based firing units (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, Patriot) and other Navy BMD ships.

Deployment

  • The SM-3 Cooperative Development Program was a joint U.S.-Japan cooperative development of the 21-inch diameter variant of the SM-3, designated SM-3 Block IIA, designed to defeat intermediate-range ballistic missile threats and provide robust regional ballistic missile defense. Deployment will begin in 2021.

International Efforts

  • The SM-3 Cooperative Development Program was a joint U.S.-Japan cooperative development of the 21-inch diameter variant of the SM-3, designated SM-3 Block IIA, designed to defeat intermediate-range ballistic missile threats and provide robust regional ballistic missile defense. Deployment will begin in 2021.
  • Japan has 8 destroyers that have been upgraded with Aegis BMD operational capabilities.
  • The MDA Sea Based Weapons System Program Office conducts regular interaction and maritime allies in the area of missile defense cooperation to include activities ranging from in-service support, testing, studies, and information exchanges.

Aegis Ashore

  • Aegis Ashore is the land-based component of the Aegis BMD system. The deckhouse and launchers – designed to be nearly identical to the version installed aboard U.S. Navy destroyers and cruisers – are equipped with the Aegis BMD weapon system and the SM-3.
  • Aegis Ashore is part of the EPAA. The Aegis Ashore site in Romania was certified operational in 2016 as part of the EPAA Phase II. A second Aegis Ashore site, in Poland, is due to be completed no earlier than fiscal year 2022 and is part of the EPAA Phase III.
  • The Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii, is a test and evaluation center used in the development of Aegis Ashore.

Future Capabilities

  • Engagement of longer range and more complex ballistic missiles
  • Enhanced terminal capability against short and medium range ballistic missiles
  • Increased number of ships and missiles
  • More maritime ally involvement
  • Hypersonic missile defense in all phases of flight