Making sense of ballistic missile defense : an assessment of concepts and systems for U.S. boost-phase missile defense in comparison to other alternatives / Committee on an Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
- Washington, DC : National Academies Press, 2012.
- Physical Description:
- xiv, 282 : col. ill., col. maps ; 23 cm.
- Additional Creators:
- National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on an Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives
- Summary. -- Introduction. -- U.S. boost-phase defense. -- Alternatives to U.S. boost-phase defense. -- Comparison of utility, maturity, and cost effectiveness. -- Recommended path forward. -- Appendixes.
- Current U.S. policy is to deploy as soon as technologically possible an effective National Missile Defense system capable of defending the territory of the United States against limited ballistic attack, whether accidental, unauthorized, or deliberate. The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) plays a central role in supporting the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) in developing and fielding an integrated, layered, ballistic missile defense system. Ballistic missile defense (BMD) considers engaging threats during the boost phase, the midcourse phase, and the terminal phase of flight. Boost-phase defense encompasses engagements during the time period when the threat booster is still accelerating. The midcourse defense layer can be divided into (1) ascent phase, when the threat system is engaged prior to apogee, and (2) descent phase, when intercept occurs after apogee. The term "early intercept" is sometimes used to describe intercept after boost in the initial portions of the ascent phase of the threat system before apogee. Finally, terminal defense refers to engagements as and after warheads reenter the atmosphere and become subject to drag and reentry heating. The committee examined portions of the current Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, the Aegis, Patriot (PAC-3), and Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) systems currently being fielded, as well as their proposed upgrades and all boostphase missile defense systems that had been considered, including the Airborne Laser (ABL), the Kinetic Energy Interceptor (KEI), and other existing or contemplated boost-phase technology demonstrations (e.g., space-based interceptors and airborne interceptors launched from tactical air platforms). In addition, the committee examined the planned Phased Adaptive Approach (PAA), that is, the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system, with all variants of the standard missile-3 interceptor given its relevance to the non-boost systems identified in the terms of reference.
- Bibliography Note:
- Includes bibliographical references.
- Other Forms:
- Also available online.
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