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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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5

Recommended Path Forward

ORGANIZATION

As previously noted, this chapter provides additional details on the recommended evolution for the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system (i.e., the recommended evolution to GMD, called GMD-E in this chapter), as called for by Major Recommendation 5 in the Summary and Chapter 4 of this report, “as a means to provide adequate coverage for defense of the U.S. homeland against likely developments in North Korea and Iran over the next decade or two at an affordable and efficient 20-yr life cycle cost, the Missile Defense Agency should implement an evolutionary approach to the GMD system as recommended in this report.”

Before introducing the details of the GMD-E, the basis for Major Recommendation 5 and the key concepts of operations (CONOPS) for providing an effective defense of the United States and Canada at lowest cost are discussed.

BASIS FOR MAJOR RECOMMENDATION 5

As part of its congressional tasking, the committee assessed the practicality of boost-phase defense in comparison to other alternatives, taking into account realistic CONOPS, force structure, effectiveness, life-cycle cost (LCC), and resilience to countermeasures, among other things. In doing so, the committee’s analysis led to the following conclusion: The 30 current ground-based interceptors (GBIs), as part of the GMD system deployed at Fort Greely, Alaska (FGA), and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California (VAFB), evolved to their current configuration through a series of decisions and constraints. They provide an early, but fragile, U.S. homeland defense capability in response primarily to a

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

potential North Korean threat. Moreover, the current GBIs are very expensive per round when compared to missiles of similar complexity at the same point in their development and has limited ability to defend the eastern United States against threats from the Middle East.

Consequently, the committee believes that a properly designed midcourse defense is the most versatile and cost-effective way to provide a resilient limited defense of the United States. Specifically, the committee finds as follows:

 

1.   The GMD system lacks fundamental features long known to maximize the effectiveness of a midcourse hit-to-kill defense capability against even limited threats. They could, however, readily be incorporated as part of the recommended GMD-E described in this chapter. The cost-effectiveness of various alternatives shown in Chapter 4 suggests that a substantially lower overall cost could be achieved through an evolution that is detailed in this chapter.

2.   Discriminating between actual warheads and lightweight countermeasures has been a contentious issue for midcourse defense for more than 40 years (see classified Appendix J for greater detail). Based on the information presented to it by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), the committee learned very little that would help resolve the discrimination issue in the presence of sophisticated countermeasures. In fact, the committee had to seek out people who had put together experiments like the midcourse space experiment (MSX) and High-Altitude Observatory 2 (HALO-2) and who had understood and analyzed the data gathered. Their funding was terminated several years ago, ostensibly for budget reasons, and their expertise was lost. When the committee asked MDA to provide real signature data from all flight tests, MDA did not appear to know where to find them. MDA showed the committee summaries of results without the data to support them. It appeared to the committee that MDA has given up trying and has terminated most of the optical signature analysis of flight data taken over the past 40 years. In the committee’s view, this is a serious mistake.

3.   It is clear that advances in technology for both long-wave infrared sensors and X-band radars that can coherently integrate and do Doppler imaging are impressive and offer new opportunities. The fundamental concept for maximizing the effectiveness is presented below (see classified Appendix J for greater detail).

4.   In addition to its long-term cost and performance advantages, the recommended GMD evolution as provided in the following sections of this chapter, if adopted, would decouple the defense of North America from decisions and issues related to the configuration of NATO missile defense, even avoiding altogether the need for PAA.

 

In short, the recommended GMD-E involves a smaller, shorter burn interceptor configuration that builds on development work already done by MDA under the Kinetic Energy Intercept (KEI) program, but with a different front end. The heavier, more capable kill vehicle (KV) with a larger onboard sensor provides

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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the capabilities absent in the current GMD system but responsive to the recommended CONOPS, which will be discussed. The GBIs would first be deployed at a new third site in the northeast United States along with five additional X-band radars using doubled Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Army Navy/transportable radar surveillance (AN/TPY-2) capabilities integrated together at each upgraded early warning radar (UEWR) site and at Grand Forks, North Dakota. At a later time, the more capable interceptor would be retrofitted into the silos at Fort Greely, Alaska, with the existing GBIs diverted to the targets program supporting future operational flight tests.

Much of the basis for the recommended GMD-E has been provided in Chapters 3 and 4. The committee believes that the recommended GMD-E offers a much more resilient although limited U.S. homeland defense against any threat at the lowest 20-yr life cycle cost, and that it can be accomplished within the same requested cumulative 5-yr total obligation authority (TOA) through FY 2016 as in the current plan. Before providing additional information on the recommended GMD-E, it is important to consider the key CONOPS for providing an effective defense of the United States and Canada.

KEY CONOPS FOR EFFECTIVE DEFENSE OF THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA

Defending high-value assets against attack from ballistic missiles requires minimizing the possibility of leakage through the defense for any reason while also minimizing the wasting of interceptors. The contributors to leakage and wastage are discussed in classified Appendix J. In general, these requirements demand, to the maximum extent possible, a level of robustness that can overcome or at least minimize the effects of uncertainties in threat knowledge, the failure of hardware to function as anticipated, or surprises in the adversary’s tactics or capabilities.

Realistic Approach to Maximizing Midcourse Discrimination Effectiveness

While good intelligence provides knowledge of the adversary’s capabilities, it is rarely perfect, and surprises are to be expected and accommodated. The committee believes that the key to maximizing the ability to discriminate lethal warheads in the presence of countermeasures is exploiting the concurrent intermittent viewing by X-band radar and interceptor optics for an extended (>100 sec) time as the interceptor closes on the target complex. Yet this has been ignored in the current GMD system architecture.

The reason for this seems to be a reluctance to commit an interceptor before having high confidence about the threat complex from some source. Yet, in an attempt to avoid the midcourse discrimination issue, proponents of boost-phase (or early) intercept are willing to commit interceptors before even knowing where

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

the threat is going. Surely, then, we should be willing to commit interceptors after the threat has burned out and its throw weight impact point has been determined by both space-based infrared system (SBIRS) and forward radars so we know where to look for the threat and where the threat is going.

An interceptor launched with only that knowledge, its own observation ability, and enough maneuver ability to cover the remaining uncertainty along with a forward ground-based X-band radar (GBX) observation provides the most valuable threat discrimination tool as the interceptor closes on the threat, hunting for the right target. Has it been wasted? Not unless the adversary expends missiles with no payloads on them. May more interceptors be required? Perhaps, depending on what is observed by the first one, which serves as a scout and together with radar observations provides more data than any other source. But this requires getting time on the side of the defense. It requires maximizing and making efficient use of the battle space, i.e., it calls for shoot-look-shoot (SLS).

Figure 5-1 illustrates how the synergy of concurrent observations can be exploited. The high-resolution X-band radar enables Doppler imaging to measure

images

FIGURE 5-1 Synergy of concurrent radar and KV optical observations. OPIR, other program infrared; TWAA, tactical warning and attack assessment; IR, infrared.

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

the dynamic behavior of each object in the threat and to see unique signatures from scattering centers as the objects spin, tumble, and nutate in response to disturbances due to deployment methods. It also provides accurate metrics on the position and state vector of each object in the complex and provides all that information through the battle manager to the interceptor to correlate with its optical measurements. The interceptor optics also measure the time-varying thermal signature, which provides information about thermal mass, object dynamics, and the movement of objects in the threat; this information is transmitted back to the battle management command, control, and communications (BMC3) for continued use. Together, these observations make countermeasures more difficult over the total viewing and engagement time. Moreover, countermeasures that may be effective against the first interceptor will in many cases have outlived their effectiveness against subsequent interceptors.

Exoatmospheric discrimination by definition requires identifying the threatening reentry vehicle (RV) from among the cluster of other nonthreatening objects that will be visible to the defense’s sensors after the end of powered flight. Initially the nonthreatening objects may be “unintentional”—for example, spent upper stages, deployment or attitude-control modules, separation debris, debris from unburned fuel, insulation, and other components from the booster. However, as threat sophistication increases, the defense is likely to have to deal with purposeful countermeasures—decoys and other penetration aids and tactics to include salvo launches and antisimulation devices—that adversaries will have deliberately designed to frustrate U.S. defenses.

Evaluating discrimination effectiveness is an uncertain business. One should avoid overstating the ease with which countermeasures that are theoretically possible can actually be made to work in practice, especially against advanced discrimination techniques using multiple phenomenologies from multiple sensors and exploiting the long observation time that midcourse intercept makes possible. It is perhaps noteworthy that U.S. (and U.K.) experience with the development of high-confidence penetration aids during the Cold War was of mixed success. It would be difficult for an adversary to have confidence in countermeasures without extensive testing, which the United States might be able to observe and gather data on that would permit defeating the countermeasures.

The art of midcourse discrimination, developed over many decades, does not provide perfect selection of RVs, but the committee believes that by designing a ballistic missile defense (BMD) architecture based on the capabilities described below, an adequate level of discrimination performance can be achieved in the near term, and that this approach has a reasonable chance of keeping the United States generally ahead in the contest between countermeasures and counter-countermeasures. This having been said, the reader should understand that there is no static answer to the question of whether a missile defense can work against countermeasures. It depends on the resources expended by the offense and the defense and the knowledge each has of the other’s systems.

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

While the current GMD may be effective against the near-term threat from North Korea, the committee disagrees with the statement in the BMDR report concluding that this capability can be maintained “for the foreseeable future.”1 The committee understands this to mean the next decade or so. If the threat is to be countered for the foreseeable future, the United States needs to take the steps outlined below to maintain discrimination capability.

The BMD system capabilities that provide reasonable discrimination prospects are mostly supported by the available hardware and techniques, but they have yet to be included in the existing or planned GMD architecture. The system capabilities include the following:

 

1.   The threat complex must be observed at frequent intervals by instruments capable of obtaining discrimination data from the time of booster burnout until intercept occurs (see Figure 5-1).

2.   Observation of the threat is possible and necessary in both microwave and optical bands, and the resulting data must be fused into a target object map (TOM) to be used by the interceptors.

3.   While other observations can be useful, it is the high-resolution data from X-band radar and IR seekers such as those on the KV that contribute most of the discrimination capability. Those instruments must be located, tasked, and equipped to provide these data as soon as practical after booster burnout onward, with minimal distractions for housekeeping and other duties. Investment in low-resolution measurements should have lower priority than investments in high-resolution measurements.

4.   The ability to form and interpret TOMs over a time that is typically many hundreds of seconds for midcourse intercept increases the likelihood of successful discrimination. The TOMs must therefore be exchanged frequently with the interceptor KVs during fly-out.

5.   Data from the KV’s onboard seeker can be used to improve the discrimination effectiveness of subsequent intercept attempts and should therefore be downlinked from the interceptor during flight.

6.   To take full advantage of combined radar and KV observations, the BMD system architectures and firing doctrine should enforce and exploit the maximum battle space for SLS capabilities.

 

More generally, the committee believes that a long-term approach to midcourse countermeasures involves the following:

 

1.   Recognizing that discrimination is not separate from the overall BMD system architecture and that synergies should be exploited where possible, specifically through layered defenses such as postboost intercept and SLS tactics.

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1Department of Defense. 2010. Ballistic Missile Defense Review Report, Washington, D.C., February, pp. 9, 15, and 47.

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

2.   Understanding that the countermeasure threat is not constant and that there is no permanent solution. A continuing program of test and analysis is necessary to maintain the technical capacity that will support an adequate level of discrimination as new countermeasures are developed and deployed.

3.   Implementing a more realistic and robust program to gather data from flight tests and experiments (including on flights of U.S. missiles) from the full range of sensors and making full use of the extensive data collected from past experiments to continue developing the applied science from which robust discrimination techniques and algorithms can be developed.

4.   Maintaining an active R&D program on discrimination techniques.

Radar Discrimination

Opponents of BMD systems correctly point out that the system is defective if it lacks the ability to select threatening targets among the many objects that accompany them. This ability can be enhanced by observation over the longest possible time by X-band radars. Classified Appendix J discusses issues of radar discrimination, with the conclusion that an adequate solution of the problem is possible. A generalized summary of those considerations is as follows.

 

•   Bandwidth. X-band radars are used in defense systems to perform precision tracking and target classification functions. The choice of this band by both U.S. and foreign radar engineers is based partly on the broad system bandwidth inherent in X-band operation, which allows transmission of wideband waveforms that resolve and measure individual objects without interference from others in a target cluster. Wideband waveforms permit direct measurement of the radial extent of each object (called range profiling, a standard approach to radar target classification in air and missile warfare). The radial extent of objects that change their aspect angle by a significant amount over the observation time—for example, rotating objects or stable objects viewed from a position outside the plane of the trajectory—provides measurement in two dimensions.

•   Cross-section. For objects that are resolvable with wideband waveforms, tracking radars can collect and measure the radar cross-section (RCS) of each object within the target cluster. The absolute RCS is sensitive to details of the object’s size, shape, surface roughness, and material.

•   Range Doppler Imaging. Wide-bandwidth echoes from an object, collected over an extended train of coherent pulses, can be processed to provide a two-dimensional image of the object, as illustrated in Figure 5-2.2 Such images can be collected simultaneously on objects in a target cluster while they remain within the beamwidth of the radar. Some fraction of the objects can be expected

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2Joseph M. Usoff, MIT Lincoln Laboratory. 2007. “Haystack Ultra-wideband Satellite Imaging Radar (HUSIR),” 2007 IEEE Radar Conf., Boston, Mass., April 17-20, Plenary Session, pp. 17-22, ©IEEE.

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

images

FIGURE 5-2 Example of ISAR satellite imaging from the Haystack radar complex.

to rotate at rates that permit rapid classification of small or irregular nonthreatening debris. Decoys too small to present a threat can also be discriminated over periods of several seconds. The coherent process used in imaging also improves the sensitivity of a radar so that objects with cross-sections smaller than required for acquisition of the track can be located and their relative positions measured.

•   Position measurement. With adequate signal-to-noise ratio, a monopulse tracking radar can limit measurement error to less than 1 percent of its beamwidth. Over extended track periods, the relative positions can be refined by a further order of magnitude. Along with measurement of relative range to within fractions of a meter, using wideband waveforms, these position data provide a three-dimensional target object map that can be converted to the angular coordinates of a homing seeker, ensuring proper registration of each object in the target cluster.

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

•   Precession and nutation. The range-Doppler image of each object is sensitive to small angular motions of the object, representing precession and nutation of its axes.3 Observation of these parameters over an extended period provides additional discriminants that are not available by other means.

•   Object mass. Objects having insufficient mass to constitute threats can be excluded as targets for defensive action. To the extent that forward-based X-band radar siting permits viewing the threat before booster burnout, tracking of the booster through burnout and deployment of the RV can be useful in this regard.

•   Capabilities of other radars. It has been suggested that the Aegis AN/SPY-1 and the upgraded UHF early warning radars can provide discrimination, or at least classification, of target objects. These radars have only limited range resolution capability, far below that of the X-band radars.

 

The signal bandwidth of the UHF radars is limited to a few megahertz, both by equipment design and by ionospheric propagation effects. The resulting range resolution is measured in tens of meters. The beamwidths of the UHF radars are approximately 2 degrees. The lack of resolution increases the probability that two or more objects will lie in the same resolution cell, precluding accurate measurements of any sort on the individual objects that would be useful for discrimination or classification. Widely spaced targets might permit classification, but the contribution to discrimination and target selection is negligible.

In summary, it is concluded that observation over the longest possible time by X-band radars is a prerequisite for midcourse discrimination. These radars were designed to perform this function, and it is essential that they be assigned to perform tracking and discrimination functions using all their resources, leaving search and warning to the low-resolution radar systems and overhead sensors that were designed for that purpose. The failure to exploit fully the ability to extend the synergy between the two sensor classes, which permits extending the range of the X-band radar tracking and discrimination, has unnecessarily compromised the performance of the present BMD system.

Finally, although much of the early work on decoy discrimination involved optical techniques, it appears that with the advent of very capable X-band radars, MDA has shifted away from this approach over the past decade. While the committee largely agrees with this shift in emphasis, work on sensors and optical discrimination should be continued because optical techniques have not been exploited to their fullest as the committee recommends. Classified Appendix J provides additional discussion and analysis related to classical optical discrimination.

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3V.V. Chen and H. Ling, Naval Research Laboratory. 2002. Time-Frequency Transforms for Radar Imaging and Signal Analysis, Artech House, Norwood, Mass.

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

Fundamental Precepts of a Cost-Effective Ballistic Missile Defense

The following principles should be respected:

 

1.   Understand the threat variables and the adversary’s objectives and design to deny them;

2.   Provide margin and options for unanticipated events or behavior;

3.   Make time an ally not an enemy;

4.   Keep it as simple as possible;

5.   Delegate responsibility for real-time decisions to the proper level rather than centralize them; and

6.   Make the best use of the nature of the assets available and minimize the need for new ones.

The committee finds the current GMD system deficient with respect to all of these principles.

Functional Delegation

Table 5-1 displays the functions that must be performed in defending against a ballistic missile attack independent of where it is launched from or where it is going. It indicates what sensors are needed and what they do and do not provide in the way of information that the defense can use. In effect, the information in the table helps define the CONOPS and the architecture. The following discussion amplifies Table 5-1 vis-à-vis the four missile defense missions discussed throughout this report.

Threat Characterization

The characteristics of threats in the scenarios delineated by the congressional task are discussed generally in Chapter 1 and in detail in classified Appendix F. In addition, Chapter 2 presented the challenges of the timelines for boost-phase defense. Here, some timelines are recapped as the committee considers CONOPS for the various missions.

 

•   An intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launched from central Iran to the U.S. East Coast would have a maximum range total flight time of about 40 minutes. If it were liquid propelled, the boosted portion of that flight time would last about 250 sec, and if solid propelled, it would last about 180 sec. Similar flight durations would apply to threats from North Korea. At least some if not all solid-propelled missiles and all liquid-propelled missiles would have thrust termination capability and could also use excess energy to loft or depress their trajectory at less than maximum range.

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

TABLE 5-1 Recommended Missile Defense CONOPS and Function Delegation

Phase of Threat Function Command Level Intelligence Surveillance Sensors
Peacetime Surveillance Approve doctrine and ROE for lower levels Monitor developments and assess capabilities, order of battle, and intentions Broad area surveillance
Heightened tensions Alert Increase DEFCON level Estimate intentions and tactics of adversary Respond to DEFCON status with focus on adversary AOR
Threat launch and powered flight TWAA Delegate defense authority to appropriate COCOM Determine adversary’s remaining assets, locations, and capabilities Determine raid size, throw weight, impact prediction, missile typing. Cue defense acquisition and tracking sensors
Threat midcourse flight Defense acquisition, tracking, and engagement planning Monitor Support NCA/COCOM response and contingency planning Maintain surveillance for follow-on attacks from same or other sources
Engage and plan 2nd shot Monitor
  Target designation Implement contingency plan images/nec-9-1.png images/nec-9-2.png
  Postdesignation assessment Response plan
Intercept Monitor
Reentry Follow-on engagements Terminal engagement within atmosphere Monitor

NOTE: AOR, area of responsibility; ROE, rules of engagement; NCA, National Command Authority; COCOM, combatant commander; TWAA, tactical warning and attack assessment; DEFCON, Defense Readiness Condition.

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×
Combatant Commander Battle Manager Fire Unit Tracking and Discrimination
Establish ROE for operations on basis of NCA guidance Maintain defense connectivity and validate readiness Maintain readiness  
Task surveillance, assets, alert AOR defense focus and set contingent ROE Activate and maintain readiness and status of defense resources Check and verify readiness status Prepare to or go active in designated surveillance sector
Determine priority of assets to be defended against this attack based on ROEs Select defense resources and plan engagements Select assets and maintain readiness to fire Concentrate resources on search and detection
Authorize battle manager to commit Select firing doctrine; authorize fire unit(s) to engage when forward-based radars verify threat Prepare interceptor(s) Cued or self-cued search, track, and characterization of threat objects
    After forward defense radar acquires threat, commit interceptor(s)
Prepare backup interceptors
Commit additional interceptors(s) as required for other credible objects
Establish track files and state vectors for all objects
Rank objects and transmit handover of TOM to interceptor
Update TOM periodically to interceptor, receive sensor data downlink and observe intercept
Damage assessment and response Look at both interceptor and radar TOMs and radar designated target objects and object ranking to determine need for additional intercepts
Kill assessment and decision for 2nd shot
Commit 2nd shot for any failure Maintain track on all objects
Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

•   A three-stage, 5,600-km-range solid-propelled intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) capable of targeting London and virtually all of Eurasia from central Iran would have a maximum range flight time of about 24 min and a boost time about 180 sec. A liquid IRBM with similar capability would have a boost burn time of about 200 sec. Either of these could be lofted or depressed at the expense of range.

•   In the Middle East or northeast Asia, the defense of allies and/or U.S. forces would face shorter range threats, with total flight times of 15 min or less and typical maximum range apogees of 600 km or less. Boost times would probably be no more than 120 sec with burnout altitudes often less than 100 km. These timelines would also apply to launches from tramp steamers or submarines about 1,000 km off the coast of the United States or allied homelands. Accordingly, those threats could not be engaged in boost phase from space but might be engaged in the atmosphere during boost by forward-based platforms—either airborne or sea-based—if they were close enough.

•   Based on public descriptions of the testing carried out by a potential adversary, it is likely that any threat missile launched would be part of a salvo of near-simultaneous launches of similar missiles or a variety of missile types. The salvo might be launched from sites a few kilometers apart and/or widely separated. Missiles of different types in a salvo might have different missions such as rolling back forward-based radars and forces as well as strategic targets. Similar missiles in a salvo might also have different but complementary roles such as an electromagnetic pulse precursor or defense suppression.

•   Precursor attacks in particular must be considered a possible element of any threat raid because they can be implemented by any missile after exit from the atmosphere.

Countermeasures

At some point, countermeasures of various kinds should be expected. While these may or may not be observed in tests, a reasonable assumption would be that they will be similar to those tested elsewhere.

Operational Testing in Realistic Engagements Is Costly but Necessary

Confidence in U.S. defense components and their ability to function as expected under stressing conditions can only be established by end-to-end operational tests that are realistic albeit limited in scope and number and by continued use of unmodified deployed systems during the life of the deployment. Of necessity, any one of these tests is expected to be constrained by cost to one-on-one or few-on few-engagements, but it would certainly be possible to inject realistically simulated data into the surveillance, acquisition, and tracking sensor measurements and messages to stress the system’s ability to function properly while han-

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

dling larger raids. In addition, to serve as a training tool for the operators and to build their knowledge and confidence, the battle simulation facility could use real system elements in the loop and introduce failures or unexpected threat behavior.

Defining, developing, manufacturing, and deploying multiple systems to defend against various often ill-defined potential offensive systems is a significant challenge. In response to this challenge, MDA, in concert with the DOD Operational Test Assessment Office and the Services test organizations, has created an overarching Master Integrated Test Plan. A key concern is the signatures of incoming missiles, reentry vehicles, and associated penetration aids, which cannot precisely be duplicated or tested. The availability of test missiles also limits the number of flight tests that could be conducted with the GBIs at FGA and VAFB.

The committee believes that the MDA Master Integrated Test Plan developed and approved by the Office of Testing and Assessment (OTA), is a reasonable approach to developing estimates of the initial reliability of the deployed systems while considering the complexity and costs of any potential test plan. This master plan also takes advantage of significant simulation testing of all the MDA systems. However, the committee has not seen a follow-on operational test plan for deployed systems that would provide an ongoing reliability assessment with associated confidence levels. In short, today’s deployed GBIs do not have identical configurations, and the missile could have different reliabilities and confidence levels that would need to be utilized by the war planners. MDA does maintain an accurate configuration for each deployed GBI, so that the situation of “no two alike” does not now appear to be an important concern. In summary, MDA’s comprehensive, overarching Master Integrated Test Plan for all of its deployed assets and supporting activities was distributed in July 2010, but the actual results and benefits of the plan remain to be seen.

Testing aside, the most important contributor to an effective missile defense is the robustness of the architecture and the CONOPS that define its capabilities, even given uncertainties in the threat and reliability of the system elements. For that reason, the committee believes it is important to specify the CONOPS and the architecture.

Conclusions on CONOPS for Defense of the United States and Canada

The committee draws some conclusions and guidance on CONOPS for defense of the United States and Canada from Table 5-1 and the analysis in Chapter 2.

 

1.   There is no tenable place from which to launch surface-based or air-launched interceptors within 1,000 km of central Iran, where that country’s longer-range missiles are likely to be based for security reasons. Therefore, it would not be practical to engage any long- or medium-range threats during their boost phase and they would have to be engaged during their midcourse or ter-

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

minal trajectories. Shorter range threats have burn times too short and burnout altitudes too low to engage before their midcourse or terminal phase of flight.

2.   In the view of this committee and based on 50 years of knowledge and experience with ballistic missiles and defense against them, midcourse defense with a terminal underlay where needed would be the most cost-effective defense against ballistic missiles. Among its other benefits, midcourse has time on its side, and this time should be used wisely.

3.   When carefully examined, early intercept is not early enough to avoid the issues of midcourse discrimination, and it reduces the time available for viewing, which is so important for midcourse discrimination. Moreover, the schemes recommended to circumvent that problem are vulnerable to the deployment scheme chosen by the attacker. However, early intercepts do sometimes offer additional shot opportunities and might also constrain an adversary’s payload deployment time, making effective countermeasures potentially more difficult.

4.   It should therefore be recognized that no practical defense scheme can avoid the need for midcourse discrimination. Until that reality is acknowledged, there will be no end to poorly thought out schemes proposing to avoid the need for midcourse discrimination.

5.   Whether decoys can be readily discriminated, particularly in the face of antisimulation techniques, remains a contentious subject however. The combination of observations for more than 100 sec by an interceptor-mounted optical sensor that is closing on the threat complex, together with concurrent X-band radar observations and a firing doctrine that exploits the battle space available for SLS engagements, offers the greatest probability of being able to separate real threatening objects from decoys and other objects and should be central to any defense of the U.S. homeland, allies and friends, and U.S. deployed forces.

6.   To effectively exploit these capabilities, interceptors must be within sight of a radar—not necessarily the same one—in order for the radar to communicate with the interceptor at any time from shortly after launch until intercept. This means that while tracking the interceptor and target, the radar(s) must be able to transmit in-flight updates based on radar or battle manager observations and to receive and relay downlinks from the interceptor once its sensor is uncapped and it sees and decides to engage. The interceptor then must have the ability to receive communication uplinks at any time after its first stage burns out (except during staging events) and to send down to the battle manager, via the radar data on its observation of the threat any time after sensor uncap, its decisions about ranking and which object it selects to intercept.

7.   The observed and processed data transmitted from a midcourse interceptor should include processed focal plane data as well as all object track files and their ranking for use by the battle manager for second-shot decisions. It is expected that the focal plane will be read out at a rate of at least 50 Hz and that the final image messages should be at a rate of at least 3 Hz within 0.5 sec of intercept. While it is recognized that this may dictate high bit rates in the last

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

report burst of data, earlier reports can be at rates no higher than once every 3 to 5 sec until the last 5 to 10 sec before intercept. This is particularly important for the detection of some countermeasures.

8.   Complementing the interceptor capabilities indicated here is a need for enough X-band radars with sufficient acquisition range and capability to observe, image, and measure the dynamics of threat objects over as much of their trajectory as practical to support both discrimination of warheads from other objects and firing solutions and two-way communication for interceptors even in the presence of countermeasures and to perform kill assessment for SLS.

9.   AN/TPY-2 X-band radars forward-based in Japan and in eastern Turkey or Azerbaijan, for example, offer a very important capability, particularly for the defense of allies and deployed U.S. forces, but also for the defense of the United States. Cued by the Defense Support Program (DSP) or the SBIRS, they provide the earliest precision tracks that can be propagated forward in time and used for committing interceptors thousands of kilometers away. They should be appropriately defended against a rollback attack by short-range, short-time-of-flight ballistic or cruise missiles as well as against infiltrating ground attack.

10.   With capable forward-based radars, it is possible for shorter range engagements, where time is not an ally, to commit interceptors shortly after threat burnout. Remaining uncertainties during the interceptor’s boost can be removed by modest divert maneuvers sacrificing little fly-out velocity.

RECOMMENDED GMD EVOLUTION—THE INTERCEPTOR

Overview

As previously noted, the committee’s analysis shows, among other things, that the GMD system does not take advantage of fundamental features long known to maximize effectiveness in a midcourse hit-to-kill defense capability against threats to the U.S. homeland. These features can still be incorporated at a lower overall cost through the recommended GMD-E described here.

In short, the recommended evolutionary GMD-E would provide much longer and more effective concurrent threat observation during engagements by both X-band radars and the onboard sensors of the KV while closing on the threat complex. This combination, coupled with SLS battle space and firing doctrine supported by robust two-way communication, is a powerful tool for discriminating real warheads from countermeasures and for reducing leakage. Precluded in the current GMD architecture, this combination would also provide a more effective U.S. homeland defense capability, albeit still a limited one by virtue of the number of interceptors deployed. Moreover, it would minimize or eliminate the need and cost for so-called early midcourse engagements from Europe-based large interceptors (greater than 4.5 km/sec fly-out velocity).

The recommended GMD-E—a CONUS-based system—takes advantage of

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

work already done by MDA, along with previously demonstrated technology and implementations long known to be effective but unfortunately not considered in the current FGA deployment.

Instead of building more of the current interceptors or in-flight interceptor communication stations (IFICSs), the evolution would employ a smaller, two-stage interceptor based on rocket motors developed by the KEI program before it was terminated. It is referred to in this report as the GMD-E interceptor.

As described in Chapter 2, the KEI program was initiated several years ago to try (unsuccessfully) to achieve boost-phase intercept with a high-acceleration, high-velocity, two-stage 60-sec-burn booster (35-sec-burn first stage, 25-sec-burn second stage), plus a two-pulse third stage, plus a light KV. Careful analysis at the time would have shown that goal to be impractical for any operationally realistic deployment location, but the booster configuration had been developed through successful ground firings of each stage when the program was terminated in 2009.

Ironically, the first-stage rocket motor of the KEI, together with a similar, but less demanding second stage would be an ideal candidate for the recommended GMD-E interceptor. Using such technology, one can construct a notional interceptor with a total boosted burn time of approximately 70 sec. With the elimination of the KEI third stage (note: the first and second stages now no longer have to propel the mass of the third stage), the recommended GMD-E interceptor could carry a heavier, more capable KV to greater burnout velocity. Such an interceptor would be very well suited to the midcourse mission of the recommended GMD-E. It offers large footprints, and with the features recommended, provides ample battle space to defend the United States and Canada; it also has resilience to threat uncertainties and a margin for the growth of payload mass. This notional GMD-E interceptor would have a burnout velocity of approximately 6 km/sec,

Using the recommended GMD-E interceptor, a third CONUS site would be added in the northeastern United States, e.g., at Fort Drum, New York, or in northern Maine, to protect the eastern United States and Canada against any potential threats that are limited in nature. These changes, along with a recommended new variant of existing X-band radars (discussed below), provide the important battle space for SLS capability for homeland defense. These changes also provide the best opportunity for discrimination against offensive countermeasures utilizing the combination of properly located X-band radar capabilities and optical sensors on the interceptors themselves as they close on the threat complex.

The recommended GMD-E interceptor is compared to the current GBI and a Standard Missile (SM)-3 Blocks IIA and IA in Figure 5-3 (see classified Appendix J for greater detail). Note that the recommended GMD-E external size is identical to that of the KEI.

An additional perspective on the projected capabilities of the recommended GMD-E may be found from Figure 5-4, which shows the fly-out fan for the recommended GMD-E interceptor easily reaching out to engage beyond 4,000 km in range down to 100 km altitude for the leading edge of defended area. The limiting

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

images

FIGURE 5-3 Comparison of current systems. SOURCE: Extracted from Craig van Schilfgaarde, David Theisen, Steve Rowland, and Guy Reynard, Northrop Grumman Corporation, “An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives: Northrop Grumman Perspective,” presentation to the committee, July 13, 2010. Courtesy of Northrop Grumman Corporation.

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FIGURE 5-4 Recommended notional GMD-E interceptor fly-out contours with 6 km/sec interceptor fly-out contours and two-stage 70-sec total burn.

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

factor on the fly-out envelope is the KV battery, which is sized for 1,100 sec of operation. As noted to the right of the figure, there is ample payload margin for an even heavier KV if more divert capability is desired.

GMD-E Midcourse Kill Vehicle

As set forth above, the KV for the GMD-E interceptor is more capable and heavier than the exoatmospheric kill vehicle (EKV) and therefore supports the resilient CONOPS underpinning a multiple-SLS firing doctrine. It has all the recommended features described in Chapter 3, including an X- and S-band communication transponder of sufficient transmit power and antenna configuration for two-way link closure with either X- or S-band radars, radiation-hardened electronics, and battery capacity for 1,100 sec.

The KV’s long-wavelength infrared (LWIR) sensor can see threat objects at room temperature at a range of 2,000 km and small, colder objects shortly thereafter as range-to-go decreases. This longer acquisition range and acuity is achieved with a 30-cm-diameter aperture and a 256 × 256 two-IR-band focal plane array. A visible band array is also recommended. The focal plane and adjacent optics are cooled down to about 100 K in flight before sensor uncap using a gas blow-down system. This provides as much as 200 sec of observation by the onboard sensor in most first-shot engagements, thus maximizing opportunity for concurrent viewing of the spatial and temporal dynamics of target objects by both the onboard optical sensor and radars in view while the interceptor is closing on the target complex. The analysis used to size the sensor is provided in classified Appendix J.

The KV Divert and Attitude Control System (DACS) is sized for a divert capability of 600 m/sec, which, with the almost-1-degree sensor field of view, can handle handover uncertainties of ±30 km or more. The large payload margin of the interceptor would allow additional divert and step staring by the sensor, which in turn would permit even larger handover uncertainties if desired.

The KV has an encrypted, dual-channel communications transponder with both X- and S-band two-way encrypted links compatible with either type of radar as the ground transmitter and receiver. This provides two-way communication with interceptors after end-of-first-stage-burnout for radar TOM updates or override commands from the battle manager. The encrypted downlink has enough bandwidth to display what the onboard sensor sees and designates from sensor uncap to intercept.

A notional inboard profile of the recommended GMD-E KV is shown in Figure 5-5, and a weight statement is shown in Table 5-2.

Figure 5-6 displays the sensor and KV fully fueled (“wet”) mass as a function of cooled sensor aperture, given the performance and characteristics shown in Table 5-2. Note that the GMD-E kill vehicle fits nicely on that curve, albeit with less functionality included. A feature known as a “kill enhancement device”

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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FIGURE 5-5 KKV notional configuration. Gray denotes Kevlar/epoxy frame. SOURCE: David K. Barton, Roger Falcone, Daniel Kleppner, Frederick K. Lamb, Ming K. Lau, Harvey L. Lynch, David Moncton, et al. 2004. Report of the American Physical Society Study Group on Boost-Phase Intercept Systems for National Missile Defense: Scientific and Technical Issues, American Physical Society, College Park, Md., October 5, p. S250.

is incorporated into the recommended KV. The basic concept is to increase the cross-section of the KV around the seeker with a lightweight array to handle very closely spaced objects. The Exoatmospheric Reentry Interceptor Subsystem (ERIS) KV flown in 1991 had such an array. It employed a lightweight, inflatable tubular frame, which supported a thin membrane that was deployed several seconds before intercept on the basis of estimated time-to-go. While ERIS achieved direct body-to-body impact and also demonstrated the ability to select the aim point, the kill enhancement device provided a hedge against some countermeasures. The ERIS KKV, with its lethality enhancement device deployed, is shown in Figure 5-7.

RECOMMENDED GMD EVOLUTION—THE SENSORS

Layered defense systems are desirable to increase engagement effectiveness, but individual layers should be implemented only if the value added is better and more cost effective than competing options. Layered defense is commonly

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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TABLE 5-2 Recommended Notional GMD-E KV Mass Properties Statement

Liquid Midcourse KV with 30 cm 45-kg Sensor Segment or Subassembly Mass (kg) Notes

DACS

 

Adjusted for 4 g

Pressure regulator

0.50

Assumes 4 divert thrusters

Divert thrusters

4.60

ACS required assumed = 0.1 × divert

ACS thrusters

0.46

Closing velocity = 8-10 km/sec

Value drivers

Included

Maximum total time of KV operational = 1,100 sec

Manifold

Included

Sized for 4 g in last 10 sec

Seeker less IMU including cooling

45.00

 

Contingency for FPA shielding

1.00

 

IMU

1.00

 

Avionicsa

10.00

 

Separation system

0.50

 

Ordnance initiate lines

0.25

 

Kill enhancement device

5.00

Rough estimate

KV primary battery

5.00

Estimate based on other programs

KV basic structure and install

8.00

Tanks used as load-carrying structure but Kevlar epoxy composite structure for high axial and lateral acceleration

Total KV dry weight less tank
Useful fuel and oxidizer

81.31

Total ∆V in m/sec + 10% ACS

ACS and press fraction of useful, 10%

19.30

Added ACS fuel at 10% of divert

ACS and pressurization fuel, 10% Unusable propellant fraction, 3%

1.93

Propellant trapped in system 20% of fuel load

Unusable propellant

0.58

Conventional pressure tanks

Tankage

3.98

Account for ACS/pressure fuel used but not effective for thrust

Subtotal of KV wet

106.52

 

Isp of propellant (sec)

300

 

Isp (effective) after ACS and pressurization fuel

285

 

∆V from rocket equation

602

 

∆V desired in m/sec (input)

600

 

KV mass with 15% fuel remaining

88.47

 

Thrust for 4 g at 15% fuel load g at full fuel load

3,468

Based on 4 g

  3.32  

NOTE: ACS, altitude control system; IMU, inertial measurement unit; FPA, focal plan array; FTS, flight termination system; TM, telemetry.

aAvionics includes guidance/control computer, tactical communications transponder, KV electronic safe arm, FTS antenna (nontactical), FTS battery, command destruction recovery signal, X-band antennas, X-band TM, power divider/hybrid coupler, J Box, control module, logic.

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

images

FIGURE 5-6 GMD-E midcourse KV and sensor mass as a function of aperture diameter.

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FIGURE 5-7 Exoatmospheric Re-entry Interceptor Subsystem (ERIS) KKV configuration showing enhancement device concept in the deployed position. SOURCE: David K. Barton, Roger Falcone, Daniel Kleppner, Frederick K. Lamb, Ming K. Lau, Harvey L. Lynch, David Moncton, et al. 2004. Report of the American Physical Society Study Group on Boost-Phase Intercept Systems for National Missile Defense: Scientific and Technical Issues, American Physical Society, College Park, Md., October 5, p. S207.

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

thought of as independent multilayers of distinctly different elements that make up the individual layers. However, it is more useful to think of layered defense as multiple SLS engagement opportunities over a large portion of an ICBM threat trajectory.4 This should include multiple layers of sensors that support the engagements of the interceptors. Many of these multiple layers of sensors may be in the same configuration, but they may be based in different geographical areas to provide coverage and engagement flexibility to engage ICBM threats over a wide range of approach azimuths.

The threat detection, tracking, and imaging sensor suite is a key element of any missile defense system, as described earlier in the recommended concept of operations. Early threat detection and track with sufficient accuracy to provide targeting of long-reach defensive missiles is essential for engagements with a high probability of success. The sensor suite includes the sensors on the interceptor as well as active and passive off-board sensors with a diversity of basing. Owing to the size and power requirements, most of the active long-range radars will have to be land- or sea-based. The passive sensor suite is made up of infrared sensors operating in the short-range infrared (SWIR) to LWIR wave bands, which can be deployed on airborne, missile-borne, or satellite platforms. The deployment configuration should provide early threat detection and track from multiple sensor sources—preferably combinations of active and passive—with capability for continuous coverage over large segments of the threat trajectory. The system sensor suite should be configured to avoid single-point sensor failure that would disable the system. Such failure would include mechanical failure and downtime for repairs and maintenance as well as failures due to various natural phenomena such as weather, storms, solar activity, and ionospheric perturbations. It would also include covert and overt actions by adversaries. Redundancy of sensors is another form of layering. If the sensors are chosen judiciously, this can be done at a reasonable cost.

GMD-E Radars

The recommended GMD-E deployment takes advantage of the space-based SBIRS and DSP satellite systems, as well as currently planned forward-based AN/TPY-2 radars, referred to as stand-alone X-band radar (FBX), located in Japan and at one or more locations north of Iran.

In addition, the recommended GMD-E provides a significant enhancement in land-based radars through the introduction of a recommended doubling of existing AN/TPY-2 radars, one stacked on top of the other. These doubled (or stacked) radars would be mounted on azimuth turntables (like the sea-based X-band radar (SBX)) that could be mechanically reoriented (not scanned) through an azimuth

_____________

4SLS can include both shoot and look at the intercept before firing again and an equally valuable case of looking at what the first interceptor sees and designates to home on and dispatching another interceptor if there appears to be more than one credible object ranked.

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

sector of ≈270 degrees. For the purposes of this report, the recommended doubled AN/TPY-2 radars are designated GBX radars.

More specifically, the recommended GBX radars would provide electronic scan coverage from the horizon to the zenith over a traverse angle sector of ±45 degrees from broadside. The traverse is a great circle angle passing through the broadside azimuth at the elevation of the scanned beam it covers: For example, ±45 degree azimuth at the horizon, ±93 degree azimuth at 45 degree elevation, and all azimuths at zenith.

The output of this “doubled,” over-and-under, dual-array GBX system would be combined coherently through a time-delay device that permits the full instantaneous signal bandwidth to be used for range Doppler imaging. The coherent combination produces an elevation beam width half that of the AN/TPY-2 radar, with twice the gain (four times the two-way gain) and twice the peak and average power. Duplicate power supply and cooling units would be required, but a single electronic equipment unit should suffice, with minimal added electronics to handle the combined signals.

It is recommended that these stacked GBX radars be located at the current UEWR (ballistic missile early warning system (BMEWS)) sites (Cape Cod, Massachusetts; Grand Forks, North Dakota; Thule, Greenland; and Fylingdales, United Kingdom). Additionally, as a result of its analysis, the committee recommends that a fifth GBX radar be added at Clear, Alaska, and that the SBX be moved permanently to Adak, Alaska.

Figure 5-8 shows the GBX architecture for homeland defense that was used for the analysis to support a multiple SLS firing doctrine: This architecture greatly increases system engagement effectiveness. Note in Figure 5-8 that the field of regard for the AN/TPY-2 radars is shown symbolically as 360 degrees. In fact, a rotational mounting would be needed to accomplish this 360-degree capability.

Scheduling of X-Band Radar for Multiple Engagements

The range at which acquisition and tracking of a target complex is possible can be increased when accurate cueing from external sensors permits the X-band radars to be pointed at the target without use of an acquisition scan. This allows the integration of multiple pulses. Without regard to the transmitted waveform, the time required to exchange a pulse with a target at 1,000 km range is equal to twice the range divided by the velocity of light, which is ≈7 ms, plus an allowance for reception of the entire echo, totaling ≈8 msec. For example, if integration of 10 pulses for acquisition and tracking were necessary, a beam dwell of approximately 80 msec at 1,000-km target range, or 160 msec at 2,000-km target range would be required. Accurate velocity measurement and range-Doppler imaging would typically require a sequence of these 10-pulse dwells over a period of approximately10 sec (for example, 4 dwells at 2.5 sec intervals). Thus, each target would consume a nominal 320-640 msec in 10 sec, or 3.2-6.4 percent of the radar’s time.

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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FIGURE 5-8 Recommended notional GMD-E radar architecture for homeland defense.

 

An uplink/downlink function should be included as a new radar mode. Assuming that the transmitter and receiver could be modified to pass the required information, this function is estimated to require 0.65 percent of the radar resources per interceptor for an in-flight target update (IFTU) every 10 sec, until the final 10 sec before intercept, where 65 percent might be required for IFTUs every 0.1 sec (classified Appendix J provides greater detail). In the unlikely event that two or more interceptors intercept within 10 sec of each other, they would have to share the resources and accept less frequent IFTUs.

Therefore, combined tracking and IFTU activity in the example above would require approximately 4-7 percent of the radar resources per target until 10 sec before intercept, corresponding to a radar system that could handle approximately 14-26 simultaneous targets, depending on their distance from the radar. The resource allocation is roughly proportional to the average target range.

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

The kill assessment function requires minimal radar resources, as it serves merely to detect the fragmentation of the selected target by the interceptor. If the prior discrimination has ruled out the presence of additional lethal targets, fragmentation of the selected target is confirmation of kill.

The very-long-range sea-based X-band radar (SBX) currently being used as a test asset would provide Pacific coverage based in Adak, Alaska, where moorings for it currently exist. It is shown with 360-degree coverage because it is turntable mounted, but its array has a limited field of view. Additionally, two medium-range AN/TPY-2 class X-band radars deployed in Japan and southeastern Europe (eastern Turkey) provide the precision tracking capability and kill assessment to enable SLS with the concurrent viewing that the committee described earlier. These radars, coupled with the recommended GMD-E interceptors, provide SLS engagement battle space over virtually all populated portions of North America for the midcourse phase of the ICBM threat trajectory—i.e., they provide homeland defense.

Details of the analysis (a homeland defense-oriented analysis process) utilizing radars and radar deployment presented above are presented in the next section.

RESULTS OF ENGAGEMENT ANALYSIS AND SIMULATION OF THE SYSTEM IN DEFENDING THE HOMELAND

Overview

This section summarizes the results of detailed engagement analyses used to assess the effectiveness of the recommended GMD-E for the missions for homeland defense against any limited attack: Iranian and North Korean threats were used as cases for analysis. In each case provided below, interceptor basing was assumed at FGA, and at a northeast CONUS location, e.g., Fort Drum, New York; Caribou, Maine; or Rome, New York. An additional trial location at Grand Forks, North Dakota, was also evaluated but found redundant and unnecessary.

Coverage of GMD Evolution Against Threats from Iran

The following section considers threats from Iran and compares single-shot and SLS coverage for minimum-energy, lofted, and depressed trajectories.

Figure 5-9 shows the maximum footprint where only one shot is possible in blue using the committee’s proposed architecture for homeland defense. It also shows the footprint for at least one SLS cycle in red.5 Interceptors are assumed to be launched 10 sec after entering an X-band radar’s track capability and must be observed by X-band radars for at least 50 sec.

_____________

5Figures 5-8 to 5-14 were generated from the committee’s analysis using Google Earth. ©2011 Google, Map Data ©2011 Tele Atlas.

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

images

FIGURE 5-9 Notional single-shot and SLS footprints against minimum energy ICBM trajectories from Iran.

 

Here, the Alaska site and the northeast site provide full coverage of the United States and Canada for at least one shot, and there is SLS capability over all populated areas of North America. In addition, in the area between the single-shot footprint and the SLS footprint, there is battle space for second shots to replace failures or to engage additional credible objects identified by the first interceptor at the time it designates its intended target object. This feature is sometimes called shoot-evaluate-shoot or shoot-designate-shoot. The bottoms of the footprints are left open because they depend on the threat missile maximum range assumed. Because the footprints are the union of overlapping coverages from FGA, and, in these examples, from Fort Drum, New York, the overlapping boundaries of each site are shown in the same color, but dotted.

At anything less than maximum range, the threat could use the excess energy to fly a lofted or depressed trajectory if such a trajectory offered any advantage. The next two figures show single-shot and SLS footprints for coverage against those tactics.

Figure 5-10 again shows complete coverage of North America on a single-shot basis, with the red footprint showing that all populated areas are within the SLS footprint. Depressed trajectories drive the leading edge of the footprint coverage back, as shown in Figure 5-11. The time constraints, and the fact that

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

images

FIGURE 5-10 Notional defense footprints: Iran lofted trajectories.

the forward radars see less of the trajectory or are underflown completely, significantly reduce the coverage for a guaranteed SLS footprint; even here, however, the single-shot coverage is complete except for the North Slope of Alaska.

The main message of the figures and the associated assessment is as follows: If the recommended CONUS-based GMD-E interceptor is adopted, there is no need for early intercepts from Europe to help defend North America, because the CONUS-based interceptors provide excellent coverage with at least one SLS engagement and often a third shot as well.

Early Intercept: Useful or Not?

In view of the above message regarding early intercepts vis-à-vis the recommended GMD-E, some additional discussion of early intercepts is useful. In general, the value of early intercept depends on the fragility or robustness of the CONUS deployment of GMD, including the recommended GMD-E. The contribution of early intercepts using the GMD-E interceptor in Europe and the western Pacific was studied as part of the committee’s analysis, and examples are shown later in this chapter and in more detail in classified Appendix J. However, at the present point, some general observations may be made.

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

images

FIGURE 5-11 Notional defense footprints: Iran depressed trajectory.

 

In reviewing Figure 5-11, it can be seen that there is only single-shot coverage of the Canadian Maritimes and Newfoundland. Figure 5-12 shows how the coverage changes with a 4.5 km/sec interceptor at the Polish site; this extension of the red SLS boundary is shown in yellow. While that interceptor can be overflown by modest lofting, it provides an additional early shot against minimum-energy or depressed threats from Iran to the East Coast of North America that would otherwise be defended only by single-shot coverage. The same increase in coverage would result against minimum-energy threats toward northeast Canada. The other potential advantage of early intercept is to force an adversary to deploy missile payloads more quickly, which may complicate its ability to deploy effective countermeasures. However, as shown in some of the engagements analyzed in this chapter, early intercept even in the best of cases does not occur early enough to avoid the need for midcourse discrimination.

While intercept from Europe would be quite important if nothing is done about the limitations of the current GMD system architecture, the committee believes it is better to solve that problem, and others, with the recommended CONUS-based GMD-E. It notes that a 4-km/sec interceptor based in either Romania or northern Poland does not have sufficient reach to engage threats headed to the United States from Iran. While the introduction of the GMD Evolved In-

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

images

FIGURE 5-12 Notional coverage against depressed threats (notional 4.5 km/sec interceptor at the Polish site).

terceptor into Poland in a later phase of the adaptive deployment would avoid the cost of yet another interceptor development, it would clearly exacerbate political tensions in the region: It would be able to intercept Russian ICBMs deployed in the southwesternmost Russian bases heading toward targets in the eastern United States. The added shot opportunities provided by introducing a Poland-based GMD-E interceptor are shown later in this chapter. A 4.5-km/sec interceptor cannot threaten any Russian strategic deterrent. While a 6-km/sec interceptor in Europe would provide additional shot opportunities for CONUS defense, the committee does not advocate introducing an interceptor with fly-out velocity greater than about 4.5 km/sec into Europe.

Coverage of GMD Evolution Against Threats from North Korea

In a format similar to that of the figures showing the threat from Iran, Figures 5-13, 5-14, and 5-15 compare nominal single-shot and SLS coverage for minimum energy, lofted, and depressed trajectories from North Korea for the committee’s recommended architecture. These threats are seen before burnout by the Shariki FBX, then by the SBX at Adak, Alaska, and finally, in some cases, by the GBX at Clear, Alaska.

Figure 5-12 shows the notional single-shot footprint in blue against minimum-energy threats from North Korea. In these cases, threats are first tracked by the

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

images

FIGURE 5-13 Notional defended footprint of North Korean minimum-energy trajectories.

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FIGURE 5-14 Notional defended footprint of North Korean lofted trajectories.

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

images

FIGURE 5-15 Notional defended footprint of North Korean depressed trajectories.

Shariki FBX for over 100 sec and then by the SBX at Adak, Alaska, and in some cases by the GBX at Clear, Alaska. The coverage afforded by lofted trajectories from North Korea is shown in Figure 5-14. The two sites easily provide SLS coverage of all of North America against lofted threats from North Korea. Figure 5-15 shows the coverage against North Korean depressed trajectories. Here, most of northwest Canada is protected, but the coverage of Alaska is reduced by the short time of flight and the shallow trajectories, making defense of the FGA site less robust than might be desired.

It should be noted, however, the committee’s analysis shows that notional interceptors with a fly-out velocity of 4.3-4.5 km/sec that are ship-based in the northern Sea of Japan with engage-on-remote capability from the Shariki FBX would be capable of an additional early shot for North Korean threats to Alaska.

Layered Interceptors

Layered sensors with the ability to provide almost continuous ICBM target track from launch to near impact give rise to layered deployment interceptors. Using the sensor configuration discussed above, a hypothetical interceptor basing concept is added to examine the propects of developing a layered missile defense system capable of SLS engagements in all phases of the ICBM trajectory, from early ascent to near apogee and beyond apogee to near the bottom of the battle

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

space at reentry. An important attribute of a layered system of this type includes a provision for downlinking the data from the interceptor sensor as it closes on the target. The in-flight interceptor communication concept is presented in classified Appendix J. This then gives the interceptor a dual role as another layer in the sensor suite, with the most accurate and current data available for use by successive interceptors in the SLS sequence.

Interceptor Site Additions Considered

In addition to FGA and VAFB, new sites, including a northeastern United States site such as Fort Drum, New York, or northern Maine; a far western site on Shemya, Alaska; and a European site in Poland, were studied. All of these new interceptor sites were assumed to be populated with the new GMD-E high-performance interceptors, as previously described, with communication links to the BMC2 system. In this regard, the first step in a deployment evolution (using GMD-E interceptors) would be a committee-recommended site for 30 interceptors in upstate New York or northern New England. The next step in the evolution would be a phased upgrade of the current interceptors at FGA and VAFB, with the new GMD-E interceptors. In addition, an Aegis system would be used to defend Hawaii (either a ship positioned near Kauai, Hawaii, or Aegis ashore on Kauai with an additional GBX radar and THAAD battery for second shot).

Figures 5-16 and 5-17 and Table 5-3 present hypothetical ICBM threat engagements for scenarios between a Middle East launch point and the East Coast and middle of CONUS. This information is provided as an example of the level of analytical detail that was incorporated within the study process. Similar data

images

FIGURE 5-16 Example of Middle East to U.S. East Coast four-shot SLS engagement (ground track view).

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

images

FIGURE 5-17 Example of Middle East to U.S. East Coast four-shot SLS engagement (three-dimensional view).

are provided in classified Appendix J for a northeast Asia launch point aimed toward Hawaii, the West Coast, or the middle of CONUS.

This hypothetical ICBM engagement assessment illustrates a firing doctrine using SLS engagements. Additionally, the trajectories in the figures that follow and in classified Appendix J are color-coded to reflect the portions of the trajectories that are being tracked by the various radars. If more than one radar is capable of tracking the threat, the trajectory ground track will have intermittent colors that correspond to the radars involved. The initial red segments of the threat trajectories indicate the booster burn phase that is being tracked by IR satellite sensors. Segments that are shown in black indicate no sensor track. Likewise, the red segments of the interceptor trajectory represent the boost phase at launch and the homing phase that begins at KV sensor acquisition of the threat complex.

From the hypothetical engagement examples provided below, the engagement battle space flexibility available in this layered concept is shown to be significant to a wide range of threats and countermeasures that are mission-timeline-sensitive in design; it also provides for greater flexibility to overcome early engagement component failures of our system (e.g., radar outages).

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

TABLE 5-3 Typical Mission Timeline

Mission Timeline (sec) Mission Event Sequence
      0

Threat launch

    30

Initial DSP report

  125

Begin track Azerbaijan XBR (R = 872 km; elev = 2.2 deg)

  180

Threat booster burnout

  190

First shot interceptor launched from Poland site (commit on track from Azerbaijan XBR)

  260

Interceptor burnout

  339

KV sensor acquires threat complex (R2Tgt = 1,994 km; T2Go = 177 sec; R2Int = 1,061 km)

  349

Initial course correction divert (R2Tgt = 1,883 km; T2Go = 167 sec; R2Int = 999 km)

  516

First shot intercept opportunity (Alt = 836 km; R = 1,462 km; ITOF = 326 sec; closing vel 11.3 km/sec; Xang = 36 deg)

 

Second shot (SLS) interceptor launched from Poland site (commit on Fylingdales GBX track + TOM from previous KV sensor)

 

Interceptor burnout

 

KV sensor acquires threat complex (R2Tgt = 1,000 km; T2Go = 116 sec; R2Int = 692 km)

 

Initial optional course correction divert (R2Tgt = 915 km; T2Go = 106 sec; R2Int = 636 km)

 

Second shot intercept opportunity (Alt = 1,111 km; FO R = 302 km; ITOF = 196 sec; closing vel = 8.6 km/sec; Xang = deg)

 

Kill (hit) assessment by Fylingdales GBX (R = 2,780 km; elev = 6.3 deg)

  526

Second shot (SLS) interceptor launched from Poland site (commit on Fylingdales GBX track + TOM from previous KV sensor)

  616

Interceptor burnout

  626

KV sensor acquires threat complex (R2Tgt = 1,000 km; T2Go = 116 sec; R2Int = 692 km)

  636

Initial optional course correction divert (R2Tgt = 915 km; T2Go = 106 sec; R2Int = 636 km)

  742

Second shot intercept opportunity (Alt = 1,111 km; FO R = 302 km; ITOF = 196 sec; closing vel = 8.6 km/sec; Xang = deg)

  752

Kill (hit) assessment by Fylingdales GBX (R = 2,780 km; elev = 6.3 deg)

  772

Third shot (SLS) interceptor launched from Caribou (commit on Fylingdales GBX track + TOM from previous KV sensor)

  842

Interceptor burnout

1,081

Threat reaches its trajectory apogee

1,201

KV sensor acquires threat complex (R2Tgt = 1,992 km; T2Go = 180 sec; R2Int = 985 km)

1,211

Initial optional course correction divert (R2Tgt = 882 km; T2Go = 170 sec; R2Int = 929 km)

1,381

Third shot intercept opportunity (Alt = 1,144 km; R = 2,770 km; ITOF = 609 sec; closing vel = 11.1 km/sec; Xang = 8.4 deg)

1,391

Kill (hit) assessment by Fylingdales (R = 2,382 km; elev = nm19/4 deg)

1,411

Fourth shot (SLS) interceptor launched from Caribou (commit on Fylingdales GBX track + TOM from previous KV sensor)

1,481

Intercept burnout

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×
1,515

KV sensor acquires threat complex (R2Tgt = 1,998 km; T2Go = 167 sec; R2Int = 1,031 km)

1,525

Initial optional course correct divert (R2Tgt = 1,879; T2Go = 157 sec; R2Int = 967 km)

1,682

Fourth shot intercept opportunity (Alt = 780 km; FO R = 1,174 km; ITOF = 271 sec; closing vel = 12 km/sec; Xang = 16 deg)

1,692

Kill (hit) assessment by Cape Cod GBX (R = 1,870 km; elev = 16.6 deg) Battle space remaining = 319 sec

2,021

Threat reaches minimum intercept altitude if not intercepted

2,050

Threat reaches target if not intercepted

NOTE: Hypothetical Middle East to East Coast CONUS four-shot SLS scenario. R, range; FO, fly-out.

 

This analysis represents a reasonably thorough conceptual analysis of hypothetical threats and is by no means optimized to achieve a good balance among the sensor and interceptor elements. Such a balance would require a much more rigorous and broader-ranging assessment of parametric technical requirements and an evaluation of system design. However, the committee believes the analysis presented below can point the way to a layered missile defense concept that will be very effective and highly responsive to the changing strategic environment and to the uncertainties surrounding who our adversary might one day be.

Middle East Threat to CONUS East Coast

Figures 5-16 and 5-17 show two different views (a ground track view and a three-dimensional view) of a hypothetical East Coast engagement with at least two SLS opportunities from CONUS-based interceptors, with the first engagement just after apogee. If the same interceptor type were also based in Poland, two additional ascent shots would be possible. Table 5-3 displays an event timeline for this case.

Figure 5-16 displays the intercept event times for each shot in the four-shot SLS sequence and the apogee point looking down along the ground track of the threat trajectory. In this example the first two shots are taken from the Poland interceptor site prior to apogee. The first shot, if it misses or sees more than one credible object, can be considered as a pathfinder for the second shot in the SLS firing doctrine. Likewise, this discrimination data stream cascades downward to each succeeding shot in the SLS sequence. The continuous ground-based radar (GBR) track and hit/kill assessment data along with data from the earlier interceptor sensor TOM are fused by the BMC2 and provided to each interceptor in the SLS succession until a kill is assessed as complete or until the battle space is exhausted. The last two shots, if needed, come from a CONUS East Coast interceptor site, in this example at Caribou, Maine.

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

Figure 5-17 displays the same engagement using a three-dimensional projection to give an altitude perspective along with additional data indicating the geometry between the line-of-sight (LOS) at the KV sensor acquisition of the target complex and the time to go (T2Go) to intercept of the target. The interceptor total time of flight (ITOF) from launch to intercept of the target is also shown. The divergent blue line is the LOS to the target, and the red line is the path of the interceptor KV to the target. The angle at which the KV trajectory (red) approaches the target trajectory (yellow) gives an indication of the crossing angle between the KV and target. Crossing angles of less than 90 degrees result in head-on intercepts, and crossing angles greater than 90 degrees are referred to as tail-chase intercepts. Head-on intercepts are preferred due to their higher closing velocity, which results in much greater energy exchange between the colliding bodies and therefore a much more lethal engagement.

Table 5-3 presents a more detailed timeline and provides metrics for an engagement such as this. It can be seen from an examination of the event timeline that a significant battle space is left after the fourth shot in the SLS engagement sequence. This provides a lot of flexibility in the timing of the actual shots and allows more time for certain functions that might be impacted by natural backgrounds and unexpected events during the course of the engagement. For example, when the first interceptor first acquires the threat complex at 339 sec and tracks long enough to determine that there is more than one credible object in the threat, this TOM information can be transmitted back to the BMC2 and an additional interceptor(s) can be launched before the first interceptor to make its intercept. This strategy is referred to as shoot-engage-shoot (SES) and can make use of the approximately 150-160 sec of battle space available before the first interceptor reaches its intercept point. Likewise, if the first interceptor should fail at any point in its flight, and this information is available to the BMC2, it can be replaced immediately by another interceptor using a strategy referred to as shoot-fail-shoot (SFS).

Effect of Time Delays Between Planned SLS Engagements

If the second shot is taken at its normal planned time, based on SLS, it would be launched at 546 sec and would intercept at 742 sec in the mission timeline. This assumes a 30-sec time delay for XBR tracking and kill assessment between the first intercept and launch of the second interceptor. Kill assessment is based on real-time analysis of X-band radar track and debris data to determine if a credible threat on a continuing ballistic path survived and should be engaged. It is noted that the closing velocity for the second intercept is about 8.6 km/sec and the crossing angle is about 81 degrees, with a total time of flight from launch to intercept of 196 sec at a fly-out ground range of only 302 km. Additional analysis shows the second interceptor launch could be delayed by as much as 2 min (120 sec), at 666 sec in the timeline, and still engage the target with a closing velocity of about 4.8 km/sec and a crossing angle of 127 degrees (a tail-chase geometry) at

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

931 sec in the mission timeline compared to the 742 sec in the normal sequence. When analysis is taken to the kinematic limit of being able to engage with the second shot, it shows the maximum additional delay between the first intercept and launch of the second interceptor is 3 min (180 sec), resulting in a second interceptor launch at 726 sec and an intercept at 1,353 sec. This results in a closing velocity of only 1.7 km/sec and a crossing angle of 165 degrees (a severe tail chase) and may not have enough closing velocity to effect a lethal collision with the target.

Interceptor SFS Replacement in Each Layer

The timeline that results if this additional 120-sec interceptor launch delay is flowed down to each layer of the four-shot SLS sequence can be compared with the timeline of Table 5-3.

Sequence Launch (sec) Intercept (sec) Closing Velocity (km/sec) Crossing Angle (deg)
First shot    190    516 11.3   35.7
Second shot    666    931   4.8 127.0
Third shot 1,081 1,525 11.5   10.3
Fourth shot 1,675 1,811 12.2   34.2

Figure 5-18 displays the ground track view of the baseline engagement (same as Figure 5-16) and compares it with the case of 120-sec additional time delays between intercept and launch of each remaining interceptor in the four-shot SLS sequence. In short, if the second interceptor is launched in a normal SLS sequence and there is a failure during boost phase or even a KV sensor failure at target acquisition, at 626 sec into the mission timeline, there is still ample time to launch a replacement interceptor in an SFS mode and not eliminate the downstream opportunities for the third and fourth shots in a continuation of the SLS sequence. In fact, were this same kind of interceptor failure to occur at each layer in the four-shot sequence there still would be enough battle space in each layer for an SFS replacement, as shown in the bottom part of Figure 5-18.

Effect of Individual and Multiple Radar Outages on SLS Performance

The issue of radar outage is a likely source of single-point failure in a missile defense system. However, with proper layering of critical radars, the concept is very resilient to the loss of one, two, and even three radars. Using an approach similar to that in the interceptor failure example, the result of losing one, two, or three of the four X-band radars at play in this scenario—Azerbaijan TPY-2 (XBR); Fylingdales, U.K. (GBX); Thule, Greenland (GBX); and Cape Cod, Massachusetts (GBX). The Azerbaijan TPY-2 FBX could just as well have been placed in eastern Turkey for the purposes of this analysis.

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

BASELINE ENGAGEMENT

images

ADDITIONAL 120 SECOND SLS LAUNCH DELAY

images

FIGURE 5-18 Example of Middle East to CONUS East Coast four-shot SLS engamement scenario (ground track view).

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

Single Radar Out

•   Case 1, Figure 5-19. Azerbaijan out (earliest first-shot commit): Fylingdales GBX fills this role with the following result (can still get four shots, one from Poland and three from Maine):

Sequence Site Launch (sec) Intercept (sec) Closing Velocity (km/sec) Crossing Angle (deg)
First shot Poland    474    690   9.5 67.4
Second shot Poland Not enough battle space for second shot Poland site
Second shot Maine    720 1,357 11.1   8.3
Third shot Maine 1,387 1,671 11.9 15.3
Fourth shot Maine 1,701 1,825 12.1 39

•   Case 2, Figure 5-20 (two possibilities). Fylingdales out (first-shot kill assessment and second- and third-shot commit).

      —Thule GBX fills the third-shot commit role with the following result:

Sequence Site Launch (sec) Intercept (sec) Closing Velocity (km/sec) Crossing Angle (deg)
First shot Poland    190    690   9.5 67.4
Second shot Poland No radar for first-shot kill KA (use KV TOM and hit/miss report)
Third shot Maine 1,373 1,664 11.9 14.9
Fourth shot Maine 1,694 1,821 12.1 37.5

NOTE: KA, kill assessment.

images

FIGURE 5-19 Case 1: Azerbaijan radar out.

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

images

FIGURE 5-20 Case 2: Fylingdales radar out.

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

 

      —Cape Cod GBX fills the third-shot commit role with the following result:

Sequence Site Launch (sec) Intercept (sec) Closing Velocity (km/sec) Crossing Angle (deg)
First shot Poland    190    516 11.3 35.7
Second shot Poland No radar for first shot KA (use KV TOM and hit/miss report)
Third shot Maine 1,481 1,716 12.1 18.5
Fourth shot Maine 1,746 1,849 11.7 50.3

 

As shown in the engagement map in Figure 5-20, with the Fylingdales radar out, the second shot comes out of the interceptor site in Maine based on track data from either Thule (launch at 1,373 sec) or from Cape Cod 108 sec later (1,481 sec). This second shot is provided the TOM and hit/miss data from the first interceptor out of Poland even though no radar KA data are available. This second shot is not a true SLS engagement, but it is given significant new data by the BMC2 from the first shot KV sensor combined with the new Thule and/or Cape Cod GBX track data and can be considered an SLS shot. The third shot, if necessary, is a true SLS engagement.

Two Radars Out

•   Case 3, Figure 5-21. Azerbaijan and Fylingdales radars out: (1) Azerbaijan out (earliest first-shot commit) and (2) Fylingdales GBX out (first- and

images

FIGURE 5-21 Azerbaijan and Fylingdales radar out.

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

second-shot commit, third-shot KA). Thule fills third-shot commit role with the following result:

Sequence Site Launch (sec) Intercept (sec) Closing Velocity (km/sec) Crossing Angle (deg)
First shot Poland No radar for interceptor commit out of Poland (satellite)
Second shot Poland No radar for interceptor commit out of Poland (satellite)
Third shot Maine 1,373 1,664 11.9 14.9
Fourth shot Maine 1,694 1,821 12.1 37.5

Figure 5-21 shows the system rollback to a single SLS capability when both of the forward-based radars are out (Azerbaijan and Fylingdales). In this case the first-shot commit is provided by the Thule GBX radar.

Three Radars Out

•   Case 4. Azerbaijan, Fylingdales, and Thule radars out: (1) Azerbaijan out (earliest first-shot commit), (2) Fylingdales GBX out (first- and second-shot commit, third-shot KA, and (3) Thule out (third-shot commit). Cape Cod fills third shot commit role with the following result:

Sequence Site Launch (sec) Intercept (sec) Closing Velocity (km/sec) Crossing Angle (deg)
First shot Poland No radar for interceptor commit out of Poland (satellite)
Second shot Poland No radar for interceptor commit out of Poland (satellite)
Third shot Maine 1,481 1,716 12.1 18.5
Fourth shot Maine 1,746 1,849 11.7 50.3

If Azerbaijan, Fylingdales, and Thule are all out, then Cape Cod is left to provide the tracking data necessary for a two-shot SLS engagement very similar to the one just discussed.

FINAL COMMENTS

Chapter 5 is intended to recommend the path forward for the United States to develop the most effective BMD capability—particularly for homeland defense—taking into account the surrounding operational, technical, and cost issues. This will take time, money, and careful testing, but unless this is done, the system will not be able to work against any but the most primitive attacks. The recommended path forward, GMD-E, involves a smaller, shorter burn interceptor configuration building on development work already done by MDA under the KEI program but with a different front end. The heavier, more capable KV with a larger onboard sensor provides the capabilities absent in the current GMD system but responsive

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

to the recommended CONOPS discussed earlier. This evolved GBI would first be deployed at a new third site in the northeast United States along with five additional X-band radars using doubled THAAD AN/TPY-2 radars integrated together at each early warning system (EWS) site and at Grand Forks, North Dakota. At a later time, the more capable interceptor would be retrofitted into the silos at FGA, with the existing GBIs diverted to the targets program supporting future operational flight tests.

As discussed throughout this report, missile defense is at a critical point. The title of this report, Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives, underscores this critical point and the objectives put forth by both the current and previous administrations. While the current administration will need to consider the 20-yr LCCs associated with present and proposed BMD systems as discussed and assessed throughout this report, it will also need to be mindful of the funding wedge for the next 5 years. Figure 5-22 displays the MDA cummulative annual funding wedge for the FY 2012 future years defense plan (FYDP) submitted by DOD to the Congress. Here, the cumulative total obligation authority (TOA) from FY 2010 through FY 2016 is about $45 billion. It includes approximately $1.3 billion for the precision tracking and surveillance system (PTSS); $1.6 billion for BMC3; and $500 million for advanced technology.

images

FIGURE 5-22 MDA funding wedge for FYDP submitted to Congress in FY 2011. The activities with an asterisk include funds for PAA Phases I through III.

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×

 

Based on Figure 5-22 and the results presented in this report, the committee concludes as follows with respect to the immediate future:

 

1.   The current homeland defense plan, which consists of GMD augmented by early intercept capabilities from Europe, is very expensive and has limited effectiveness.

2.   PTSS costs four times as much to acquire and four to five times as much over its 20-yr life cycle as the X-band radar suite recommended and it offers less value.

3.   GMD-E has substantially lower LCC and provides the most effective capabilities. It can be implemented within the same TOA over the next 5 years with an initial operational capability of FY 2019 provided some low pay-off programs are terminated and others are not started.

4.   GMD-E’s predicted capability for SLS over most of North America relieves the requirement, necessitated by current GMD limitations, for early intercepts from Europe against threats from the Middle East toward North America. This decoupling allows independent decisions for the later phase of European defense or any other new task.

Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
×
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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Suggested Citation:"5 Recommended Path Forward." National Research Council. 2012. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13189.
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The Committee on an Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives set forth to provide an assessment of the feasibility, practicality, and affordability of U.S. boost-phase missile defense compared with that of the U.S. non-boost missile defense when countering short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missile threats from rogue states to deployed forces of the United States and its allies and defending the territory of the United States against limited ballistic missile attack.

To provide a context for this analysis of present and proposed U.S. boost-phase and non-boost missile defense concepts and systems, the committee considered the following to be the missions for ballistic missile defense (BMD): protecting of the U.S. homeland against nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction (WMD); or conventional ballistic missile attacks; protection of U.S. forces, including military bases, logistics, command and control facilities, and deployed forces, including military bases, logistics, and command and control facilities. They also considered deployed forces themselves in theaters of operation against ballistic missile attacks armed with WMD or conventional munitions, and protection of U.S. allies, partners, and host nations against ballistic-missile-delivered WMD and conventional weapons.

Consistent with U.S. policy and the congressional tasking, the committee conducted its analysis on the basis that it is not a mission of U.S. BMD systems to defend against large-scale deliberate nuclear attacks by Russia or China. Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives suggests that great care should be taken by the U.S. in ensuring that negotiations on space agreements not adversely impact missile defense effectiveness. This report also explains in further detail the findings of the committee, makes recommendations, and sets guidelines for the future of ballistic missile defense research.

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