Title: Theater Ballistic Missile Defense: Operating Forward From The Sea
Subject: Theater Ballistic Missile Defense
Author(s): Brian C. Nickerson; Jay C Wilkenson (Faculty Advisor)
DTIC Keywords: ACTIVE DEFENSE, AREA DEFENSE, BALLISTIC MISSILE INTERCEPT SYSTEMS, DEFENSE IN DEPTH, GUIDED MISSILES, SURFACE TO AIR MISSILES
The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the ballistic
missiles used to employ them pose the greatest security challenge to the
U.S. and her allies. In the past, active defense measures taken to
combat the ballistic missile threat were concentrated on launch platform
destruction or use of ground-based ballistic missile defense assets.
In an era of declining overseas bases, limited strategic lift capability, and the Army and Air Force operating in an expeditionary role, naval forces will usually be the first units to respond to a crisis. Therefore, sea-based ballistic missile defense is a necessity.
This paper provides an overview of the Navy's theater ballistic missile defense program. Specifially, it addresses the relationship between ballistic missiles and developing nations. It provides some background on the Joint Ballistic Missile Defense framework and the active defense programs being developed to support that framework. Most of the paper discusses the advantages of sea-based ballistic missile defense along with the Navy's two solutions to the ballistic missile threat, Navy Area Defense and Navy Theater-Wide Defense.
At the turn of the century, the Navy will field a robust theater ballistic missile defense capability, centered on Aegis surface combatants, that is mobile, flexible, sustainable and cost effective.