A National Air and Missile Defense Shield, Is It Achievable?
MARINE CORPS WAR COLL QUANTICO VA
Pagination or Media Count:
The current air and missile defense systems afford the U.S. ample protection from a ballistic missile attack. In order to achieve this, however, this system must be able to integrate land, sea, air, or space-based platforms to counter ballistic missiles in all phases of their flight and possess a layered defense that provides multiple engagement opportunities along the entire flight path of a ballistic missile. However, the most important consideration is the actual feasibility of such a program. Measurable goals show how currently fielded weapon systems are capable of performing this mission. Currently, the U.S. has three systems capable of destroying ballistic missiles in flight. These systems are PATRIOT, Theater High Altitude Area Defense THAAD, and AGEIS Cruisers. The PATRIOT system is the U.S Armys long-range, all-altitude, all-weather air defense system to counter tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and advanced aircraft. With the inception of the new Patriot Advanced Capability PAC-3 missile, there is an increased effectiveness against tactical ballistic TBM and cruise missiles, through the use of advanced hit-to-kill technology. PATRIOTs missile guidance system enables target destruction through the kinetic energy released by hitting the target head-on. The ANMPQ-53 phased array radar gives the PATRIOT system a range of up to 100 km, the capacity to track up to 100 targets, and can provide missile guidance data for up to nine missiles. The PATRIOT Radar can perform searches both autonomously or the system can utilize external cueing from other land, air, space, or sea based sensors. The THAAD system is the upper tier of the Armys two-tiered theater missile defense concept that works in concert with PATRIOT to detect, assign and destroy incoming TBMs with a lethal hit-to-kill interceptor.
- Antimissile Defense Systems