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Bloomberg News
August 27, 2018
Missiles and Missile Defense Issues

Missile Defense Systems at a Glance

An overview of the basics of missile defense systems, as well as a brief history of U.S. missile defense systems. 

Contact: Kingston Reif, director for disarmament and threat reduction policy, 202-463-8270 x104


Introduction

For nearly as long as there have been offensive weapons systems, there have also been anti-weapons systems. For years, one of the most dangerous threats to a state was ballistic missiles given the blinding speed with which they could deliver some of the world’s most dangerous weapons: nuclear-armed warheads. As such, some states have made a concentrated effort to build defenses against such weapons, known as ballistic missile defenses. However, during the Cold War, as the United States and Soviet Union experimented with and fielded missile defenses, both sides worried such defenses could prompt an uncontrollable arms race.

These concerns led to the conclusion of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, which limited each side to 100 strategic missile defense interceptors at one site. The agreement helped to stabilize relations between the two nuclear superpowers and provided a foundation for further agreements limiting strategic offensive forces. However, the abrogation of the ABM treaty in 2002 by the George W. Bush administration—and the development of more advanced cruise and hypersonic missiles—have led to an uptick in funding to attempt to defend against missiles beyond just ballistic missiles and from countries beyond just Russia.


What are missile defense systems specifically trying to defend against?

The main missile threats that missile defense systems have aimed to defend against have been ballistic missiles, but more recently, greater emphasis has been placed on defending against other types of missiles as well.

Ballistic Missile Basics
(Adapted from “Worldwide Ballistic Missile Inventories”)

Ballistic missiles are powered by rockets initially but then follow an unpowered, parabolic, free-falling trajectory toward their targets. They are classified by the maximum distance that they can travel, which is a function of how powerful the missile’s engines (rockets) are and the weight of the missile’s payload, or warhead. To add more distance to a missile’s range, rockets are stacked on top of each other in a configuration referred to as staging.

There are four general classifications of ballistic missiles:

  • Short-range ballistic missiles, traveling less than 1,000 kilometers (approximately 620 miles);
  • Medium-range ballistic missiles, traveling between 1,000–3,000 kilometers (approximately 620-1,860 miles);
  • Intermediate-range ballistic missiles, traveling between 3,000–5,500 kilometers (approximately 1,860-3,410 miles); and
  • Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), traveling more than 5,500 kilometers.

Short- and medium-range ballistic missiles are referred to as “theatre” ballistic missiles, whereas ICBMs or long-range ballistic missiles are described as “strategic” ballistic missiles.

Missiles are often classified by fuel-type: liquid or solid propellants. Missiles with solid fuel require less maintenance and preparation time than missiles with liquid fuel because solid-propellants have the fuel and oxidizer together, whereas liquid-fueled missiles must keep the two separated until right before deployment.

Thirty-one countries possess ballistic missiles. Of those, only 9 (China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) are known to possess or suspected of possessing nuclear weapons. These 9 states plus Iran have produced or flight-tested missiles with ranges exceeding 1,000 kilometers. China and Russia are the only two states that are not U.S. allies that have a proven capability to launch ballistic missiles from their territories that can strike the continental United States.

Three stages of flight for a ballistic missile:

  1. Boost phase:
    • The boost phase begins at launch and lasts until the rocket engines stop firing and pushing the missile away from Earth.
    • Depending on the missile, it lasts between three and five minutes.
    • Generally, the missile is traveling relatively slowly, although towards the end of this stage, an ICBM can reach speeds of more than 24,000 kilometers per hour. Most of this phase takes place in the atmosphere (endoatmospheric).
  2. Midcourse phase:
    • The midcourse phase begins after the rockets finish firing and when the missile is on a ballistic course toward its target.
    • This is the longest stage of a missile’s flight, lasting up to 20 minutes for ICBMs.
    • During the early part of the midcourse stage, the missile is still ascending toward its apogee, while during the latter part, it is descending toward Earth.
    • During this stage, the missile’s warhead(s), as well as any decoys, separate from the delivery platform, or “bus.” This phase takes place in space (exoatmospheric). The warhead is now called/is on a reentry vehicle (RV).
  3. Terminal phase:
    • The terminal phase begins when the missile’s warhead, or RV, reenters the Earth’s atmosphere (endoatmospheric), and it continues until impact or detonation.
    • This stage takes less than a minute for a strategic warhead, which can be traveling at speeds greater than 3,200 kilometers per hour.

Other Types of Missiles

Generally, U.S. missile defense systems have been designed to defend against ballistic missiles. However, the Trump administration’s 2019 Missile Defense Review most clearly noted that the United States will be looking for ways to defend against non-ballistic missiles.

Cruise missiles and hypersonic missiles are two additional categories of missiles. Unlike ballistic missiles, cruise missiles remain within the atmosphere for the duration of their flight. Cruise missiles are propelled by jet engines and can be launched from land-, air-, or sea-based platforms. Due to their constant propellants, they are more maneuverable than ballistic missiles, though they are also slower than their ballistic counterparts.

Two types of hypersonic missiles are currently under development. A hypersonic boost-glide vehicle (HGV) is fired by rockets into space and then released to fly to its target along the upper atmosphere. Unlike ballistic missiles, a boost-glide vehicle flies at a lower altitude and can change its intended target and trajectory repeatedly during its flight. The second type, a hypersonic cruise missile, is powered through its entire flight by advanced rockets or high-speed jet engines. It is a faster version of existing cruise missiles.


What makes up a missile defense system?

Satellite Sensors and Ground- or Sea-based Radars

Together, space-based satellites and ground- or sea-based radars create a monitoring system that contribute to offensive missile detection (detecting a missile after it has been launched), discrimination (what is a threat versus a decoy or other countermeasures), and tracking (keeping the missile “in sight” so that an interceptor can find it and eliminate the threat).

Interceptors

Interceptors are the missiles used once a threat has been detected. Missiles carry “kill vehicles,” which detach from the missile (also called the boosters or rockets) and then go to try to eliminate the threat. Today’s kill vehicles are “hit-to-kill,” meaning that they aim to eliminate the threat by actually running into it, or “kinetically” (also called a “kinetic kill”). Due to the speed at which the incoming rival missile and interceptors and kill vehicles are traveling, this has metaphorically been compared to “a bullet hitting another bullet.”

Some interceptors are single pieces (which means that they do not separate from their kill vehicles), such as the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3).

In addition, interceptors need launchers. Some interceptors are launched from in-ground silos, road-mobile trucks, or ships. There currently exist no interceptors in space, though the idea has been proposed. These launchers and interceptors can be carried in a “battery,” which can carry up to a cluster of launchers, interceptors with their kill vehicles, radars, and fire control.

Command and Control

All the data that is being processed by the sensors and radars and then sent to the interceptors and kill vehicles are linked through another network of command and control centers. The centers are located around the entire world and involve several different U.S. military branches and commands working together. Command and control centers also tend to utilize “fire control.”

Working Together

The information from the sensors and interceptors routed through command and control work together similar to the image below, laid out by the Union of Concerned Scientists in order to demonstrate the workings of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system.


Other FAQs

Are all missile defense systems currently only for ballistic missile defense?

Not exclusively. While most missile defense systems are developed to focus on the blindingly fast speed and specific trajectory of ballistic missiles, some systems could conceivably counter cruise missiles or other shorter-range targets.

Can a missile defense system intercept a threat on any part of the trajectory?

Not yet. Currently, missile defense systems are only developed and designed to carry out an interception at the mid-course (middle) or terminal (final) stage of a missile’s trajectory, even though a missile is slowest during its boost (beginning) phase. The 2019 Missile Defense Review and Congress have both called for further study of “boost-phase intercept” capabilities, proposing the controversial development of interceptors in space or other emerging capabilities, such as drones or lasers. “Left of launch” capabilities have also been proposed, which would aim to counter a missile threat before it is even launched.

What is the difference between a missile defense system (anti-missile system) and other forms of air defense systems?

Generally, missile defense systems are specifically designed to target very fast and very specific threats. However, some forward-based missile defense systems may be able to carry out missions against air-launched cruise missiles and rival aircraft. However, because other forms of air defense systems, mainly anti-aircraft systems, have such smaller areas of defense, they would be unlikely to counter a threat with the speed of a hypersonic or ballistic missile.

What are some criticisms of missile defense systems?

The U.S. pursuit of effective missile defenses has been accompanied by intense debate about the technical capabilities of the system and realism of testing, the scope of the ballistic missile threat, the deterrence and assurance benefits of the defenses, the cost-effectiveness of shooting down relatively inexpensive offensive missiles with expensive defensive ones, and the repercussions for U.S. strategic stability with Russia and China.

According to the Defense Department’s independent testing office, existing U.S. missile defenses have “demonstrated capability” to defend the U.S. homeland against a small number of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) threats that employ “simple countermeasures.” The testing office assesses that defenses to protect allies and U.S. troops abroad possess only a “limited capability” to defend against small numbers of intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs) and medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs). The capability of defenses against short-range ballistic missiles is labeled as “fair.” Apart from the point-defense Patriot system, no systems in the U.S. BMD arsenal have been used in combat.

Leaders of the U.S. missile defense enterprise have increasingly voiced concerns that the current U.S. approach to national and regional missile defense is unsustainable and that existing defenses must be augmented with emerging capabilities to reduce the cost of missile defense and keep pace with advancing adversary missile threats.


Current and Under Development U.S. Missile Defense Components and Equipment

Homeland “Strategic” Defense Systems

  • Ground-based Midcourse Defense System

Regional “Theater/Tactical” Defense Systems

  • Aegis BMD system
    • Aegis BMD System (Part of the Aegis Combat System, aka Aegis Afloat; Sea-Based BMD)
    • Aegis Ashore (Land-based variant of Afloat)
  • Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)
    • (Emerging) THAAD Extended Range
  • PAC-3

For more detail on current day programs and next generation efforts, visit: “Current U.S. Missile Defense Programs at a Glance.”

Each system has a combination of the previously mentioned sensors, radars, interceptors, kill vehicles, and largely use the networked command and control. The above systems rely on the below equipment and components:

Radars:

Air- and Space-Based Sensors Used:

  • Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS) and Space Tracking and Surveillance System-Demonstrators (STSS-D) constellation operated by the Missile Defense Agency
  • Space-based Kill Assessment (SKA) hosted on commercial satellites
  • Near Field Infrared Experiment (NFIRE) technology project, operated by the Missile Defense Agency
  • Defense Support Program (DSP), constellation of satellites operated by the U.S. Air Force Space Command
  • (Under Development) Space-based Infrared System (SBIRS), constellation of integrated satellites operated by the U.S. Air Force Space Command
    • SBIRS-LEO (Low Earth Orbit), incorporated into the STSS program in 2001 with the Missile Defense Agency
    • (Under Development) SBIRS-GEO (Geosynchronous orbit), intended to replace Defense Support Program (DSP)
    • (Under Development) SBIRS-HEO (High Elliptical orbit), intended to replace DSP

Interceptors:

  • Ground-Based Interceptors (GBI), for the GMD System
  • SM-2
  • SM-3 (RIM-161 Standard Missile-3)
    • 3 variations: Block IA, Block IB, Block IIA
  • SM-6 (RIM 174 Standard Missile-6)
  • (Under Development) Boost Phase Laser Defenses
  • Evolved Seasparrow Missile (ESSM), NATO Interceptor
  • Space-Based Intercept (SBI) Layer

Kill Vehicles:

  • Exo-atmospheric kill vehicle (EKV)
  • (Terminated August 2019) Redesigned kill vehicle (RKV)
  • (Under Development) Multi-Object Kill Vehicle (MOKV)

Command and Control Centers:

For more detail on how the above components fit together in each separate missile defense program and next generation efforts, visit: “Current U.S. Missile Defense Programs at a Glance.”


History of U.S. Missile Defense Systems

Brief History of U.S. Missile Defense Systems

After the end of World War II, U.S. military planners began to weigh the need to be able counter ballistic missile threats before they reached their targets. During the war, German V-2s were particularly concerning, and in 1946, the U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) embarked on the Projects Wizard and Thumper study programs to develop an anti-ballistic missile (ABM).

Recognizing the complexities of what would be a multi-year study, the Air Force focused on Project Wizard as a long-term study. In 1949, the Army began to develop its own Project Plato, the services’ first effort to develop a theatre ABM system. As the Cold War began to ramp up during the 1950s and the Soviet Union continued their ICBM development, the Army and Air Force began to compete for a role in strategic missile defense, which led to the 1957 initiation of the Army’s nuclear-capable Nike Zeus ABM interceptor. The program's high costs and shortcomings spurred criticism of the ABM system concept. Meanwhile, to settle the Air Force and Army dispute over who should pursue the strategic missile defense initiative, then Defense Secretary Neil H. McElroy assigned the mission to the Army and established the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA).

After the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, using the justification that the crisis caused the Soviets to aggressively ramp up their ICBM program, the U.S. military also reoriented its ABM efforts to create an improved system called Nike-X. News also reached the U.S. military that the Soviets were developing their own ABM capabilities. U.S. leaders felt that in order to overcome the Soviet ABM system, they would either need an overwhelming offensive force or arms control agreements—so they resisted calls to deploy the Nike-X ABM system until China conducted its first nuclear test. The Chinese test meant that proponents of the Nike-X ABM system could now argue that a limited ABM deployment which could counter China would be better than a heavy ABM deployment to counter the Soviets. The United States deployed the Nike-X ABM in 1967 and renamed the ABM system the Sentinel. The Navy and Air Force also began to develop their own ABM system concepts.

In 1968, the Johnson administration began to shift the limited mission of the Sentinel system from against China towards a heavier defense mission against a large-scale Soviet attack. Though this may have been done in part to use the system as a “bargaining chip” as the Soviets had just agreed to begin long-sought arms control negotiations, the shift caused debate, confusion, and criticism over the purpose of the controversial Sentinel system.

In 1969, the Nixon administration re-oriented the U.S. ABM system again so that instead of protecting urban areas, it would now be used to protect the nation’s strategic deterrent: the silo-based Minuteman ICBMs. President Nixon renamed the system “Safeguard.” The system was still used as a bargaining chip as the United States and Russia continued with the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, which eventually led to the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

The ABM Treaty initially limited each side’s ABM deployments to only two locations with no more than 100 interceptors total. After a 1974 protocol was negotiated, each side was allowed only one site. The Safeguard site was closed in 1976 because it could be easily overwhelmed by a Soviet attack and because detonation of its nuclear-armed warheads would blind its own radars.

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan launched the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) to revisit the issue of the feasibility of missile defense. The day after his announcement, Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) called the president’s speech “reckless Star Wars Schemes”—a phrase that had previously been used to also reference exotic Pentagon space weaponry projects, but now was the new nickname of SDI. Around this time, the Army had begun working on developing a nonnuclear hit-to-kill interceptor and, in 1984, was able to intercept a dummy warhead outside of the atmosphere in space.

Meanwhile, ARPA’s successor, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), began developing laser and particle beam technologies for application that included ballistic missile defense and space defense. The Reagan administration highlighted that SDI would not jeopardize U.S. compliance with the ABM Treaty because of SDI’s focus at the time was as a research- and development-based project, not deployment. The Department of Defense then chartered the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO) in 1984.

Toward the end of the 1980s, SDI—which had developed a broad and costly space- and ground-based defense concept—reoriented its focus to the “Brilliant Pebbles” (BP) program, which used autonomous, small-scale, space-launched interceptors. In 1990, BP was introduced as an affordable hit-to-kill system that skirted concerns about the exposure of large-scale space systems. However, in light of the fall of the Soviet Union, under the directive of the George H. W. Bush administration, SDI was overhauled to address limited nuclear strikes in 1991. Bush announced a new system, the Global Protection Against Limited Strikes (GPALS).

When President Bill Clinton entered office, he shifted focus on theatre missile defense instead of national missile defense. To reflect this, he canceled the BP program and changed the name of SDIO to the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO). He also broke up the Bush GPALS program into several Army, Navy, and Air Force programs, introducing what is now the PATRIOT Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) program, the Theatre High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, the ship-borne Aegis air defense system and Standard Missile (SM) interceptor, and the Air Force’s Airborne Laser Project. However, during his administration, President Clinton was pressured by Congress to pursue national missile defense that would have consequences for U.S. obligations towards the ABM Treaty. President Clinton signed the 1999 National Missile Defense Act, which made it “the policy of the United States to deploy as soon as is technologically possible an effective National Missile Defense (NMD) system capable of defending the territory of the United States against limited ballistic missile attack.” However, in 2000, President Clinton announced that he would leave the final decision of pursing a national missile defense system to his successor.

In 2001, the new George W. Bush administration announced that it was giving its six-month notice of its withdrawal from the ABM Treaty, which took effect in 2002. Also in 2002, President Bush changed the name of BMDO to the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). The military began to reorient the missile defense program to be an integrated, layered, and nationwide defense system.

The Obama Administration

Upon taking office in 2009, the Obama administration took steps to curtail the Bush administration’s rush to expand the U.S. homeland missile defense footprint and instead place greater emphasis on regional defense, particularly in Europe. The Obama administration decided to alter its predecessor’s plans for missile defense in Europe, announcing Sept. 17, 2009, that the United States would adopt a European “Phased Adaptive Approach” (EPAA) to missile defense. This approach primarily uses the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system to address the threat posed by short- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles from Iran. The Aegis system uses the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) interceptors, which are deployed on Arleigh-Burke class destroyers in the Baltic Sea (Aegis Afloat), as well as on land in Romania and Poland (Aegis Ashore).

President Obama's first Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, also canceled a number of next generation programs, including two designed to intercept missiles during their boost phase, due to “escalating costs, operational problems, and technical challenges.”

However, while continuing to invest in regional defense, the Obama administration also made substantial investments in homeland defense largely in response to North Korea. The Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system comprises missile fields in Ft. Greely, Alaska, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, and is designed to protect the United States against limited, long-range missile strikes from North Korea and Iran. Despite concerns about the system’s technical viability, from 2013 to 2017, the Obama administration expanded the number of ground-based interceptors (GBIs) in these fields from 30 to 44.

The Obama administration also oversaw the deployment of additional regional missile interceptor and sensor capabilities to allies in Northeast Asia in response to North Korea, including the deployment of the THAAD system to Guam and South Korea and two advanced radars to Japan.

To view the history in a timeline form, visit the Union of Concerned Scientists.

For current day programs since the beginning of the Trump administration, visit: “Current U.S. Missile Defense Programs at a Glance.”

Recently Canceled Programs

A number of high-profile missile defense efforts that began during the George W. Bush administration were canceled by President Bush’s last Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, under President Barack Obama. Below is a summary of some of these programs, the reason they were canceled, and the amount of money that was spent to develop them.

PRECISION TRACKING SPACE SYSTEM (PTSS)
[Previously known as Space-based Infrared System-low (SBIRS-low)]

Program Elements

The program was a planned network of 9-12 satellites which were expected to support U.S. missile defense systems by providing tracking data from space on missiles during their entire flight.

Dates of Program

October 2009 – April 2013

Money Spent

More than $230 million

Major Issues

As reported by the LA Times, outside experts found that the satellites would not have been able to detect warheads flying over the arctic. In order to provide continuous tracking of the missiles, MDA would have actually needed at least 24 satellites. An independent cost assessment projected the total cost of the system to be $24 billion over 20 years instead of the $10 billion MDA projected.

AIRBORNE LASER (ABL)

Program Elements

The original program included a modified Boeing 747 plane equipped with a chemical oxygen-iodine laser (COIL) and two tracking lasers. The laser beam would be produced by a chemical reaction. The objective was to shoot down ballistic missiles during their boost phase right after launch, but the system could also be used for other missions.

Dates of Program

November 1996 – February 2012

Money Spent

$5.3 billion

Major Issues

The laser would have had a limited range, which meant the 747 would have been vulnerable to anti-aircraft missiles. To increase the range, the laser would have needed to be 20-30 times more powerful than planned.

KINETIC ENERGY INTERCEPTOR (KEI)

Program Elements

KEI was to be comprised of three powerful boosters and a separating kill vehicle. The booster was expected to travel at least six kilometers per second, which is comparable to an ICBM. The kill vehicle was not designed to carry an explosive warhead but to destroy its target through the force of a collision.

Dates of Program

March 2003 – June 2009

Money Spent

$1.7 billion

Major Issues

In order to carry the KEI, Navy ships would have needed to be retrofitted. The range was not great enough to be land-based.

MULTIPLE KILL VEHICLE (MKV)

Program Elements

The program was designed to launch multiple kill vehicles from a single booster in order to increase the odds of destroying an incoming missile. It was designed to destroy both missiles and decoys.

Dates of Program

January 2004 – April 2009

Money Spent

~$700 million

Major Issues

The program was canceled by the Obama administration in order to focus on “proven, near-term missile defense programs that can provide more immediate defenses of the United States.”

Missile Defense

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The European Phased Adaptive Approach at a Glance

January 2019

Contact: Kingston Reif, Director for Disarmament and Threat Reduction Policy, (202) 463-8270 x104

On September 17, 2009, President Obama announced that the U.S. would pursue a “Phased Adaptive Approach” to missile defense in Europe. The new approach is centered on the Aegis missile defense system and is being deployed in three main phases from 2011 to perhaps 2020. A fourth phase to have been fielded after 2022 was cancelled in March 2013. [For more on this development, please see, "Pentagon Shifts Gears on Missile Defense"]

The European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) is the U.S. contribution to NATO’s missile defense system and is designed to protect Europe against short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles launched from Iran. The approach consists of sea- and land-based configurations of the Aegis missile defense system, the centerpiece of which is the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) interceptor. A new, more capable version of the SM-3 is being developed, and the system will be increasingly integrated with an evolving network of land and space-based sensors. According to the Obama administration, the plan uses technology that is both “proven” and “cost-effective,” and will be able to adapt as threats evolve.

The EPAA broke with the plans pursued by the Bush administration. The Bush plans had called for deployment of a ground-based missile defense system in Europe, similar to the system deployed in California and Alaska. This included bilateral agreements to station ground-based interceptors in Poland and a radar installation in the Czech Republic.

As part of the EPAA, Turkey is hosting a radar at Kürecik, Romania is hosting an Aegis Ashore site at Deveselu Air Base , Germany is hosting a command center at Ramstein Air Base, and Poland will host another Aegis Ashore site at the Redzikowo military base.

Phase 1, consisting of the radar in Turkey, command center in Germany, and deployed ballistic missile defense (BMD)-capable Aegis ship by the U.S. Navy, has been operational since 2012. In May 2016, NATO declared operational the Romania Aegis Ashore site as part of EPAA Phase 2. At NATO’s July 2016 Warsaw summit, NATO declared the Initial Operational Capability (IOC) of the NATO ballistic missile defense system and is progressing towards full operational capability. Phase 3 will see the deployment of the Poland Aegis Ashore system perhaps by FY2020 instead of the original 2018 target. The Missile Defense Agency says the completion of the Poland site has been delayed by at least a year due to contractor performance issues. 

The following chart provides an overview of the different EPAA phases. It contains information on the planned scheduling of the phases, the deployment platforms, missile upgrades and the sensors which will be integrated into the system. More has been disclosed about the earlier phases; some of the specifics of the later phases are still to be determined.

 

Phase 1, Deployed

Missile Platforms and Numbers

      • In March 2011, the USS Monterey was deployed to the Mediterranean Sea. This represented "the first sustained deployment of a ballistic missile defense-capable ship" in support of the European PAA.
      • In fiscal year (FY) 2012, 113 SM-3 Block IA and 16 SM-3 Block IB interceptors were delivered and 29 Aegis-equipped BMD ships deployed.
      • The SM-3 IA successfully intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile target in its most recent test on October 20, 2015.

        SM-3 Variant and Numbers

        • SM-3 Block IA interceptors have a velocity of 3 km/second and are designed to engage short- and medium-range ballistic missiles in the mid-course phase.
        • Block IA has a single-color seeker, a 21 inch-diameter booster, and is 13.5 inches in diameter along the rest of the interceptor.
        • Block IA costs between $9 and 10 million per unit.
        • Some SM-2 Block IVs (the SM-3 predecessor) will also be retained for use against missiles in the terminal phase.

        Sensors and Combat System

        • Initially, the system will use sea-based sensors mounted on the Aegis ships, as well as a forward-based mobile X-band radar on land. The first EPAA radar was deployed in Turkey in late 2011.
        • The mobile X-band radar is the AN/TPY-2 manufactured by Raytheon. The U.S. is planning to deploy a total of 18 AN/TPY-2 radars. So far, seven have been produced, and two are currently deployed in Israel and Japan.
        • In May 2018, the GAO reported a total of seven AN/TPY-2 radars are deployed to support regional defense. Four radars are deployed to Pacific Command (two for use in forward-based mode and two for use in terminal mode), two are deployed to European Command and one is deployed to Central Command.
        • The sensors and interceptors will be brought together under the Aegis combat system. This is a system capable of tracking 100 simultaneous targets. Phase 1 will primarily use Aegis version 3.6.1 software.
        • According to the Defense Science Board (2011), the current Aegis shipboard radar is inadequate to support the EPAA mission, and the future Navy ship-based Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) is needed.
        • U.S. and European BMD systems are integrated for battle management at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany.

         

         

        Phase 2, Operational as of May 2, 2016

        Missile Platforms and Numbers

            • Phase 2 includes interceptors on land in the first "Aegis-Ashore" deployment in Romania. Interceptors have also been mounted on an increasing number of Aegis BMD ships in support of global missions.
            • According to the FY2019 budget submission, by FY2019, the U.S. Navy plans to have 41 Aegis BMD ships, and 57 by FY2023.
            • The first "Aegis-Ashore" site in Romania is equipped with one land-based Aegis SPY-1 radar and 24 SM-3 missiles.
            • Phase 2 achieved a Technical Capability Declaration in 2015, meaning that the site transitioned from the construction to integration phase. In May 2016, NATO declared the Romania Aegis Ashore site operational. NATO declared the IOC of the system in July 2016. 

              SM-3 Variant and Numbers

              • Phase 2 included the SM-3 Block IB variant, also with a velocity of 3 km/sec. This interceptor differs from the Block IA in its "seeker" technology, consisting of a two color seeker, or "kill warhead," and improved optics.
              • The SM-3 Block IB missiles are placed in the MK-41 launcher.
              • According to the FY2017 budget submission, the inventory of SM-3 Block IB interceptors stood at 92 in 2016, with 128 planned for FY17. By FY21, the MDA is planning an inventory of 271 Block IB interceptors.
              • The Block IB is estimated to cost between $12 and 15 million per interceptor.

              Sensors and Combat Systems

              • In Phase 2, sensors were integrated with updated versions of the Aegis combat system. BMD ships carry versions 3.6.1, 4.0.1, and 5.0. 

               

              Phase 3, Planned Deployment Date: ~2020

              Missile Platforms and Numbers

                • Phase 3 will see the introduction of the second “Aegis-Ashore” site in Poland with another SPY-1 radar and 24 SM-3 missiles. This will supplement the deployments at sea and in Romania and will extend coverage over a greater percentage of Europe.

                SM-3 Variant and Numbers

                • Phase 3 will include the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor. This new variant will be faster than Block I (4.5 km/sec vs. 3 km/sec.), with a 21 inch diameter for the whole length of the missile allowing for more fuel and hence a more powerful motor. This will give the system an “enhanced” capability to address intermediate-range ballistic missiles and potentially a “limited” capability to address intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
                  • The first intercept test of the new SM-3 IIA interceptor occurred in February 2017 and was successful. However, the second and third intercept tests of the missile in June 2017 and January 2018 failed to destroy their targets. There were two more tests before the end of 2018 on Oct. 26 and Dec.11, both successful, with the December test particularly notable for being the first successful intercept of an IRBM target and using the ability to "engage on remote" using a forward-based sensor. 
                  • Four Block IIAs are planned for delivery in FY2018, with an additional 27 planned for FY2021.

                Sensors and Combat Systems

                  • In Phase 3, the United States will deploy both the Airborne Infrared (ABIR) sensor platform, a system designed to track significantly larger numbers of incoming missiles, with the goal of being able to track “hundreds” of missiles simultaneously. 
                  • Aegis BMD ships are scheduled to be equipped with version 5.1 of the combat system software in this time-frame.
                  • Phase 3 of the EPAA is scheduled to include an “engage on remote” capability for Aegis interceptors to conduct operations based entirely on off-board radar information, thereby expanding the range of the Aegis systems. In this capability, the interceptor can be both launched and guided to intercept by sensors remote from the launching ship.

                     

                    Phase 4, Cancelled March 2013

                    Missile Platforms and Numbers

                      • The platforms supporting the SM-3 interceptors under Phase 4 would have remained the same as those deployed under Phase 3 – sea-based platforms and the “Aegis-Ashore” deployments in Romania and Poland.

                      SM-3 Variant and Numbers

                      • The SM-3 Block IIB; planned numbers unknown. Was planned to have an improved seeker and a higher performance booster, with a velocity of 5-5.5 km/sec. Was expected to marginally improve the Block IIA’s “limited” capability to counter ICBMs.
                      • According to the Defense Science Board (2011), the SM-3 IIB's planned mission to intercept targets prior to the deployment of multiple warheads or penetration aids – known as "early intercept" – requires "Herculean effort and is not realistically achievable, even under the most optimistic set of deployment, sensor capability, and missile technology assumptions.”
                      • The Block IIB was in the conceptual stage.

                       

                      Missile Defense

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                      Current U.S. Missile Defense Programs at a Glance

                      An overview of the current U.S. approach to national and regional missile defense, its costs, and sustainability.

                      For more information on the European system, see European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) at a Glance and for the Asia-Pacific Region, see U.S. and Allied Ballistic Missile Defenses in the Asia-Pacific Region.

                      Contact: Kingston Reif, director for disarmament and threat reduction policy, 202-463-8270 x104


                      Executive Summary

                      Two Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptors are launched during a successful intercept test. (Photo: US Missile Defense Agency Flickr)

                      According to Missile Defense Agency (MDA) estimates, Congress has appropriated over $200 billion for the agency’s programs between fiscal years 1985 and 2019. That total does not include spending by the military services on programs such as the Patriot system or the many additional tens of billions of dollars spent since work on anti-missile systems first began in the 1950s.

                      For nearly two decades, U.S. ballistic missile defense (BMD) policy has sought to protect the homeland against limited long-range missile strikes from states such as Iran and North Korea, but not major nuclear powers like Russia and China as that mission would pose significant technical, financial, and geopolitical challenges. The United States has also pursued programs to defend U.S. troops and facilities abroad, as well as some close allies, from attacks by ballistic missiles—and to a much lesser extent cruise missiles.

                      The overall U.S. missile defense effort enjoys strong bipartisan support in Congress. Additionally, many U.S. allies place a high value on missile defense cooperation with the United States.

                      However, the U.S. pursuit of effective missile defenses has been accompanied by intense debate about the technical capabilities of the system and realism of testing, the scope of the ballistic missile threat, the deterrence and assurance benefits of defenses, the cost-effectiveness of shooting down relatively inexpensive offensive missiles with expensive defensive ones, and the repercussions for U.S. strategic stability with Russia and China.

                      According to the Defense Department’s independent testing office, existing U.S. missile defenses have "demonstrated capability" to defend the U.S. homeland against a small number of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) threats that employ "simple countermeasures." The testing office assesses that defenses to protect allies and U.S. troops deployed abroad possess only a “limited capability” to defend against small numbers of intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs) and medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs). The capability of defenses against short-range ballistic missiles is labeled as “fair.” Apart from the point-defense Patriot system, no systems in the U.S. BMD arsenal have been used in combat.

                      Leaders of the U.S. missile defense enterprise have increasingly voiced concerns that the current U.S. approach to national and regional missile defense is unsustainable and that existing defenses must be augmented with emerging capabilities to reduce the cost of missile defense and keep pace with advancing adversary missile threats.

                      The Trump Administration

                      In May 2017, pursuant to direction from President Donald Trump and Congress, then Defense Secretary James Mattis formally announced the beginning of the department’s Ballistic Missile Defense Review, which is taking a wide-ranging look at missile defense policy and strategy. The review was finally released in February 2019, one year after its original completion target.

                      Broadly, the review proposes to expand the role and scope of U.S. missile defenses by focusing not only on ballistic missiles, but also other types of missile threats, such as regional cruise and hypersonic missiles. It also proposes placing greater emphasis on the importance of space and new technologies to intercept missiles during their boost phase when they are traveling at their slowest. The review also calls for integrating offensive attack operations more closely with missile defenses and to supplement the defense of the U.S. homeland with the Aegis Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA interceptor.

                      The review also re-affirmed previously announced plans by the Trump administration to arm unarmed aerial vehicles with lasers to zap long-range missiles during their boost phase, expand the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system from 44 to 64 interceptors by 2023 (though this plan has since been indefinitely delayed), focus on “left of launch” capabilities to destroy a missile threat before it launches, and field a space-sensor layer to provide birth-to-death tracking of ballistic missiles and hypersonic glide vehicles. The review also called for 11 follow-up studies, which are detailed in the below section, The 2019 Missile Defense Review To-Do List.

                      Since President Trump’s inauguration, the administration has vowed to expand national and regional missile defense systems of every kind, and Congress has supported these efforts. In fiscal year 2018, Congress approved $11.5 billion for the Missile Defense Agency, an increase of $3.6 billion, or 46 percent, from the Trump administration’s May 2017 initial budget request. The appropriation is the largest Congress has ever provided for the agency after adjusting for inflation. 

                      Congress approved another big increase for fiscal year 2019, approving $10.3 billion for the agency, an increase of $1.4 billion above the budget request of $9.9 billion.

                      Notably, the fiscal year 2020 request seeks $380 million over the next five years to develop and test by 2023 a prototype space-based laser weapon to destroy ICBMs during their boost and midcourse phases of flight.

                      For ballistic missile and missile defense basics, as well as the historical background of missile defense programs, please visit “Missiles and Missile Defense Systems at a Glance.”


                      Elements of the Current U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense System

                      The following charts provides a brief look at some of the major missile defense programs maintained by the United States. It contains information on what type of ballistic missile each defense would be intended to counter and at which stage of the enemy missile’s flight an attempted intercept would take place. Also included are the Pentagon’s estimates on when each defense may have an initial, rudimentary capability, as well as when it could be fully operational. For basics about missiles, missile defense systems and their various components, or the general history of the U.S. missile defense system and recently cancelled programs, visit the “Missile Defense Systems at a Glance” fact sheet.

                      GROUND-BASED MIDCOURSE DEFENSE

                      Program & Key Elements

                      • Key element: Ground-based missile interceptor (GBI) consisting of a multistage booster and an exoatmospheric kill vehicle (EKV).
                      • The EKV separates from the booster in space and seeks out its target through radar updates and use of its onboard visual and infrared sensors.
                      • The EKV destroys its target by colliding with it. This process is referred to as "hit-to-kill" or "kinetic kill."

                      Designed to Counter

                      • Goal: Intercept strategic ballistic missile warheads in midcourse-stage.

                      Status

                      • Initially fielded in 2004.
                      • As of the end of 2018, the total cost of the GMD system is estimated to be over $67 billion.
                      • MDA claims that the system has had 11 successful intercepts in 19 tests. 
                      • The first test of the GMD system against an ICBM-class target with simple countermeasures took place on May 30, 2017, and was deemed successful.
                      • The first test which involved firing two interceptors against one ICBM target occurred in March 2019 and was deemed “successful.” In a real-world scenario, multiple interceptors would be fired at an incoming missile.

                      Capability / Schedule

                      • As of April 2018, the Pentagon deploys 44 ground-based interceptors (GBIs)–40 at Fort Greely, Alaska, and four at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Twenty of the 40 interceptors deployed in Alaska are armed with an older CE-1 kill vehicle that has not had a successful flight intercept test since 2008. In 2017, the Trump administration announced its plan to deploy twenty more GBIs to be installed in a fourth missile field in Ft. Greely beginning in the FY 2021 timeframe. According to the Missile Defense Review, all 64 interceptors would be ready by 2023. These interceptors will be armed with the new, under-development Redesigned Kill Vehicle (RKV), which is intended to enhance the performance of the current EKV. But the RKV has been plagued by reliability and design problems, which led to the Pentagon stopping work on the program in May 2019 and, after a short review, terminating the program in August. The new timeline for expanding the GMD system to 64 interceptors is uncertain.
                      • The interceptors are supported by land- and sea-based radars. Early Warning Radar units are being upgraded to support the system. As of June 2018, upgrades have been carried out at Beale Air Force Base, California and at Fylingdales, the United Kingdom, as well as Thule Air Force Base, Greenland and Clear, Alaska. The less powerful, westward-facing COBRA Dane radar on Shemya Island, in the Aleutian archipelago, was also upgraded in February 2010.
                      • Former MDA Director Adm. James Syring told a Senate panel in 2013 that the MDA tests the GMD system “in a controlled, scripted environment based on the amount of time and money each one of these tests costs.” This means there are limits to the realism of the test scenarios.
                      • Following the May 30, 2017, test, the Pentagon's testing office updated its assessment, which had described the GMD system as having only a “limited capability" to defend the U.S. homeland from a small number of simple long-range missiles launched from North Korea or Iran. In a June 6, 2017, memo, the office said that the system has "demonstrated capability" to defend against a small number of long-range missiles threats that employ "simple countermeasures." However, researchers with the Union of Concerned Scientists noted in a 2017 report that the only test of the GMD system against an ICBM-class target was “simplified in important ways that enhanced the test’s chance of success instead of challenging the system to work in a realistic way.”

                      AEGIS BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENSE (BMD)

                      Program & Key Elements

                      • Key elements include: the RIM-161 Standard Missile-3 (SM-3), RIM-174 Standard Missile-6 (SM-6), and the Aegis combat system.
                      • The SM-3 is a hit-to-kill missile comprised of a three-stage booster with a kill vehicle. There are three variations of the SM-3 missile: Block IA, Block IB, and Block IIA. Each variation will be deployed in different phases.
                      • The SM-6 is a hit-to-kill missile based on the SM-3 but offers extended range and firepower against cruise missile targets deep inland.
                      • As the Navy’s component of the missile defense system, the Aegis system is central to the defense footprint in Asia and the Phased Adaptive Approach to missile defense in Europe. Aegis is a sea-based system, with missile launchers and radars mounted on cruisers and destroyers but is adaptable to land systems as well.

                      Designed to Counter

                      • Geared toward defending against short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles during their midcourse phase with an emphasis on the ascent stage.

                      Status

                      • In 2005, the role of Aegis missile defense evolved from that of a forward sensor to include engagement capability.
                      • As of April 2019, the SM-3 has a test record of 40 intercepts in 49 attempts, comprising both the SM-3 and SM-6 missiles. 
                      • Japan’s four KONGO Class Destroyers have been upgraded with BMD capabilities. Japan and the United States are co-developing the SM-3 block IIA.

                      Capability / Schedule

                      • Under the fiscal year 2020 budget submission, by the end of fiscal year 2018, there are scheduled to be 39 Aegis BMD ships, and by the end of fiscal year 2024, there are scheduled to be 59 Aegis BMD ships.
                      • As of October 2017, thirty-three ships are currently deployed. Of these, 17 are assigned to the Pacific Fleet and 16 to the Atlantic Fleet.
                      • A land-based SM-3 block IB deployment occurred in Romania in 2016, and that same year, ground was broken in Poland on a site to house land-based SM-3 IIAs. The Polish site was originally scheduled to become operational in 2018 but has been delayed until 2020.
                      • The first intercept test of the new SM-3 IIA interceptor occurred in February 2017 and was successful. However, the second and third intercept tests of the missile in June 2017 and January 2018 failed to destroy their targets. There were two more tests before the end of 2018 on Oct. 26 and Dec. 11, both successful, with the December test particularly notable for being the first successful intercept of an IRBM target and using the ability to "engage on remote" using a forward-based sensor.
                      • The 2019 Missile Defense Review reaffirmed administration plans to test the SM-3 Block IIA missile interceptor against an ICBM-class target by 2020.

                      TERMINAL HIGH ALTITUDE AREA DEFENSE (THAAD)

                      Program & Key Elements

                      • Key elements include: 1) an interceptor missile comprising a single rocket booster with a separating kill-vehicle, 2) an advanced AN/TPY-2 radar unit to identify and discriminate between incoming missiles, and 3) an infrared seeker to home in on its target.
                      • The THAAD kill vehicle relies on hit-to-kill kinetic interception.
                      • THAAD batteries have four components: launcher, interceptors, radar, and fire control. Each battery can carry 48-72 interceptors (there are eight interceptors per launcher and typically each battery is believed to contain six to nine launch vehicles).
                      • THAAD missiles are fired from a truck-mounted launcher.

                      Designed to Counter

                      • THAAD’s mission is to intercept short- and medium-range ballistic missiles at the end of their midcourse stage and in the terminal stage.
                      • Intercepts could take place inside or outside the atmosphere.

                      Status

                      • As of April 2019, THAAD has succeeded in completing 15 interceptions in 15 tests since 2006. Four other THAAD tests, as of April 2019, have been classed as “no-tests.” (Note: A “no-test” occurs when the target malfunctions after launch so the interceptor is not launched.)
                      • On July 11, 2017, MDA executed a successful intercept test of the THAAD system against an air-launched intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) target. The test was the first against an IRBM-class target.

                      Capability / Schedule

                      • The U.S. Army operates seven THAAD batteries, each with its own AN/TPY-2 radar. Three batteries, each comprising six launchers, are deployed in the Pacific: one in South Korea, one in Guam, and one in Hawaii.
                      • Production of the first THAAD interceptors began in March 2011. The Army received its 200th operational interceptor in August 2018.
                      • MDA is exploring development of an upgraded version of THAAD known as THAAD extended range, which is designed to counter ultrafast gliding weapons.
                      • The U.S. and South Korea decided in July 2016 to deploy a THAAD battery in South Korea to counter North Korean threats despite strong objections from China. The battery began operating in April 2017.
                      • A THAAD battery was deployed to Guam in 2013 to counter potential North Korea IRBM threats to the island and U.S. military assets there. The first test of the THAAD system against an IRBM target occurred in July 2017.

                      PATRIOT ADVANCED CAPABILITY-3 (PAC-3)

                      Program & Key Elements

                      • Key elements include: a one-piece, hit-to-kill missile interceptor fired from a mobile launching station, which carries 16 PAC-3 missiles.
                      • The missile is guided by an independent radar that sends its tracking data to the missile through a mobile engagement control station.
                      • A blast fragmentation warhead kills the target.

                      Designed to Counter

                      • PAC-3 is designed to defend against short- and medium-range ballistic missiles in their terminal stage at lower altitudes than the THAAD system.

                      Status

                      • PAC-3s destroyed two Iraqi short-range ballistic missiles during the 2003 conflict and shot down a U.S. fighter jet. Earlier Patriot models also deployed to the region shot down nine Iraqi missiles and a British combat aircraft.

                      Capability / Schedule

                      • PAC-3 is now considered operational and has been deployed to several countries including Bahrain, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, and the UAE.

                      The following is an overview of an early warning system to complement the missile defense systems listed above.

                      SPACE-BASED INFRARED SYSTEM-HIGH (SBIRS-HIGH)

                      Program Elements

                      • Key Elements: 1) geosynchronous (GEO) satellites orbiting the earth; 2) sensors on host satellites in highly elliptical earth orbit (HEO).

                      Dates Operational

                      • Primary objective is to provide early warning of theater and strategic missile launches.
                      • Provides data for technical intelligence and battle space awareness.

                      Cost

                      • Currently there are three SBIRS sensors mounted on host satellites in highly elliptical orbit (HEO-1, HEO-2, and HEO-3).
                      • There are four SBIRS satellites in geosynchronous orbit. GEO-1 was launched in May 2011, GEO-2 in March 2013, GEO-3 in January 2017, and GEO-4 in January 2018.
                      • As of March 2018, the program is projected to cost $19.6 billion for six satellites—four times greater than its initial estimated $5 billion for five satellites.

                      Major Issues

                      • The first sensor in highly elliptical orbit—HEO-1—was certified for operations by U.S. Strategic Command in December 2008.
                      • The most recent sensor, GEO-4, was launched aboard an Atlas V rocket on January 19, 2018.
                      • Lockheed Martin is under contract to produce GEO-5 and GEO-6, which will be launched in 2021 and 2022, respectively.
                      • SBIRS originally called for two additional sensors, GEO-7 and GEO-8, but these were scrapped in favor of pursuing an entirely new SBIRS follow-on program. The successor program has yet to be identified or developed. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson (who resigned in May 2019) suggested the new system will be "simpler" and more survivable to enemy attacks.

                      The 2019 Missile Defense Review To-Do List

                      The 2019 Missile Defense Review identified 11 issues that needed “follow-up” analysis to make a policy direction determination, which were scheduled to be completed within six months after the January 2019 review release date.

                      Homeland Cruise Missile Defense

                      Designating a service or defense agency with acquisition authority—by using the existing requirements-generation process—to find ways to defend the homeland against offensive cruise missiles.

                      Worldwide THAAD Number Requirements

                      The Army, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and MDA will prepare a report that assesses the number of THAAD battery requirements needed to support worldwide deployments.

                      Aegis Destroyers Fully-BMD Capable Timeline

                      The Navy and MDA must deliver a report on how the entire fleet of Aegis destroyers can be converted to become fully capable against incoming missiles, including ballistic missiles, within 10 years.

                      Homeland Missile Tracking and Discrimination

                      MDA and Northern Command must prepare a plan to “accelerate efforts to enhance missile defense tracking and discrimination sensors, to include addressing advanced missile threats,” particularly focused on the homeland.

                      F-35 Missile Defense

                      The Air Force and MDA are on the hook for a joint report on how best to integrate the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, including its sensor suite, into America’s missile defense networks for both regional and homeland defense. The MDR posits that the F-35 could eventually be used to take out ballistic missiles during their boost phase, which experts have said is unlikely to be technically feasible.

                      Aegis Ashore Test Center in Hawaii

                      The Department of Defense is looking at the potential to operationalize the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Center location in Hawaii into a full-up missile defense site to counter potential missile launches from North Korea. MDA and the Navy will evaluate the option and develop a plan that could operationalize the location within 30 days, if needed.

                       

                      Study on Space-based Intercept Layer

                      MDA will study development and fielding of a space-based missile intercept layer capable of boost-phase defense, including the most promising technologies, estimated schedules, cost, and personnel requirements.

                       

                      More Efficient Acquisition and Development

                      A big point of emphasis from officials talking about the MDR is that they believe the acquisition and development of new technologies can and will go faster. To that end, the review calls for reviews of the current Warfighter Involvement Process, which determines missile defense requirements, in order to make sure commanders who will use the systems are involved early in the process of developing the systems and requirements.

                       

                      Transregional Defense Integration

                      While the Pentagon divides the world into regional areas of responsibility, the nations capable of threatening American assets or allies with missiles do not necessarily. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the head of U.S. Strategic Command are therefore ordered to come up with a plan for “optimal roles, responsibilities, and authorities for achieving greater transregional missile defense integration.”

                      Left of Launch

                      Another requirement from the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act is for the designation of an office with acquisition authority specific to pre-launch attack operations—that is, someone who leads procurement of new technologies designed to destroy an enemy missile before it can take off. That agency must be identified within six months; after that happens, a larger review will begin to examine roles and responsibilities for updating operational doctrine in terms of left-of-launch strikes.

                       

                      Hypersonic and Cruise Missile Homeland Warning

                      And for a change of pace, the Pentagon will have nine months to research improvements for timely warnings on hypersonic and advanced cruise missiles launched at the U.S. homeland. At the completion of the study, the Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation will initiate an analysis of alternatives for materiel solutions to provide early warning and attack assessment against these advanced threats and their integration into the nuclear command-and-control architecture.

                       


                      Next Generation Efforts

                      The Missile Defense Agency is focusing its newest efforts to ensure the system stays ahead of developing foreign missile threats (see the below chart). Some of the advanced anti-missile technologies the Defense Department is pursuing, such as airborne lasers to zap missiles in the early stages of their flight, have been unsuccessfully pursued in the past.

                      Multi-Object Kill Vehicle

                      Three defense contractors (Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon) have been awarded contracts to develop concepts to deploy multiple kill vehicles from one booster in order to destroy decoys and multiple warheads ejected from ICBMs. MDA had planned to begin fielding that kill vehicle in 2025, but the future of this effort is uncertain.

                      Boost Phase Laser Defenses

                      MDA is recommitting to research to determine how to develop laser beams that could destroy missiles in their boost phase. Inspired by the ABL program, the vision for the new system is to mate a powerful solid-state laser to drones. MDA aims to develop a laser demonstrator by 2020 or 2021 and a deployed capability by 2025. The MDR also called for a review of developing a new weapon for the F-35 fighter jet which could intercept an intercontinental ballistic missile its in boost-phase.

                      Left of Launch

                      Left of launch is a proposed strategy that would be designed to counter missile threats before the missile is launched so as to reduce the need for expensive anti-missile interceptors to attempt to shoot down the missile. Tactically, the strategy would likely include the of cyber-attacks and electronic warfare to achieve this goal. Despite much speculation in the press about the U.S. ability to hack North Korean missile tests, the data shows that North Korea’s missile tests are succeeding at a high rate and that the failures are concentrated in new systems that had not been previously tested. The 2019 MDR reaffirmed the Trump administration’s plans to continue with this strategy

                      Space-Based Sensor Layer

                      In August 2018, then MDA Director Samuel Greaves described what the agency envisages for a future more comprehensive space sensor layer. Such a layer could look like the Air Force’s Overhead Persistent Infrared Global Scanning system and could have a regional detection and tracking capability staring down at Earth that could go after targets that are currently harder to detect or in low earth orbit, such as hypersonic missiles, and could catch missiles in the boost or burnout phases of flight. The sensor could also cover the midcourse portion of a missile’s flight by looking against the background of space and discriminate, track, and eventually send data directly to the ballistic missile defense weapon system for fire control. Finally, the sensor could also record towards the end of a missile’s trajectory whether an intercept against a target occurred or was missed.

                      Space-Based Interceptor Layer

                       

                      According to the 2019 MDR, “Given the significant advantages of space-basing for sensors, and potentially interceptors, particularly for boost-phase defense, MDA will study development and fielding of a space-based missile intercept layer capable of boost-phase defense and provide a report to USDR&E, and USDP within six months after the release of the MDR.”

                      The fiscal year 2020 White House budget requested $15 million for the new Space Development Agency to “develop a government reference architecture for a space-based kinetic interceptor layer for boost-phase defense.” It also requested $34 million for the 2020 fiscal year to develop and test by 2023 a prototype space-based directed-energy (laser) weapon for ICBMs during their boost phase. Over the course of five years, the program is expected to cost $380 million.


                      Congressional Proposals

                      In recent years, Congress has sought to encourage the expansion of the U.S. ballistic missile defense effort in the face of advancing adversary ballistic missile capabilities. These initiatives, which are summarized below, have been met with strong resistance from the administration.

                      A Third National Missile Defense Site on the U.S. East Coast

                      In the fiscal year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress required the Defense Department to conduct a study to evaluate at least three possible new long-range interceptor sites that could augment the GMD system, including at least two on the East Coast. The Defense Department announced in May 2016 that it completed a draft study of three possible locations in the eastern United States for a new ballistic missile defense interceptor site, but said it had no plans to actually build such a site. The three sites are: Ft. Drum, New York; Camp Ravenna, Ohio; or Ft. Custer, Michigan. The draft environmental impact statement, which was posted on the MDA website May 31, 2016, said that the Defense Department “does not propose and has not made a decision to deploy or construct an additional interceptor site.”

                      The Trump administration missile defense review noted the benefits of a new third GBI interceptor site in the eastern United States and noted that the Defense Department has already prepared an Environmental Impact Statement evaluating locations. Though the administration declined to name a third missile defense site on the East Coast in that review, on June 26 the Defense Department sent a letter to Rep. Eliste Stephanik (R-N.Y.) announcing that Fort Drum, in her district, was selected as the third missile defense site, but that there was “no intent to develop one” because of a study earlier this year noting its cost due to environmental challenges.

                      Revising the 1999 National Missile Defense Act

                      The FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act revised the 1999 National Missile Defense Act to remove the world “limited,” and the 2018 NDAA authorized expansions in the national missile defense program. Proponents of the change argue that the 1999 legislation has prevented the Defense Department from adequately planning for the protection of the U.S. homeland from the full spectrum of ballistic missiles threats, including threats posed by Russia and China. The Obama administration strongly objected to the change, stating that the word “limited” is specifically intended to convey that the U.S. homeland missile defense system is designed and deployed to counter limited attacks (in number and sophistication) from Iran and North Korea, and not to counter the strategic deterrence forces of Russia and China.

                      Missile Defense

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                      U.S. and Allied Ballistic Missile Defenses in the Asia-Pacific Region

                      January 2019

                      Contact: Kingston ReifDirector for Disarmament and Threat Reduction Policy, (202) 463-8270 x104

                      Contents

                      U.S. Asia-Pacific Regional Defenses

                      • Aegis BMD Systems at Sea
                      • Program Overview/Elements
                      • Status
                      • Current Developments

                      Hawaii

                      • Sea-Based X Band Radar (SBX)
                      • Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex (AAMDTC) (potential)
                      • Homeland Defense Radar- Hawaii (HDR-H) (planned)

                      Guam

                      • Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)

                      South Korea

                      • Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)
                      • Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3)
                      • Aegis ships
                      • Korean Air and Missile Defense (KAMD)

                      Japan

                      • Aegis BMD ships (U.S. operated)
                      • Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) (U.S. operated)
                      • AN/TPY-2 Radar
                      • Aegis BMD ships (Japan operated)
                      • Aegis Ashore
                      • Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) (Japan operated)
                      • Early Warning Radar

                      Australia

                      • Early Warning Radar/Satellite Stations
                      • Jindalee Operational Radar Network
                      • Aegis BMD ships

                      US Asia-Pacific Regional Defenses:

                      Aegis BMD Systems at Sea

                      The Aegis system is deployed on 17 U.S. Navy destroyers and cruisers in the region that conduct ballistic missile tracking, targeting, and engagement capability. These Aegis BMD ships can engage short-(SRBMs), medium- (MRBMs), and intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs) in either the midcourse or terminal phase of flight. They can also contributed to the defense of the U.S. homeland by detecting and tracking of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and sending this data to Ground-Based Interceptors (GBIs) based in Alaska and California to engage.

                      Program Overview/Elements:

                      • Aegis provides defenses against regional ballistic missile threats and can also contribute to homeland defense through continuous long-range surveillance and tracking of ICBMs.
                      • All deployed Aegis BMD-capable ships are equipped with either SM-3 Block IA (first-generation) or Block IB (second-generation) missile interceptors for engaging missiles in the midcourse phase—that is, while it is in space.
                      • In addition, Aegis ships can use SM-2 and SM-6 missiles to engage SRBM targets inside the atmosphere in the terminal phase using explosive warheads rather than the kinetic hit-to-kill vehicles used by the SM-3.
                      • Aegis BMD ships carry the AN/SPY-1 radar, a phased-array S-band radar system, for detection and tracking of ballistic missiles.
                      • As of December 2018, the system has a record of 40 successful intercepts in 49 attempts against ballistic missile targets.

                      Status:

                      • As of 2016, there are 33 Aegis BMD-capable U.S. navy ships deployed around the world, with 17 of those assigned to the Pacific Fleet. Two additional Aegis ships are being repaired as of early 2018.
                      • Of these 17 Pacific Fleet BMD ships: 8 are homeported in San Diego, CA; four in Pearl Harbor, HI; and five in Yokosuka, Japan.

                      Current Developments:

                      • In its FY 2019 budget request, MDA projected having 57 Aegis BMD-capable ships and 560 SM-3 interceptors—including 48 Block IIA interceptors—deployed by FY 2023. MDA also projected a total deployment of 41 Aegis BMD-capable ships by the end of 2019.
                      • Along with Japan, the Pentagon is developing the SM-3 Block IIA missile, a 21-inch diameter variant of the SM-3 with an extended range and higher velocity than the current SM-3 interceptors.
                        • Set for deployment beginning in 2018 on U.S. Navy and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force Aegis capable ships.
                        • The first intercept test of the new SM-3 IIA interceptor occurred in February 2017 and was successful. However, the second and third intercept tests of the missile in June 2017 and January 2018 failed to destroy their targets. The third and fourth tests in October and December of 2018 were successful, and notably the December 2018 test was the first time the interceptor intercepted an IRBM-class target and "engage on remote" using a forward-based sensor. 
                      • The AN/SPY-6 radar (also known as AMDR) is being developed as a replacement to the AN/SPY-1. Once complete, the AN/SPY-6 will be able to detect thirty times as many targets that are “half the size, at twice the distance” of the current AN/SPY-1.

                      Hawaii

                      Home to U.S. Pacific Command Headquarters, Hawaii is defended by the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system designed to counter strategic threats. It also hosts the Sea-Based X-Band Radar and is slated to host a new long-range discrimination radar system by 2023.

                      Sea-Based X-Band Radar (SBX)

                      Program Overview/Key Elements:

                      • A massive phased-array X-band radar housed inside a 120-foot diameter radome and supported on a self-propelled, floating platform which primarily acts as the principle midcourse sensor for the strategic BMD system.
                      • Its radar has a 2,500-mile range and is meant to serve in an advanced position to track incoming missiles, discriminate between warheads and decoys or countermeasures, and relay this data to interceptor missiles. Many have cast doubt on SBX’s ability to fulfill this role, primarily because of its extraordinarily narrow 25-degree field of view, compared to 90-120 degrees in other air defense radars.
                      • SBX could also support regional BMD systems to protect troops in forward-deployed positions.

                      Status:

                      • SBX spends most of its time on “limited test support status” in port in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It operates at sea in support of BMDS tests or when the security environment dictates that it may be needed.

                      Current Developments:

                      • In a February 2018 press briefing on the agency’s FY 2019 budget request, MDA spokesman Gary Pennett announced that MDA had extended the SBX’s ability to stay at sea to “closer to 300 days.”

                      Homeland Defense Radar-Hawaii (HDR-H)—(planned)

                      Overview/Key Elements:

                      • A planned land-based, long-range discrimination radar that MDA plans to field in 2023. HDR-H would improve the ability of the GMD homeland defense system to protect Hawaii from ICBMs.

                      Status:

                      • PACOM Commander Adm. Harry Harris told Congress in February 2018 that the HDR-H is in the final phase of the siting process.
                      • MDA spokesman Gary Pennett said that same month that a second, similar radar will be deployed to an as-yet undetermined location in the Pacific (HDR-P) in 2024 to add to the sensor architecture.
                      • For fiscal year 2019, the Missile Defense Agency requested $62 million for HDR-H, and an additional $34 million for HDR-P.

                      Guam

                      Guam is the closest U.S. territory to the Korean peninsula and Andersen Air Base and Naval Base Guam are among several possible targets for DPRK intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs). With 7,000 U.S. servicemen stationed in Guam and 163,000 U.S.-citizen residents living on the island, the U.S. military sought to enhance BMD coverage of the island already provided by Aegis BMD ships by deploying a THAAD battery.

                      Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)

                      Overview/Key Elements:

                      • A THAAD battery consisting of 6 launchers with 8 interceptors per launcher was deployed to Andersen Air Base, Guam in 2013 along with its associated AN/TPY-2 radar and fire control stations.
                      • Adm. Harry Harris, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, reiterated in February 2018 testimony to Congress the Pentagon’s view that THAAD is needed on Guam to protect against North Korean intermediate-range ballistic missiles.
                      • THAAD is designed to intercept ballistic missiles in their terminal phase as a ballistic missile is reentering the atmosphere on the way to its target, meaning it would have a chance to attempt an intercept at a later stage than an Aegis ship and thus provide an additional layer of BMD coverage.

                      South Korea

                      BMD coverage of South Korea is centered on engaging missiles in the terminal phase of flight. U.S. and South Korean forces operate several U.S.-made BMD platforms on the peninsula to defend against short- and medium-range North Korean missiles, including a U.S.-operated THAAD battery and several U.S.- and South Korean-operated Patriot batteries on land. South Korea is developing several indigenous short-range BMD systems, under its Korean Air and Missile Defense (KAMD) system scheduled to be deployed by the early 2020s. U.S. and South Korean Aegis BMD ships also patrol South Korean waters.

                      U.S.-operated systems:

                      Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)

                      Overview/Key Elements:

                      • The U.S. Army deployed a THAAD battery, consisting of six launchers with eight interceptors per launcher and associated radar and fire control equipment in April 2017 to defend against North Korean MRBMs and SRBMs.
                      • THAAD’s position in Seongju is too far south to protect Seoul or U.S. forces stationed on the border and at Camp Humphreys. Designed to intercept missiles within a 124-mile range, the THAAD battery is positioned to potentially defend US troops landing and disembarking from the port of Busan in the southeast in the event that the United States deploys additional forces to the peninsula. It could also defend major urban areas in the southern part of the peninsula, amounting to coverage for roughly 10 million South Koreans.

                      Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3)

                      Overview/Key Elements:

                      • The United States is believed to operate 8 PAC-3 batteries in classified locations around South Korea, likely deployed around key U.S. military bases.
                      • PAC-3 system can share tracking and targeting data as well as engage short-range ballistic missiles at a lower altitude than THAAD, allowing for layered but overlapping terminal-phase coverage.

                      Status:

                      • In August 2017, the U.S. Army announced that it had completed upgrading its Patriot systems at Osan Air Base in Seoul to PAC-3.

                      South Korean-operated systems:

                      Aegis ships

                      Overview/Key Elements:

                      • South Korea operates 3 Sejong-Daewang (Sejong the Great, or KDX-III)-class destroyers that are equipped with a version of the Aegis system, Baseline 7, that is not BMD-capable. South Korea’s ships can communicate with and relay targeting data between U.S. Aegis BMD ships, but cannot currently track or engage ballistic missiles.
                      • While the Aegis system deployed on South Korean ships can link data with U.S. ships, it cannot directly link data to Japanese Aegis BMD ships because they do not share a common encryption system.
                      • According to a 2009 U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency announcement, South Korea already has SM-2 missiles in its inventory with terminal-phase BMD potential should it upgrade its Aegis systems from Baseline 7 to Baseline 9.

                      Current Developments:

                      • The next generation of three KDX-III destroyers, set to enter into service in 2023, 2025, and 2027, will be built with the latest Aegis Baseline 9 software and will be fully capable of BMD detection and tracking. Many analysts have also speculated that these destroyers will be equipped with a version of the SM-3 missile interceptor to give them an engagement capability as well.
                      • Several press reports, citing anonymous South Korean defense officials, have hinted that South Korea is looking to upgrade its three operating KDX-III destroyers with a newer version of Aegis that would give them BMD capability in the near term.

                      Korean Air and Missile Defense (KAMD)

                      Overview/Key Elements:

                      • KAMD is a multi-platform, short-range air and missile defense concept that South Korea has been developing since 2006 to enhance its protection against DPRK SRBMs, cruise missiles, and light aircraft.
                      • In April 2014, South Korea announced it was upgrading its 8 existing Patriot Advanced Capability-2 (PAC-2) batteries to PAC-3 by the end of 2018 and would buy PAC-3 missiles by 2020.
                      • South Korea is developing the Cheongung Korean medium-range surface-to-air missile (KM-SAM), intended to intercept DPRK SRBMs and MRBMs at a relatively low altitude, similar to PAC-3.
                      • The Korean long-range surface-to-air missile (KL-SAM), under development until 2020, will reportedly be similar to THAAD, operating in a high-altitude, terminal-phase intercept role against SRBMs and MRBMs.

                      Status:

                      • South Korean forces operate 8 PAC-2 and PAC-3 batteries around Seoul (exact locations classified), which compose the only layer of defense for the roughly 20 million South Koreans that are not covered by THAAD.
                      • South Korea is reportedly in the final phase of developing the KM-SAM, which Seoul aims to deploy between 2018 and 2019.

                      Current Developments:

                      • The South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration approved a planned PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (PAC-3 MSE) system purchase on Feb. 7, 2018.
                      • The PAC-3 MSE systems will provide an additional layer of terminal-phase defense to the PAC-3 systems, since the MSE system can reportedly engage medium- and short-range ballistic missiles at an altitude of 40 km, twice that of the PAC-3. PAC-3 MSE missiles feature new software that improves its targeting as well as a two-stage rocket booster that extends the range of interceptors to 19 miles.

                      Japan

                      Japan has heavily invested in an integrated BMD system and has focused on midcourse defense with the Aegis system. Japan operates four Aegis BMD ships with plans to build four more by the early 2020s. The cabinet in December 2017 approved a plan to build two Aegis Ashore sites by the early 2020s. U.S. Aegis ships and U.S. and Japanese Patriot batteries offer another layer of defense.

                      U.S.-operated systems:

                      Aegis BMD Ships

                      Overview/Key Elements:

                      • The U.S. 7th Fleet, which is based in Japan and operates in East Asia, has six destroyers and one cruiser equipped with Aegis BMD systems that are assigned to BMD operations.
                      • These Aegis ships are equipped with SM-3 Block IA and Block IB interceptors and SPY-1 radars. They can relay or receive data to and from other Aegis ships—including both Japanese and South Korean Aegis ships—and are interoperable with Aegis and land-based systems such that their interceptors can be “launched on remote” using tracking data from off-board sensors.

                      Status:

                      • There are only five U.S. Aegis BMD ships permanently stationed in Japan. Two additional ships are under repair and likely will return to service in summer 2018.
                      • The Navy does not announce when, where, or which BMD ships patrol in the region, but reportedly half of the Japan-based BMD fleet is at sea at any given time.

                      Patriot Advanced Capability-3

                      Overview/Status:

                      • U.S. forces operate PAC-3 systems in Japan at U.S. military bases, most of which are on the island of Okinawa.
                      • The first U.S. PAC-3 systems were originally deployed in 2006. The deployments were located near Kadena Air Base (Kadena Town, Okinawa City, and Chatan Town), as well as near Kadena Ammunition Storage Area (Yomitan Village, Okinawa City, Kadena Town, Onna Village, and Uruma City).
                      • Movements and deployments of U.S.-operated PAC-3 units in Japan are not publicly available.

                      AN/TPY-2 Radar

                      Overview/Key Elements:

                      • The U.S. operates 2 AN/TPY-2 mobile radar systems—the same radar used in conjunction with THAAD—in Japan.
                      • Since these TPY-2 radars are not paired with THAAD launchers, they are likely operated in the forward-based mode to detect missile launches in North Korea. The radars then relay data to Aegis BMD ships.
                      • Mobile radars can be quickly moved in response to changing needs.

                      Status:

                      • In December 2014, the U.S. military deployed the second AN/TPY-2 radar to a Japanese Air Self-Defense Force base near Kyoto.
                      • The other TPY-2 radar is deployed at Shariki JASDF base in northern Japan.

                      Japanese-operated systems:

                      Aegis BMD

                      Overview/Key Elements:

                      • The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) deploys four Kongo-class destroyers equipped with Aegis BMD system and SM-3 Block IA interceptors.
                      • Kongo-class destroyers can link data directly to U.S. (but not South Korean) Aegis destroyers and coordinate missile tracking.
                      • Under Japan’s constitution, it can only attempt to shoot down missiles or missile debris headed toward Japanese territory, meaning that while its Aegis ships could help track DPRK IRBMs headed toward Guam, for example, they could not launch interceptors to engage them.

                      Status:

                      • Japan is modifying two Atago-class destroyers to operate the Aegis system in the near future.
                      • The first Atago-class cruiser was launched on July 30, 2018, the Japanese Ministry of Defense said in a statement. The second is expected to be commissioned in March 2021.

                      Current Developments:

                      • Japan announced in 2013 that it planned to acquire two more Aegis BMD destroyers, which would enter service in 2020 and 2021 and be equipped with Aegis Baseline 9 and SM-3 Block IIA interceptors, bringing its total fleet of BMD ships to eight.
                      • Japan’s Aegis BMD ships are set to begin receiving the SM-3 Block IIA missile, which Japan co-developed with the United States, as soon as it is deployed on U.S. ships. The U.S. State Department cleared an advanced sale of four Block IIA missiles in January 2018. Japan expects that the extended range and higher velocity of the Block IIA will enhance the overlapping coverage of its BMD systems.

                      Aegis Ashore—(planned)

                      Overview/Key Elements:

                      • In December 2017 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet approved a Defense Ministry plan to purchase two Aegis Ashore systems. Officials confirmed they hope the systems will be operational by 2023.
                      • Armed with SM-3 Block IIA missiles, the two sites will reportedly be able to defend all of Japan against MRBMs and IRBMs and provide overlapping layers of defense with the Aegis BMD fleet. Japanese officials believe this will allow them to reduce the number of JMSDF BMD destroyers deployed.

                      Status:

                      • Citing Japanese Defense Ministry sources, press reports in September 2017 said that Japan was evaluating sites for placing two Aegis Ashore systems on Japan’s western coast (one in the north, one in the south). Akita and Yamaguchi prefectures are seen as possible sites for the units.
                      • The Aegis Ashore units are estimated to cost at least ¥100 billion ($920 million) each.

                      PAC-3

                      Overview/Key Elements:

                      • As of 2015, Japan operates 24 PAC-3 units in 15 military bases, most of them positioned around Tokyo and key locations to act as a final layer of defense beyond Aegis ships.
                      • Being relatively mobile, Japan can and has frequently moved PAC-3 units to shift BMD coverage based on changing threats.
                      • Intended as a point-defense system with an engagement range of just 12 miles, PAC-3 interceptors could also break up missile debris falling over Japan.

                      Status:

                      • As of 2013, PAC-3 systems were known to be deployed to: Aibano in Shiba Prefecture; Naha in Okinawa Prefecture; Hakusan in Tsu, Mie Prefecture; on the grounds of the Ministry of Defense in Tokyo; on the island of Okinawa
                      • Japan announced in August 2017 that it was deploying four PAC-3 systems to Hiroshima, Kochi, Shimane, and Ehime in southwestern Japan.

                      Current Developments:

                      • According to press reports in 2016, Japan plans to upgrade its PAC-3 batteries with Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missiles by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

                      Early Warning Radar

                      Overview/Key Elements:

                      • Japan operates a network of 28 ground-based air defense radar stations across the country, and of these 11 are BMD capable, stretching the length of Japan’s west coast and facing North Korea and China.
                      • Includes seven older FPS-3 radars that have been upgraded to FPS-4 to be BMD capable and four more advanced FPS-5 radars.
                      • FPS-5 and upgraded FPS-3 radar sites are linked to Japan’s Aegis BMD destroyers and PAC-3 batteries through the Japanese Aerospace Defense Ground Environment (JADGE).

                      Status:

                      • FPS-5 radars are stationed at: Ominato, Sado, Shimo-koshiki island, and Yozadake (Okinawa)
                      • FPS-3UG (FPS-4) radars are stationed at: Tobetsu, Kamo, Otakineyama, Wajima, Kyogamisaki, Kasatoriyama, and Sefuriyama

                      Australia

                      Australia has invested relatively little in its BMD architecture compared to other U.S. allies in the region given its low threat from missiles and has limited BMD detection and tracking capabilities and no engagement capability. But the communications and satellite terminal bases that Australia has hosted for decades as part of U.S. global signals intelligence-gathering efforts have been expanded to play key early warning and communications roles in the U.S. BMD system, and Australia is rolling out a class of Aegis destroyers that could become BMD-capable and will begin production on a class of Aegis BMD frigates in the next five years. Australia’s Aegis fleet will be integrated with U.S., Japanese, and South Korean Aegis ships and may have some engagement capability against MRBMs and IRBMs.

                      U.S.-operated BMD systems:

                      Early Warning Radar/Satellite Stations

                      Overview/Key Elements:

                      • Joint Defense Base Pine Gap, near Alice Springs in central Australia, is a ground control station for U.S. spy satellites that reportedly plays a role in the U.S. BMD command, control, and communications architecture. It monitors missile testing and tracks missile threats in the Asia-Pacific region.
                      • Reportedly, Pine Gap receiving systems can compute the trajectory of DPRK missile launches and send tracking data to other U.S. BMD systems.

                      Status:

                      • Hosts six satellite terminals for the Relay Ground Station, which relays data from early warning satellites (the Space Based Infrared System, or SBIRS) to U.S. and Australian command centers.
                      • Another three radomes are speculated to be associated with MDA’s experimental Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS) program.

                      Current Developments:

                      • According to press reports beginning in 2013, the United States and Australia planned to relocate two U.S. advanced radar stations to North West Cape, Western Australia—ostensibly for monitoring satellites in space, according to Australian officials—that could potentially monitor Chinese and DPRK missile launches.

                      Australian-operated BMD systems:

                      Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN)

                      Overview/Key Elements:

                      • Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN), an over-the-horizon radar system recently constructed in the Australian outback, has the capability to detect missile launches in Asia with its 3000 km range and could potentially be integrated into a multilateral BMD system in the near future as an early warning and tracking capability.

                      Aegis BMD Ships—(under-development)

                      Overview/Key Elements:

                      • Australia is building an Aegis fleet that will field three Hobart-class destroyers equipped with Aegis Baseline 8 and SM-2 missiles, capable of countering cruise missiles but not BMD capable.
                      • Australia’s Aegis ships will be networked with U.S., Japanese, and South Korean Aegis ships, allowing them to share data. The Hobart-class destroyers will not be able to directly participate in BMD operations but could be upgraded.

                      Status:

                      • HMAS Hobart, commissioned in September 2017, and HMAS Brisbane, commissioned in October 2018, are operational Australian Aegis ships, but are not BMD-capable. The final Hobart class ship, NUSHIP Sydney is expected to be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy in March 2020.

                      Current Developments:

                      • Like the Hobart, the Brisbane and the Sydney also won’t have BMD capability until they are upgraded, although press reports have speculated that Australian Defence Department plans intend to upgrade the Hobart-class destroyers to Aegis Baseline 9 and equip them with SM-6 interceptors, making them capable of tracking ballistic missiles and giving them a limited terminal phase intercept capability against SRBMs and MRBMs.
                      • Malcolm Turnbull announced in October 2017 that Australia’s nine new frigates of the Future Frigate project which will begin construction in 2020 will be fitted with the Aegis system and will be BMD capable.
                      • Most analysts speculate that Australia’s Aegis fleet would be used to defend forward-deployed forces and track threats along with allied Aegis ships, but that Australia is not yet moving toward a homeland defense system.
                      Missile Defense

                      Country Resources:

                      Subject Resources:

                      Worldwide Ballistic Missile Inventories

                      December 2017

                      Contact: Kelsey Davenport, Director for Nonproliferation Policy, (202) 463-8270 x102

                      The following chart lists 31 countries, including the United States and its allies, which currently possess ballistic missiles. For each country, the chart details the type of missile, its operational status, and the best-known public estimates of each missile’s range.

                      Only nine (China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) of the 31 states below are known or suspected of possessing nuclear weapons. These nine states and Iran have produced or flight-tested missiles with ranges exceeding 1,000 kilometers. China and Russia are the only two states that are not U.S. allies that have a proven capability to launch ballistic missiles from their territories that can strike the continental United States. This factsheet does not list countries' cruise missiles.

                      Ballistic Missile Basics

                      Ballistic missiles are powered by rockets initially but then they follow an unpowered, free-falling trajectory toward their targets. They are classified by the maximum distance that they can travel, which is a function of how powerful the missile’s engines (rockets) are and the weight of the missile’s payload. To add more distance to a missile’s range, rockets are stacked on top of each other in a configuration referred to as staging. There are four general classifications of ballistic missiles:

                      • Short-range ballistic missiles, traveling less than 1,000 kilometers (approximately 620 miles);
                      • Medium-range ballistic missiles, traveling between 1,000–3,000 kilometers (approximately 620-1,860 miles);
                      • Intermediate-range ballistic missiles, traveling between 3,000–5,500 kilometers (approximately 1,860-3,410 miles); and
                      • Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), traveling more than 5,500 kilometers.

                      Short- and medium-range ballistic missiles are referred to as theater ballistic missiles, whereas ICBMs or long-range ballistic missiles are described as strategic ballistic missiles. Missiles are often classified by fuel-type: liquid or solid propellants. Missiles with solid fuel require less maintenance and preparation time than missiles with liquid fuel because solid-propellants have the fuel and oxidizer together, whereas liquid-fueled missiles must keep the two separated until right before deployment.

                      Country

                      System[1]

                      Status

                      Range[2]

                      Propellant

                      Afghanistan

                      Frog-7

                      Operational

                      70 km

                      Solid

                      Scud-B

                      Unknown[3]

                      300 km

                      Liquid

                      Armenia

                      Frog-7

                      Operational

                      70 km

                      Solid

                      Scud-B[4]

                      Operational

                      300 km

                      Liquid

                      SS-21 Scarab-C

                      Operational

                      70-120 km

                      Liquid

                      SS-26 Stone (Iskander E)

                      Operational

                      280 km

                      Solid

                      Bahrain

                      ATACMS Block 1 (MGM-140)

                      Operational

                      165 km

                      Solid

                      Belarus

                      Frog-7

                      Operational

                      70 km

                      Solid

                      SS-21 Scarab B

                      Operational

                      120 km

                      Solid

                      Scud-B

                      Operational

                      300 km

                      Liquid

                      China

                      B611 (CSS-X-11)

                      Operational

                      250 km

                      Solid

                      M-7 (CSS-8)

                      Operational

                      190-250 km


                      Liquid

                      DF-4 (CSS-3)

                      Operational

                      5,500+ km


                      Liquid

                      DF-5 (CSS-4, Mod 1)

                      Operational

                      12,000 km


                      Liquid

                      DF-5A (CSS-4, Mod 2)

                      Operational

                      13,000+ km


                      Liquid

                      DF-5B (CSS-4 Mod 3)

                      Operational

                      12,000 km

                      Liquid

                      DF-5C

                      Tested/Development

                      13,000 km

                      Liquid

                      DF-11 (CSS-7)

                      Operational

                      280 km


                      Solid

                      DF-11A (CSS-7)

                      Operational

                      350 km

                      Solid

                      DF-15A (CSS-6)

                      Operational

                      900 km


                      Solid

                      DF-15B (CSS-6)

                      Operational

                      50-800 km

                      Solid

                      DF-15C (CSS-6)

                      Development

                      Unknown

                      Solid

                      DF-16 (CSS-11)

                      Operational

                      800-1000 km

                      Solid

                      DF-21 (CSS-5, Mod 1)

                      Operational

                      1750+ km


                      Solid

                      DF-21A (CSS-5, Mod 2)

                      Operational

                      1,770+ km


                      Solid

                      DF-21C (CSS-5 Mod 4)

                      Operational

                      2,150-2,500 km


                      Solid

                      DF-21D (CSS-5 Mod 5) ASBM variant

                      Operational

                      1,500 km


                      Solid

                      DF-26

                      Operational

                      4,000 km

                      Solid

                      DF-31 (CSS-10 Mod 1)

                      Operational

                      7,000+ km


                      Solid

                      DF-31A (CSS-10 Mod 2)

                      Operational

                      11,000+ km

                      Solid

                      DF-41 (CSS-X-20)

                      Development

                      12,000-15,000 km

                      Solid

                      Julang (JL) 1 (CSS-N-3) (SLBM)

                      Retiring

                      1,000+ km


                      Solid

                      Julang (JL) 2 (CSS-N-14) (SLBM)

                      Operational

                      7,000+ km

                      Solid

                      Julang (JL) 3 (SLBM)

                      Development

                      unknown

                      Solid

                      Egypt

                      R-300 (SS-1-C Scud-B)

                      Operational

                      300 km

                      Liquid

                      Project-T (Scud B-100)

                      Operational

                      450 km

                      Liquid

                      Scud-C

                      Operational

                      550 km

                      Liquid

                      R-70 Luna M (Frog-7B)

                      Operational

                      70 km

                      Solid

                      Sakr-80

                      Operational

                      80+ km

                      Solid

                      France

                      M45 (SLBM)

                      Operational (Will be replaced by M51)

                      4,000-6000 km


                      Solid

                      M51.1 (SLBM)

                      Operational

                      6,000+ km


                      Solid

                      M51.2 (SLBM)

                      Tested/Development

                      6,000+ km


                      Solid

                      M51.3 (SLBM)

                      Development

                      unknown

                      Solid

                      Georgia

                      Scud B

                      Operational

                      300 km

                      Liquid

                      Greece

                      ATACMS Block 1 (MGM-140)

                      Operational

                      165 km

                      Solid

                      India[6]

                      Prithvi-I

                      Operational

                      150 km

                      Liquid

                      Prahaar

                      Tested/ Development

                      150 km

                      Solid

                      Prithvi-II

                      Operational

                      250-350 km

                      Liquid

                      Prithvi-III

                      Development

                      350 km

                      Solid

                      Dhanush (ship-launched)

                      Operational

                      400 km

                      Liquid

                      Sagarika/K-15 (SLBM)

                      Tested/Development

                      700 km

                      Solid

                      Agni-I

                      Operational

                      700-1,200 km

                      Solid

                      Agni-II

                      Operational

                      2,000+ km

                      Solid

                      Agni-III

                      Operational

                      3,200+ km

                      Solid

                      Agni-IV

                      Tested/Development

                      3,500+ km

                      Solid

                      Agni-V

                      Tested/Development

                      5,200+ km

                      Solid

                      Agni-VI

                      Development

                      8,000-10,000 km

                      Solid

                      K-4 (SLBM)

                      Tested/Development

                      3,500 km

                      Solid

                      K-5 (SLBM)

                      Rumored Development

                      6,000+ km

                      Solid

                      Iran

                       

                      Mushak-120

                      Operational

                      130 km

                      Solid

                      Mushak-160

                      Operational

                      160 km

                      Solid

                      Qiam-1

                      Operational

                      500-1,000 km

                      Liquid

                      Fateh-110

                      Operational

                      200-300 km

                      Solid

                      Fateh-313

                      Operational

                      500 km

                      Solid

                      Tondar-69 (CSS-8)

                      Operational

                      150 km

                      Solid

                      Scud-B (Shahab 1)

                      Operational

                      300 km

                      Liquid

                      Scud-C (Shahab 2)

                      Operational

                      500 km

                      Liquid

                      Zolfaghar

                      Operational

                      700 km

                      Solid

                      Shahab-3 (Zelzal-3)

                      Operational

                      800-1,000 km

                      Liquid

                      Ghadr 1/Modified Shahab-3/Kadr Ghadr 110

                      Tested/Development

                      1,000-2,000 km

                      Liquid

                      Ashura/Sejjil/Sejjil-2

                      Operational

                      1,500-2,500 km

                      Solid

                      BM-25/Musudan (Suspected)

                      Unclear

                      2,500+ km

                      Liquid

                      Khoramshahr

                      Tested/Development

                      2,000 km

                      Liquid

                      Emad-1

                      Tested/Development

                      1,750-2,000 km

                      Liquid

                      Iraq[7]

                      Al Fat’h (Ababil-100)

                      Operational

                      160 km

                      Solid

                      Al Samoud II

                      Operational

                      180-200 km

                      Liquid

                      Israel

                      LORA

                      Operational

                      280 km

                      Solid

                      Jericho-2

                      Operational

                      1,500-3,500 km

                      Solid

                      Jericho-3

                      Operational

                      4,800-6,500 km

                      Solid

                      Kazakhstan

                      Frog-7

                      Operational

                      70 km

                      Solid

                      Tochka-U (SS-21 Scarab-B)

                      Operational

                      120 km

                      Solid

                      R-300 (SS-1-C Scud-B)

                      Operational

                      300 km

                      Liquid

                      Libya[8]

                      Frog-7

                      Operational

                      70 km

                      Solid

                      Al Fatah (Itislat)

                      Tested/Development (on hold)

                      1,300-1,500 km

                      Liquid

                      Scud-B

                      Operational

                      300 km

                      Liquid

                      North Korea

                      KN-02 (Toksa/SS-21 variant)

                      Operational

                      120-170 km

                      Solid

                      Scud-B variant/Hwasong 5

                      Operational

                      300 km

                      Liquid

                      Scud-C variant/Hwasong 6

                      Operational

                      500 km

                      Liquid

                      Scud-C variant/Hwasong 7

                      Operational

                      700-1,000 km

                      Liquid

                      No-Dong-1

                      Operational

                      1,200-1,500 km

                      Liquid

                      Frog-7

                      Operational

                      70 km

                      Solid

                      Taepo Dong-1[9]

                      Tested

                      2,000-5,000 km

                      Liquid

                      Taepo Dong-2 (2-stage) [10]

                      Tested/Development

                      4,000-10,000 km

                      Liquid

                      Taepo Dong-2 (3-stage)/Unha-2 SLV

                      Tested/Development

                      10,000-15,000 km

                      Liquid

                      No-Dong-2(B)/ Musudan/BM-25/Hwasong-10 [11]

                      Tested/Development

                      2,500-4,000 km

                      Liquid

                      KN-17/Hwasong-12

                      Tested/Development

                      4,500 km

                      Liquid

                      KN-08/Hwasong-13 

                      Development

                      5,500-11,500 km

                      Liquid

                      KN-14/Hwasong-13/KN-08 Mod 2

                      Development

                      8,000-10,000 km

                      Liquid

                      KN-11/Pukkuksong-1/Polaris-1

                      Tested/Development

                      1,200 km

                      Solid

                      KN-15/Pukkuksong-2

                      Tested/Development

                      1,200-2,000 km

                      Solid

                      KN-20/Hwasong-14

                      Tested/Development

                      10,000+ km

                      Liquid

                      KN-22/Hwasong-15

                      Tested/Development

                      13,000 km

                      Liquid

                      KN-18/ Scud variant

                      Tested/Development

                      450+

                      Liquid

                      Pakistan

                      Hatf-1

                      Operational

                      70-100 km

                      Solid

                      Hatf-2 (Abdali)

                      Operational

                      180-200 km

                      Solid

                      Hatf-3 (Ghaznavi)

                      Operational

                      290 km

                      Solid

                      Shaheen-1 (Hatf-4)

                      Operational

                      750 km

                      Solid

                      Shaheen-1A (Hatf-4)

                      Tested/Development

                      900 km

                      Solid

                      Ghauri-1 (Hatf-5)

                      Operational

                      1,250-1,500 km

                      Liquid

                      Ghauri-2 (Hatf-5a)

                      Tested/Development

                      1,800 km

                      Liquid

                      Shaheen-2 (Hatf-6)

                      Operational

                      1,500-2,500 km

                      Solid

                      Ghauri-3 [12]

                      Development

                      3,000 km

                      Liquid

                      Nasr (Hatf-9)

                      Development

                      60 km

                      Solid

                      Ababeel

                      Development

                      2,200 km

                      Solid

                      Romania

                      Scud-B

                      Operational

                      300 km

                      Liquid

                      Russia

                      RS-20V (SS-18 Satan)

                      Operational

                      10,200-16,000 km

                      Liquid

                      RS-18 (SS-19 Stiletto)

                      Operational

                      10,000 km

                      Liquid

                      SS-21 Scarab A

                      Operational

                      70 km

                      Solid

                      SS-21 Scarab B/ Tochka U

                      Operational

                      120 km

                      Solid

                      SS-24

                      Operational

                      10,000 km

                      Solid

                      RS-12M Topol (SS-25 Sickle)

                      Operational

                      10,500-11,000 km

                      Solid

                      RS-12M1 Topol-M (SS-27) [13]

                      Operational

                      11,000 km

                      Solid

                      RS-12M2 Topol-M (SS-27 Mod-X-2) (silo)

                      Operational

                      11,000 km

                      Solid

                      RS-24 Yars (mobile and silo versions) (SS-27 Mod 2)

                      Operational

                      10,500 km

                      Solid

                      RS-26 Rubezh/Yars M (SS-27)

                      Tested/Development

                      5,800 km

                      Solid

                      SS-26 Iskander

                      Operational

                      400-500 km

                      Solid

                      SS-N-8 (R-29) (SLBM)

                      Operational

                      8,000 km

                      Liquid

                      RSM-50 Volna (SS-N-18) (SLBM)

                      Operational

                      6,500-8,000 km

                      Liquid

                      SS-N-20 Sturgeon (R-39) (SLBM)

                      Retiring

                      8,300 km

                      Solid

                      RSM-54 Sineva (SS-N-23 or R-29RM) (SLBM)

                      Operational

                      8,300 km

                      Liquid

                      RSM-56 Bulava (SS-N-32) (SLBM)

                      Operational

                      8,300 km

                      Solid

                      SS-26 Tender (Iskander-M)

                      Operational

                      500 km

                      Solid

                      SS-26 Stone (Iskander-E)

                      Operational

                      280 km

                      Solid

                      Saudi Arabia

                      DF-3 (CSS-2)

                      Operational

                      2,600 km

                      Liquid

                      DF-21 East Wind (CSS-5)

                      Operational

                      2,100+ km

                      Solid

                      Slovakia

                      SS-21

                      Operational

                      120 km

                      Solid

                      South Korea

                      NHK-1 (Hyonmu-1)

                      Operational

                      180 km

                      Solid

                      NHK-2 (Hyonmu-2)

                      Operational

                      180-250 km

                      Solid

                      NHK-2B (Hyunmoo-2B)

                      Operational

                      500-800 km

                      Solid

                      NHK-2C (Hyunmoo-2C)

                      Development

                      800 km

                      Solid

                      ATACMS Block 1

                      Operational

                      165 km

                      Solid

                      Syria

                      SS-21-B (Scarab-B)

                      Operational

                      120 km

                      Solid

                      SS-1-C (Scud-B)

                      Operational

                      300 km


                      Liquid

                      SS-1-D (Scud-C)

                      Operational

                      500-700 km

                      Liquid

                      SS-1-E (Scud-D)

                      Tested/Development

                      700 km

                      Liquid

                      CSS-8 (Fateh 110A)

                      Operational

                      210-250 km

                      Solid

                      Frog-7

                      Operational

                      70 km

                      Solid

                      Taiwan

                      Qing Feng

                      Operational

                      130 km

                      Liquid

                      Tien Chi

                      Operational

                      120 km

                      Solid

                      ATACMS Block 1

                      Operational

                      165 km

                      Solid

                      Turkey

                      ATACMS Block 1 (MGM-140)

                      Operational

                      165 km

                      Solid

                      J-600T Yildirim I and II

                      Operational

                      150-300 km

                      Solid

                      Turkmenistan

                      Scud-B

                      Operational

                      300 km

                      Liquid

                      United Arab Emirates

                      Scud-B

                      Operational

                      300 km

                      Liquid

                      ATACMS Block 1A

                      Operational

                      300 km

                      Solid

                       

                      United Kingdom

                      D-5 Trident II (SLBM)

                      Operational

                      7,400-12,000 km

                      Solid

                      United States

                      ATACMS Block I

                      Operational

                      165 km

                      Solid

                      ATACMS Block IA

                      Operational

                      300 km

                      Solid

                      Minuteman III (LGM-30G)

                      Operational

                      9,650-13,000 km

                      Solid

                      D-5 Trident II (SLBM)

                      Operational

                      7,400-12,000 km

                      Solid

                      Vietnam

                      Scud-B

                      Operational

                      300 km

                      Liquid

                      Scud-C variant

                      Operational

                      500 km

                      Liquid

                       

                      Yemen

                      Scud-B

                      Operational

                      300 km

                      Liquid

                      SS-21 (Scarab)

                      Operational

                      70-120 km

                      Solid

                      Scud C variant

                      Operational

                      600 km

                      Liquid

                      Frog-7

                      Operational

                      70 km

                      Solid

                      ENDNOTES:

                      1. All missiles are surface-to-surface unless otherwise noted. SLBM is an acronym for a submarine-launched ballistic missile and ASBM is an acronym for an anti-ship ballistic missile.

                      2. The ranges, given in kilometers (km) are estimates based on publicly available sources. These figures, however, do not all necessarily reflect the missile’s maximum range, which may vary with its payload. Equipping a missile with a lighter payload would increase its range. Similarly, a heavier payload would diminish a missile’s range.

                      3. A January 15, 2001 report by the UN Monitoring Group on Afghanistan concluded that, prior to the October 2001 U.S.-led offensive in Afghanistan, there were approximately 100 Scud-B missiles and at least four Scud mobile launchers in Afghanistan. The current distribution and operational capability of the missiles are unknown, although the UN Monitoring Group speculated that up to 30 of the missiles might be under control of the Northern Alliance.

                      4. According to a 1997 report by Lev Rokhlin, then-Chairman of the Russian State Duma’s Committee on Defense, Russia transferred eight Scud-B ballistic missiles and 24 Scud launchers, along with other military hardware, to Armenia between 1993-1996. Responding to publication of the report in the Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta and to formal requests by the Azerbaijan government, then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin ordered an investigation into the claims. They were subsequently confirmed in April 1997 by Aman Tuleyev, then-Russian minister for relations with the Commonwealth of Independent States.

                      5. According to the Department of Defense’s 2009 report on China’s military power, Beijing is investing in conventionally-armed ASBMs based on the CSS-5 airframe which could employ “terminal-sensitive penetrating sub-munitions” in order to hold surface ships at risk.

                      6. India and Pakistan claim that their missiles are not deployed, meaning that the missiles are not on launchers, aimed at particular locations, or kept on a high state of alert. The missiles are in a state of “induction” with the nuclear warheads stored in facilities separate from the missile units and airfields. Pakistan and India, however, have deployed their missiles on a number of occasions, such as the Kargil crisis in July 1999.

                      7. Because of lack of current documentary evidence and inconsistencies in source reporting, the status of Iraq’s ballistic missile arsenal is unclear. The United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) determined in 2003 that the Al Samoud II and the Al Fat’h missiles exceeded the range permitted under UN Security Council Resolution 687. That resolution prohibited Iraq from possessing missiles with ranges exceeding 150 kilometers. UN inspectors began the destruction of these missiles on March 1, 2003, but the inspectors were withdrawn before all of the missiles had been eliminated. According to UNMOVIC’s 13th Quarterly Report, only two-thirds of the Al Samoud II missiles declared by Iraq had been destroyed. The 2004 Iraq Survey Group Report by the United States asserted that a “full accounting of the Al Fat’h missiles may not be possible.”

                      8. According to a CIA Report, Libya privately pledged to the United States in 2003 that it would eliminate all missiles classified as Category I systems by the MTCR. Category I pertains to missiles capable of traveling 300 kilometers or more with a payload of at least 500 kilograms, the presumed minimum weight for a first-generation nuclear warhead. Libya, however, still maintains a missile development program for systems that fall below the Category I threshold capability. Given Libya's obligations under its 2003 WMD renunciation, development of its Al-Fatah missile is on hold until it can meet MTCR requirements. Additionally, Libya's Scud-B arsenal is of questionable utility due to poor maintenance and testing record.

                      9. The Taepo Dong-1 was first flight-tested August 31, 1998. Its first two stages worked but a third stage failed. The missile has not been flight-tested again and is widely believed to have been a technology demonstrator rather than a missile system intended for deployment.

                      10. North Korea has carried out two flight tests of what is believed to be its Taepo Dong-2 missile. The test of a two-stage version failed about 40 seconds into its flight on July 5, 2006. The missile is assessed to have used a cluster of No Dong missiles for its first stage and a Scud or No Dong-based second stage. On April 5, 2009, North Korea launched what it called its Unha-2 space launch vehicle, widely believed to be a three-stage variant of its Taepo Dong-2. The first two stages of the rocket were successful and fell in the splashdown zones previously announced by North Korea. U.S. Northern Command said the day of the launch that the third stage and its payload both landed in the Pacific Ocean. Independent analysts assess that the second stage of the Taepo Dong-2 is based on a variant of the Soviet SS-N-6.

                      11. Although North Korea has never flight-tested the intermediate-range Musudan, a variant of the SS-N-6, Washington alleges that Pyongyang has deployed the missile. The SS-N-6 originally was a Soviet submarine-launched ballistic missile, but North Korea is reportedly deploying it as a road-mobile missile. There also is speculation that North Korea has transferred this missile to Iran.

                      12. Development of the Ghauri-3 missile was reportedly abandonded for unknown reasons.

                      13. The SS-27 (Topol-M/RS-12M) is deployed in both road-mobile and silo-based configurations.


                      Sources: Arms Control Association; Missile Defense Agency; U.S. Department of Defense; Congressional Research Service; National Air and Space Intelligence Center; U.S. Department of State; Federation of American Scientists; Center for Strategic and International Studies; Nuclear Threat Initiative

                      -Research assistance by Brianna Starosciak

                       


                       

                      Nuclear/Ballistic Missile Nonproliferation

                      Subject Resources:

                      The Missile Technology Control Regime at a Glance

                      July 2017

                      Contact: Kelsey Davenport, Director for Nonproliferation Policy, (202) 463-8270 x102

                      The Missile Technology Control Regime Guidelines and Annex

                      Established in April 1987, the voluntary Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) aims to limit the spread of ballistic missiles and other unmanned delivery systems that could be used for chemical, biological, and nuclear attacks. The regime urges its 35 members,1 which include most of the world's key missile manufacturers, to restrict their exports of missiles and related technologies capable of carrying a 500-kilogram payload at least 300 kilometers or delivering any type of weapon of mass destruction.2

                      Since its inception, the MTCR has been credited with slowing or stopping several missile programs by making it difficult for prospective buyers to get what they want or stigmatizing certain activities and programs. Argentina, Egypt, and Iraq abandoned their joint Condor II ballistic missile program. Brazil, South Africa, South Korea, and Taiwan also shelved or eliminated missile or space launch vehicle programs. Some Eastern European countries, such as Poland and the Czech Republic, destroyed their ballistic missiles, in part, to better their chances of joining the MTCR.3 The regime has further hampered Libyan and Syrian missile efforts.

                      Yet, the regime has its limitations. Iran, India, North Korea, and Pakistan continue to advance their missile programs. All four countries, with varying degrees of foreign assistance, have deployed medium-range ballistic missiles that can travel more than 1,000 kilometers and are exploring missiles with much greater ranges. India is testing missiles in the intercontinental range. These countries, which are not MTCR members except India, are also becoming sellers rather than simply buyers on the global arms market. North Korea, for example, is viewed as the primary source of ballistic missile proliferation in the world today. Iran has supplied missile production items to Syria.

                      How the MTCR Works

                      Each MTCR member is supposed to establish national export control policies for ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, space launch vehicles, drones, remotely piloted vehicles, sounding rockets, and underlying components and technologies that appear on the regime's Material and Technology Annex. Members can add items to or subtract them from the annex through consensus decisions.

                      The annex is divided into two separate groupings of items, Category I and Category II. Category I includes complete missiles and rockets, major sub-systems, and production facilities. Specialized materials, technologies, propellants, and sub-components for missiles and rockets comprise Category II.

                      Potential exports of Category I and II items are to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Approval for Category I exports is supposed to be rare. The regime's guidelines, which set out criteria for weighing possible exports, instruct members that "there will be a strong presumption to deny" Category I transfers. No exports of production facilities are to be authorized. MTCR restrictions for Category II exports are less severe, largely because many items in the category also have civilian uses. Members, however, are still asked to exercise caution in making such deals. No member can veto another's exports.

                      The MTCR identifies five factors that members should take into account when evaluating a possible export of controlled items:

                      • Whether the intended recipient is pursuing or has ambitions for acquiring weapons of mass destruction;
                      • The purposes and capabilities of the intended recipient's missile and space programs;
                      • The potential contribution the proposed transfer could make to the intended recipient's development of delivery systems for weapons of mass destruction;
                      • The credibility of the intended recipient's stated purpose for the purchase; and
                      • Whether the potential transfer conflicts with any multilateral treaty.

                      MTCR members are asked to obtain an assurance from the intended recipient that it will only use the export for the purpose claimed when requesting the deal. Members are also to secure a pledge from the intended recipient that it will not transfer the requested item or any replicas or derivatives to a third party without permission.

                      Because the regime is voluntary and the decision to export is the sole responsibility of each member, the MTCR has no penalties for transfers of controlled items. However, U.S. law mandates that Washington sanction entities-individuals, companies, or governments (whether they are MTCR members or not)-exporting MTCR-controlled items to certain countries identified as proliferators or potential threats to U.S. security. Sanctions may also be levied if the United States judges the transfer contrary to the MTCR. Typically, Washington prohibits the charged entity from signing contracts, receiving aid, or buying arms from the U.S. government for a period of two years. Sometimes the penalties can be imposed for longer lengths of time or extended to commercial imports and exports as well.

                      Outside the MTCR

                      Several countries have pledged to abide by the MTCR without joining it. Israel, Romania, and the Slovak Republic have all committed to maintaining export controls consistent with the regime.

                      After several years of the U.S. curtailing its sale of missiles and missile technologies, China announced in November 2000 that it would not help other countries build ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons. Beijing, which was a key contributor to Pakistan's missile development, and has in the past provided sensitive technology to countries like North Korea and Iran, also pledged that it would issue a comprehensive list of controlled items requiring government approval before export. That list, however, was not published until August 2002. In 2004, China applied for MTCR membership, and, at the time, voluntarily pledged to follow the regime's export control guidelines. Although China no longer sells complete missile systems and has tightened its export controls, its membership was rejected due to concerns that Chinese entities continued to provide sensitive technologies to countries developing ballistic missiles, such as North Korea.

                      In 2008 India voluntarily committed to following the MTCR export control guidelines, since that time the United States has been working to secure India's membership in the regime. India's announcement was made shortly before the Nuclear Suppliers Group granted an exemption to India. New Delhi continues to develop its own ballistic missile program. In June 2015, India formally applied for membership in the regime, but Italy blocked consensus on its application during the October 2015 plenary. Nine other countries applied as well in 2015, none of which were admitted into the regime. India was later admitted in June 2015. 

                      Hague Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation

                      MTCR members spearheaded a voluntary November 2002 initiative, the Hague Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (formerly known as the International Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation), calling on all countries to show greater restraint in their own development of ballistic missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction and to reduce their existing missile arsenals if possible. The aim of the initiative is to establish a norm against missiles that could be armed with chemical, biological, or nuclear warheads. As part of the initiative, participating countries are to annually exchange information on their ballistic missile and space launch vehicle programs, as well as provide advance notice of any launches of ballistic missiles or space launch vehicles. The Hague Code of Conduct has 138 member states, including all MTCR members except Brazil. Brazil has expressed concerns about how the initiative might affect its space program.

                      Notes:

                      1. MTCR members, followed by the year they joined the regime, are: Argentina (1993), Australia (1990), Austria (1991), Belgium (1990), Brazil (1995), Bulgaria (2004), Canada (1987), the Czech Republic (1998), Denmark (1990), Finland (1991), France (1987), Germany (1987), Greece (1992), Hungary (1993), Iceland (1993), India (2015), Ireland (1992), Italy (1987), Japan (1987), Luxembourg (1990), the Netherlands (1990), New Zealand (1991), Norway (1990), Poland (1998), Portugal (1992), Russia (1995), South Africa (1995), South Korea (2001) Spain (1990), Sweden (1991), Switzerland (1992), Turkey (1997), Ukraine (1998), the United Kingdom (1987), and the United States (1987).

                      2. Originally, the MTCR was limited to stopping the proliferation of nuclear-capable missiles, which was defined as a missile able to travel at least 300 kilometers with a 500-kilogram payload. Five hundred kilograms was considered the minimum weight of a first generation nuclear warhead, while 300 kilometers was believed to be the minimum distance needed to carry out a strategic strike. Members agreed in the summer of 1992 to expand the regime's objective to also apply to missiles and related technologies designed for chemical and biological weapons. That change took effect in January 1993. The move effectively tasked members with a making a more difficult and subjective assessment about an importer's intentions, as opposed to denying a specific capability (a missile able to deliver a 500-kilogram payload at least 300 kilometers), because many more missiles and unmanned delivery vehicles could be adapted to deliver lighter chemical and biological weapons payloads.

                      3. Prospective MTCR members must win consensus approval from existing members. U.S. policy is that new members that are not recognized nuclear-weapon states must eliminate or forgo ballistic missiles able to deliver a 500-kilogram payload at least 300 kilometers. The United States, however, made an exception in 1998 for Ukraine, permitting it to retain Scud missiles. Three years later, Washington also agreed to let South Korea develop missiles with ranges up to 300 kilometers to secure its membership in the MTCR. Seoul previously agreed in 1979 to limit its missile development to those with ranges less than 180 kilometers. South Korea was granted another extension in October 2012. Seoul and Washington reached an agreement allowing South Korea to extend the range of its ballistic missiles to 800 kilometers with a 500 kilogram payload. This extension will allow Seoul to target all of North Korea. South Korea tested a ballistic missile with a range of 500 km in June 2015 and announced in October 2015 that it would deploy systems with an 800 km range in 2017.

                      Nuclear/Ballistic Missile Nonproliferation

                      The Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty at a Glance

                      July 2017

                      Contact: Daryl Kimball, Executive Director, (202) 463-8270 x107; Kingston Reif, Director for Disarmament and Threat Reduction Policy, (202) 463-8270 x104

                      Negotiated between the United States and the Soviet Union as part of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, the now-defunct Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty was signed on May 26, 1972 and entered into force on October 3, 1972. The treaty, from which the United States withdrew on June 13, 2002, barred Washington and Moscow from deploying nationwide defenses against strategic ballistic missiles. In the treaty preamble, the two sides asserted that effective limits on anti-missile systems would be a "substantial factor in curbing the race in strategic offensive arms."

                      The treaty originally permitted both countries to deploy two fixed, ground-based defense sites of 100 missile interceptors each. One site could protect the national capital, while the second could be used to guard an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) field. In a protocol signed July 3, 1974, the two sides halved the number of permitted defenses. The Soviet Union opted to keep its existing missile defense system around Moscow, while the United States eventually fielded its 100 permitted missile interceptors to protect an ICBM base near Grand Forks, North Dakota. Moscow's defense still exists, but its effectiveness is questionable. The United States shut down its permitted ABM defense only months after activating it in October 1975 because the financial costs of operating it were considered too high for the little protection it offered.

                      The United States and the Soviet Union negotiated the ABM Treaty as part of an effort to control their arms race in nuclear weapons. The two sides reasoned that limiting defensive systems would reduce the need to build more or new offensive weapons to overcome any defense that the other might deploy. Without effective national defenses, each superpower remained vulnerable, even at reduced or low offensive force holdings, to the other's nuclear weapons, deterring either side from launching an attack first because it faced a potential retaliatory strike that would assure its own destruction.

                      On December 13, 2001, President George W. Bush, who argued that Washington and Moscow no longer needed to base their relationship on their ability to destroy each other, announced that the United States would withdraw from the ABM Treaty, claiming that it prevented U.S. development of defenses against possible terrorist or "rogue-state" ballistic missile attacks. During his presidential campaign, Bush said he would offer amendments on the treaty to Russia and would withdraw the United States from the accord if Russia rejected the proposed changes. However, the Bush administration never proposed amendments to the treaty in its talks with Russia on the subject. Although of "unlimited duration," the treaty permits a state-party to withdraw from the accord if "extraordinary events…have jeopardized its supreme interests." The U.S. withdrawal took effect June 13, 2002, and the treaty is no longer in force.

                      What the ABM Treaty Prohibited

                      • Missile defenses that can protect all U.S. or Soviet/Russian territory against strategic ballistic missiles
                      • Establishing a base for a nationwide defense against strategic ballistic missiles
                      • Development, testing, or deployment of sea-, air-, space-, or mobile land-based ABM systems or components. (Because of the inability of either country to verify activities behind closed doors, the development and testing ban was understood to apply when components and systems moved from laboratory to field testing.)
                      • Development, testing, or deployment of strategic missile interceptor launchers that can fire more than one interceptor at a time or are capable of rapid reload
                      • Upgrading existing non-ABM missiles, launchers, or radars to have ABM capabilities and testing existing missiles, launchers, or radars in an ABM mode (i.e. against strategic or long-range ballistic missile targets)
                      • Deployment of radars capable of early warning of strategic ballistic missile attack anywhere other than on the periphery of U.S. or Soviet/Russian territory and oriented outward
                      • Deployment of ABM radars capable of tracking and discriminating incoming strategic targets and guiding defensive interceptors, except within a 150 kilometer radius of the one permitted defense
                      • Transfer or deployment of ABM systems or components outside U.S. and Soviet/Russian territory

                      What the ABM Treaty Permitted

                      • One regional defense of 100 ground-based missile interceptors to protect either the capital or an ICBM field
                      • A total of 15 missile interceptor launchers at designated missile defense test ranges
                      • Research, laboratory, and fixed land-based testing of any type of missile defense
                      • Use of national technical means, such as satellites, to verify compliance. (The ABM Treaty was the first treaty to prohibit a state-party from interfering with another state-party's national technical means of verification.)
                      • States-parties to raise questions about compliance, as well as any other treaty-related issue, at the Standing Consultative Commission, which was a body established by the treaty that meets at least twice per year
                      • Theater (nonstrategic) missile defenses of any type to protect against short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. (The ABM Treaty originally did not specifically delineate the point at which a missile defense would be considered strategic or nonstrategic. The United States and Russia negotiated and signed a demarcation agreement on this subject in September 1997. Russia ratified the agreement in May 2000, but it has never been transmitted to the Senate for its advice and consent, and therefore the agreement has not entered into force. The Bush administration's June 13 withdrawal from the ABM Treaty makes the demarcation agreement moot)
                      • Either state-party to propose amendments
                      Missile Defense
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