U.S. Department of Defense - Missile Defense Agency

U.S. Department of Defense - Missile Defense Agency

Site Map

The Threat


Ballistic Missile Trends

Countries invest in ballistic missiles because they are a means to project power in regional and strategic contexts, and a capability to launch an attack from a distance.

According to the Intelligence Community, ballistic missile proliferation continues to grow as countries acquire a greater number of ballistic missiles, increasing their range, incorporating BMD countermeasures and making them more complex, survivable, reliable and accurate. Maneuvering threats continue to be developed and fielded in threat countries. The proliferation of ballistic missiles is increasing the number of anti-access weapons available to potential regional adversaries. These weapons could be used to reduce military options for Combatant Commanders and decrease the survivability of regional military assets.

Technological advances are now making hypersonic glide vehicles and missiles flying non-ballistic trajectories practicable.

Countering the Threat

Through its capabilities for defending critical nodes, military assets, and seats of government, missile defense enhances existing non-proliferation activities. Missile defenses can provide a permanent presence in a region and discourage adversaries from believing they can use ballistic missiles to coerce or intimidate the U.S. or its allies.