The United States is elding a missile deense systemcapable o addressing the gap in U.S. deenses causedby the prolieration o short- and medium- rangeballistic missiles and the growing interest o nationshostile to the United States in longer-range ballisticmissiles. Not only has the number o countries holdingshort- and medium-range ballistic missiles increasedover the last 30-plus years, but also the range, reliability,and accuracy o these missile systems have improved,creating greater risks or U.S. orces, interests, and alliesthroughout the world. Longer-range missiles capableo delivering chemical, biological, and nuclear weaponscan cause massive loss o American lives and property.Ballistic missiles also provide a means or state andnon-state actors to blackmail and intimidate the UnitedStates and its allies by potentially holding hostagehundreds o thousands o people.By pursuing an innovative capability-based acquisitionstrategy, the United States successully deliveredthe rst increment o a layered, integrated missiledeense system. The initial capability addresses short-and medium-range ballistic missiles using PATRIOTAdvanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles and the AegisBallistic Missile Deense (BMD) Standard Missile-3(SM-3). Ground-based Interceptors (GBIs) enableengagement o intermediate-range and intercontinentalballistic missiles in the midcourse phase o their ight. These layers are integrated through an advanced anduniying Command, Control, Battle Management, andCommunications (C2BMC) network. While testing o thisinitial Ballistic Missile Deense System (BMDS) continues,it is also evolving. Additional quantities o interceptorsand sensors are being elded as work continues tocomplete the design o new elements and maturetechnologies are being developed that will lead to aneven more capable BMDS.An important part o the BMDS development eort isensuring the system will perorm as designed whenplaced in the hands o the warghter. The MissileDeense Agency (MDA), working with the independenttest community and the Director or Operational Test & Evaluation, uses highly accurate modeling andsimulation (M&S) tools as well as ground and ight teststo veriy the unctionality and operational eectivenesso the BMDS and understand the system’s capabilitiesand limitations. Simulations that either model BMDScomponents and processes or connect, in a laboratory,with discrete pieces o real system hardware enableMDA to assess the perormance o the BMDS numeroustimes in operational scenarios and make a statisticaldetermination o BMDS eectiveness. Data collectedduring ground and ight tests anchor the missiledeense models and validate their accuracy. Theverication process is not yet complete, but the datacollected to date give MDA condence in the basicdesign o the BMDS, its hit-to-kill eectiveness, andits inherent operational capability. This assessmentwas recently buttressed by an independent test boardthat examined simulations and ight tests o the initialAegis BMD capability and ound Aegis BMD to beoperationally eective and suitable or combat use.