Toward Missile Defenses from the Sea

By Hans Binnendijk and George Stewart Defense Horizons 14

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Overview

June 1, 2002 — Defense Horizons 14Developments of the past 18 months have created new possibilities for the sea basing of national defenses against intercontinental ballistic missiles. Some conceivable designs would enhance U.S. prospects for defeating a rogue state missile attack on the United States and its allies, but other deployments could undermine the Nation’s strategic stability with Russia and China. The most efficacious architecture from both a technical and strategic perspective would include a U.S. Navy boost-phase intercept program and some sea-based radar. Given the complications of using existing Aegis ships for the missile defense mission, the Navy should consider constructing a separate ship designed solely for this purpose.

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