The United States, in active partnership with its allies, has
elded an initial layered integrated Ballistic Missile DefenseSystem (BMDS). The United States has come a long way since President Ronald Reagan rst delivered his challenge
to the defense community 25 years ago—to develop anti-ballistic missile technologies to improve our national secu-rity and lessen our reliance on nuclear deterrence. Althoughthe nature of the threat has changed substantially since heenvisioned the Strategic Defense Initiative, the harsh reali-ties of today’s global security environment push the United
States to eld missile defenses as soon as possible.Ballistic missile technology and associated threats have
proliferated in recent years. The continuing development of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons poses consider-able danger, especially when paired with ballistic missiles.State and non-state actors could use WMD carried on bal-listic missiles to blackmail and intimidate the United Statesand our allies, by potentially holding hostage hundreds of thousands of people. Iran’s pursuit of ballistic missilesposes a grave, evolving threat to the United States, our al-lies, and friends. Meanwhile, the combination of its recentnuclear and long-range missile tests makes North Korea areal threat to international peace and security.
Ballistic missile defense is one of the most complex and
challenging missions in the Department of Defense
(DoD). A ballistic missile’s altitude, speed, and range leave
a defender little time to react. To meet this challenge, the
Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is developing a layered,
integrated system capable of destroying a ballistic missile in
each of three distinct phases of ight—boost, midcourse,
and terminal. The system requires accurate missile identi-
cation and tracking with advanced sensors; advanced in
terceptor missiles or directed energy weapons (e.g., lasers);and reliable Command and Control, Battle Management,and Communications (C2BMC) to integrate the system and
direct the engagement.
With the initial elding of the BMDS in July 2006, the
United States now has a limited defense against ballisticmissile attack. This initial capability provides a defenseagainst short- and medium-range ballistic missiles using
PATRIOT Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles and Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Standard Missile-3(SM-3). The initial capability also enables engagement of
intermediate-range and intercontinental ballistic missiles
in the midcourse phase using Ground-Based Interceptors(GBIs). These layers are integrated through an advancedC2BMC network.
MDA continues its strong research and development pro-
gram to improve and upgrade existing capabilities. MDAcontinues to develop, test, and eld an increasingly capable
system of interceptors, sensors, and command and controlsystems to improve the depth, range, and reliability of our
defenses. In 2008, MDA will work to broaden and deepenthe initial capability by expanding our missile defense coop
-eration with allies and friends. In addition we will add morenetworked, forward-deployed sensors and increasingly capable interceptors at sea and on land.
The Agency’s mission—to develop and eld an integrated,layered BMDS to defend the United States, its deployed
forces, allies, and friends against all ranges of missiles in all
phases of ight—is more relevant now than ever before.
The years ahead will be demanding as MDA continues thetough task of developing, testing, and enhancing our world- wide ballistic missile defenses.