DOD Missile Defense Strategy
by David Vergun, DOD News
July 5, 2021
Missile defense plays a key role in U.S. national security ... However, as missile technology matures and proliferates among
potential adversaries China, Russia, North Korea and Iran, the
threat to the USA, deployed forces, allies and partners is
increasing, Leonor Tomero, deputy assistant secretary of defense for
nuclear and missile defense policy said ... during a testimony at a
House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces hearing
regarding the fiscal year 2022 budget request for missile defense
and missile defeat programs.
To address these evolving
challenges, the Defense Department will review its missile defense
policies, strategies and capabilities to ensure the U.S. has
effective missile defenses, Tomero said.
The review will
contribute to the department's approach on integrated deterrence,
she said, noting that the review is expected to be completed in
The department recently initiated development of the
Next Generation Interceptor, she said, adding that the NGI will
increase the reliability and capability of the United States'
A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense
(THAAD) interceptor is launched from a THAAD battery during a flight test conducted on Wake Island in the western Pacific on November 1, 2015. During the test, the THAAD system successfully intercepted two air-launched ballistic missile targets. (U.S. Department of Defense photo by Ben Listerman)
"The department will continue to ensure that we bring a more
integrated approach to air and missile defense to address various
types of ballistic missile threats and enable defense against cruise
missiles and unmanned aerial systems," she said.
Additionally, the department will enhance its global network of
integrated space-based and land-based sensors used in a variety of
capabilities, such as detection, tracking and targeting through all
phases of flight for incoming missiles, Tomero said, mentioning that
U.S. commercial innovation is already transforming this field.
In fiscal year 2022, the department will continue to
develop the prototype hypersonic and ballistic tracking space sensor
that will allow the tracking of hypersonic threats and add
resiliency to the sensor architecture, she said.
The department's approach for
regional hypersonic defense will first focus on defense in the
terminal phase, she said, meaning the final phase of a missile's
Information superiority is critical to future
battlefields and is necessary to enable rapid planning and
employment in a joint operating environment. To that end, the
department is developing multi cyber-hardened, advanced, all-domain
awareness for command and control architecture that will enable
timely and accurate decision making to address emerging threats, she
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Paul
Ignatius transits the Atlantic Ocean on June 12, 2021 during
an undisclosed operation. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer
2nd Class Nathan T. Beard)
department is engaging and working with our allies and partners to
enhance our collective missile defense efforts," she said,
mentioning Japan, South Korea, Australia and our NATO allies, along
with Israel and Gulf Cooperation Council nations.
Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, commander of U.S. Northern Command; Navy Vice
Adm. Jon A. Hill, director of the Missile Defense Agency; Army Lt.
Gen. Daniel L. Karbler, commander of the U.S. Army Space and Missile
Defense Command; and Space Force Lt. Gen. John E. Shaw, deputy
commander of U.S. Space Command, also testified.
Note: Minor editing without impacting any aspect of the article.
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