The second part of the solution is to further improve the technology that has already been developed. At the moment, the SM-3 interceptor is launched only from sea. In the 2015 time frame, a relocatable land-based SM-3 system, tentatively called “Aegis Ashore,” will be available that will make possible better regional coverage by virtue of its ability to be placed inland. These land-based interceptors will provide persistent coverage of the areas they protect and will be an important element of a future regional missile defense against medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles.
DoD will also continue to improve the SM-3 interceptor missile defense capability. By 2015 a more capable SM-3 missile, the Block IB, will be available. It will have an improved seeker capability for greater on-board discrimination and greater area coverage. This interceptor will be deployed both at sea and on land, with the “Aegis Ashore” system. The coverage area will also be increased by developing the technology to launch an SM-3 interceptor in response to remote sensor data. Once this capability is fully developed, the interceptors no longer constrained by the range of the Aegis radar to detect an incoming missile will be able to be launched sooner and therefore fly further in order to defeat the incoming threat.
It is also important that we continue development of the Command and Control, Battle Management, and Communications (C2BMC) Program, the overarching command and control system that brings together information from the various sensors, provides planning capability for missile defense operations, and makes available situational awareness for all levels of decision making. This continued development will incorporate the architecture of current and future sensor systems that support missile defense, the various weapons systems we currently use, and those in development such as the THAAD missile system, the PATRIOT, SM-3 variants, and GBIs. The continued development of C2BMC will allow for tailoring by each region’s needs, and it will be interoperable with systems we may develop with allies and partners. For defense of
the homeland it will make possible a seamless, global picture that incorporates all aspects of the BMD architecture.
Toward the end of the decade, more capable interceptors and sensors will become available. The SM-3 Block IIA will have a higher burnout velocity and a more advanced seeker. These features will make it much more capable than the SM-3 Block IA or IB and will provide greater regional coverage. A follow-on missile, the SM-3 Block IIB, is in the initial phase of technology assessment and development. It is expected to be even more capable than the IIA. With a higher burnout velocity and greater divert capability, the SM-3 Block IIB will have some early-intercept capability against a long-range missile. Matched against regional medium-range and intermediate-range ballistic missiles, the SM-3 IIB will defend a greater area than the SM-3 IIA.
Investments are also being made to develop an “engage on remote” technology that includes not only launching on data from a remote sensor track but also the ability to uplink data from assets other than the Aegis radar. This will allow the interceptor to engage the threat missile at greater ranges. A further long-term effort seeks to develop persistent overhead sensors to detect and track large raid sizes of ballistic missiles over their entire trajectories from space. Such an ability would greatly reduce the need for terrestrial sensors and the size of deployable missile defense systems. This Precision Tracking and Space System” (PTSS) is an important funding priority in the President’s Budget for FY 2011 and the Future Years Defense Program.
As we look back over recent efforts to develop these capabilities, they can reasonably be described as “bottom up” the United States worked aggressively with available technologies to improve them and bring them rapidly to the field in growing numbers. Looking to the future, it is becoming increasingly important to think “top down,” or more strategically, about the deployment of missile defense assets in a regional context. In other words, regional approaches must be tailored to the unique deterrence and defense requirements of each region, which vary considerably in their geography, in the history and character of the threat, and in the military-tomilitary relationships on which to build cooperative missile defenses. Several principles must
guide the development of our regional approaches.
First, the United States will strengthen regional deterrence architectures. Regional deterrence must be build on a solid foundation of strong cooperative relationships and appropriate burden sharing between the United States and its allies. Our alliances must be built on productive plans and action that enhance allied security. As such, it is important that allies have the opportunity to contribute appropriately to the defense of common interests. While missile defenses play an important role in regional deterrence, other components will also be significant. Against nuclear-armed states, regional deterrence will necessarily include a nuclear component (whether forwarddeployed or not). But the role of U.S. nuclear weapons in these regional deterrence architectures can be reduced by increasing the role of missile defenses and other capabilities. More broadly, the United States seeks new ways to deal with the challenges posed by states seeking nuclear weapons in contravention of international norms and in defiance of the international community.
Second, the United States will pursue a phased adaptive approach within each region that is tailored to the threats unique to that region, including their scale, the scope and pace of their development, and the capabilities available and most suited for deployment. This does not require a globally integrated missile defense architecture that integrates allies into a uniform, global structure. Instead, the United States will pursue regional structures sharing common assets that are relevant and robust because they are tailored to the unique requirements and opportunities within each region.
Third, because the demand for missile defense assets within each region over the next decade will exceed supply, the United States will develop capabilities that are mobile and relocatable. This feature would make possible their movement from one region to another in time of crisis. This capacity for surge defense should help dissuade potential aggressor states in all regions from thinking they can gain some long-term advantage.
These principles will be applied on a region-by-region basis. As previously stated, the Department will rely on the Global Force Management process to assist in decisions on the allocation of missile defense forces.