The Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS)
1 Boost Defense Segment
2 Midcourse Defense Segment
Command and Control Battle Management and Communication (C2BMC)
Missile defense technology being developed, tested and deployed by the United States is designed to counter ballistic missiles of all ranges—short, medium, intermediate and long. Since ballistic missiles have different ranges, speeds, size and performance characteristics, the Ballistic Missile Defense System is an integrated, "layered" architecture that provides multiple opportunities to destroy missiles and their warheads before they can reach their targets. The system's architecture includes:
- networked sensors (including space-based) and ground- and sea-based radars for target detection and tracking;
- ground- and sea-based interceptor missiles for destroying a ballistic missile using either the force of a direct collision, called "hit-to-kill" technology, or an explosive blast fragmentation warhead;
- and a command, control, battle management, and communications network providing the operational commanders with the needed links between the sensors and interceptor missiles.
Missile defense elements are operated by United States military personnel from U.S. Strategic Command, U.S. Northern Command, U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. Forces Japan, U.S. European Command and others. The United States has missile defense cooperative programs with a number of allies, including United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, Israel, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Poland, Italy and many others. The Missile Defense Agency also actively participates in NATO activities to maximize opportunities to develop an integrated NATO ballistic missile defense capability.