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Encyclopedia > Missile Defense Agency

The Missile Defense Agency is the section of the United States government's Department of Defense responsible for developing a layered defense against ballistic missiles. See National Missile Defense for the history of DoD missile defense programs. The U.S. Constitution, adopted in 1789 by a constitutional convention, sets down the basic framework of American government in its seven articles. ... The United States Department of Defense, abbreviated DoD or DOD and sometimes called the Defense Department, is a civilian Cabinet organization of the United States government. ... Missile Defense is a term referring to systems, weapon programs, or technology involved in the defense against a missile. ... Polish missile wz. ... A payload launch vehicle carrying a prototype exoatmospheric kill vehicle is launched from Meck Island at the Kwajalein Missile Range on Dec. ...

To the unpleasant surprise of the US government, Canada announced in February 2005 that it will not participate in the US ballistic missile defense system (see National Missile Defense in Canada). In Canada, there is a heated debate over participation in the U.S. missile defense program. ...


Mission Statement

From the agency's web-page:

"The Missile Defense Agency's mission is to develop, test and prepare for deployment of a missile defense system. Using complementary interceptors, land-, sea-, air- and space-based sensors, and battle management command and control systems, the planned missile defense system will be able to engage all classes and ranges of ballistic missile threats. Our programmatic strategy is to develop, rigorously test, and continuously evaluate production, deployment and operational alternatives for the ballistic missile defense system. Missile defense systems being developed and tested by MDA are primarily based on hit-to-kill technology. It has been described as hitting a bullet with a bullet - a capability that has been successfully demonstrated in test after test." Interceptor has several meanings: Interceptor aircraft are a type of fighter aircraft designed specifically to intercept and destroy enemy aircraft. ... A sensor is a technological device or biological organ that detects, or senses, a signal or physical condition. ... 0. ...

MDA divides its systems into 3 categories, boost phase, mid-course phase and terminal phase, each corresponding to a different phase of the threat ballistic missile flight regime. Each phase offers different advantages and disadvantages to a missile defense system, thus the layered defense approach concept should improve overall defense effectiveness. A Minuteman III missile soars after a test launch. ...

Boost phase defense

  • Kinetic Energy Interceptor (KEI) - in December 2003, MDA awarded a contract to Northrop Grumman for developing and testing - perhaps later also to be applied for mid-course defense. It has to be launched from a location not too far from the launch site of the target missile (and is therefore less suitable against large countries), it has to be fired very soon after launch of the target, and it has to be very fast itself (6 km/s).
  • Airborne Laser

One can distinguish disabling the warheads and just disabling the boosting capability. The latter has the risk of "shortfall": damage in countries between the launch site and the target location. A projectile is any object sent through the air by the application of some force. ... The Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) is an aerospace and defense conglomerate that is the result of a 1994 merger between Northrop and Grumman. ... The Airborne Laser (ABL) weapons system is designed to shoot down ballistic missiles in their boost stage. ...

See also APS report. A payload launch vehicle carrying a prototype exoatmospheric kill vehicle is launched from Meck Island at the Kwajalein Missile Range on Dec. ...

Midcourse phase defense

  • Ground Based Midcourse Defense System (GMD) - a Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI) includes both a booster missile and a kill vehicle
  • Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System (Aegis BMD) - a SM-3 missile with Lightweight Exo-Atmospheric Projectile (LEAP) Kinetic Warhead (KW), to be launched from surface ships, is developed

An important aspect for this phase is distinguishing between actual warhead(s) and decoys. In 2003, National Missile Defense (NMD) was changed to Ground-Based Missile Defense (GMD), to differentiate it from other missile defense programs, such as space-based, sea-based, or high-altitude intercept programs. ... The Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System is a US Department of Defense Missile Defense Agency program to develop a rudimentary missile defense sytem, covering the US, by 2005. ... The Standard Missile is a type of surface-to-air missile (SAM) originally developed for the United States Navy. ... A decoy is usually a person, device or event meant as a distraction to conceal what an individual or a group might be looking for. ...

Terminal phase defense

Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD - formerly Theater High Altitude Area Defense) is a United States Army project to develop a anti-ballistic_missile defense system, against theater or regional threats. ... Four Patriot missiles like the one shown here can be fired from this mobile launcher between loadings. ... Arrow anti-ballistic missile launch The Arrow Interceptor ( טיל חץ, Hebrew: Hetz) is a theater missile defense (TMD) system; it is the first missile that was specifically designed and built to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles on a national level. ... Medium Extended Air Defense System(MEADS) is a military project intended to replace aging NATO patriot missiles. ... The United States Department of Defense, abbreviated as DoD or DOD and sometimes called the Defense Department, is a civilian Cabinet organization of the United States government. ...

External Links

MDA Home Page



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