Downloadable resources

Fact Sheets

The fact sheets below provide information on the Ballistic Missile Defense System, its component elements and various supporting efforts.

Missile Defense Overview

Description

Ballistic Missile Defense System General overview of the entire Ballistic Missile Defense System. Discusses the three phases of a missile's trajectory path and describes the development plan for the system.
BMDS Test Record The Missile Defense Agency conducts regular flight tests to verify performance and confirm the technological progress of the Ballistic Missile Defense System.
Ballistic Missile Defense Review The Ballistic Missile Defense Review evaluates the threats posed by ballistic missiles and develops a missile defense posture to address current and future challenges.
Environmental Impact Statement for the CONUS Interceptor Site Information about the Environmental Impact Statement being prepared to evaluate the potential environmental impacts that could result from the future deployment of a Continental Interceptor Site.

Elements

Description

Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Integrates the Aegis Combat System installed on U.S. Navy ships deployed around the world with the Standard Missile-3 to provide protection against short to intermediate range ballistic missile threats.
Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Testing Record Since the first intercept test conducted in January 2002, the Missile Defense Agency's Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense element of the overall Ballistic Missile Defense System has compiled a sterling record of test success.
Aegis Ashore Aegis Ashore is the planned future land-based component of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). Aegis Ashore leverages the proven, present and future Aegis BMD capabilities to adapt to the evolving ballistic missile security environment.
AN/TPY2 Radar The Army Navy/Transportable Radar Surveillance, or AN/TPY-2, operates in the X-band frequency, and is capable of tracking and identifying small objects at long distances.
Cobra Dane Radar The Air Force COBRA DANE radar in Shemya, Alaska has been upgraded to add the Missile Defense mission and to integrate the radar into the Ballistic Missile Defense System.
Command, Control, Battle Management and Communications The overall integrator of the Ballistic Missile Defense System. This element ensures that all of the separate defense system elements work together as a single system rather than a collection of unlinked pieces.
Ground-based Midcourse Defense Designed to intercept and destroy enemy ballistic missiles during their midcourse phase of flight using sensors for early detection and tracking and ground-based interceptors to destroy the target through force of collision.
Near Field InfraRed Experiment (NFIRE) The Near Field Infrared Experiment (NFIRE) technology project is operated by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) from the Missile Defense Space Development Center at Schriever AFB, Colo. The satellite’s primary mission is to collect near-field phenomenology data for use in plume-to-hard body handover algorithms, navigation, guidance and control, and endgame homing algorithms for boost-phase interceptor programs.
PATRIOT Advanced Capability-3 The PATRIOT Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) system, currently operational with the U.S. Army, is a land-based element capable of destroying short to medium range threats using hit-to-kill technology.
Sea Based X-Band Radar A unique combination of an advanced X-band radar with a mobile, ocean-going, semi-submersible platform that provides the Ballistic Missile Defense System with a detection and discrimination capability that can be positioned to cover any part of the globe.
Space Tracking and Surveillance System Two demonstrator satellites using infrared and visible sensors to detect and track ballistic missiles for the Ballistic Missile Defense System.
Terminal High Altitude Area Defense A rapidly-transportable, forward-deployable capability that will intercept and destroy ballistic missiles in and above the atmosphere while they are in their final, or terminal, phase of flight.
Upgraded Early Warning Radars Upgrades to existing Early Warning Radars will improve midcourse Ballistic Missile Defense System sensor coverage by providing critical early warning, tracking, and cueing data while retaining legacy missile warning and space track missions.

Supporting Efforts

Description

Advanced Technology Advanced Technology develops new system concepts and key components to outpace the emerging ballistic missile threat.
Targets and Countermeasures Designs, develops, fabricates and provides capabilities-driven, reliable and cost-effective ballistic missile targets and countermeasures to be used in the Ballistic Missile Defense System's test and assessment program.
Integration and Operations Center Research and development, agency operations, test and evaluations, and operations and training for missile defense capabilities.
Ballistic Missile Defense Test Program The Agency's test program provides critical data to demonstrate the performance of the Ballistic Missile Defense System and its elements.

International Cooperation

Description

U.S. - Romania Missile Defense Agreement

The United States welcomes the strong commitment of Romania to join a growing group of allies and partners that are contributing to efforts to counter existing and emerging ballistic missile threats in the Twenty-First Century.

Previous Programs

Description

The Airborne Laser Test Bed The Airborne Laser Test Bed (ALTB) was a platform for the Department of Defense's directed energy research program.
Precision Tracking Space System The Precision Tracking Space System (PTSS) was a planned space-borne sensor of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), designed to track ballistic missiles shortly after launch and throughout their midcourse flight.