Missile Defense Agency
Definition/Scope: The Missile Defense Agency's (MDA) mission is to develop, test, and field an integrated, layered, ballistic missile defense system (BMDS) to defend the United States, its deployed forces, allies, and friends against all ranges of enemy ballistic missiles in all phases of flight. The MDA can trace its roots back to the origins of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) program. President Reagan launched this initiative in 1983 to develop non-nuclear missile defenses. The SDI consolidated missile defense programs that were scattered among several government offices and molded them into a coherent program under the management of the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO). In 1993, the SDIO was renamed the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO). The National Missile Defense Act of 1999 defined the mission for the BMDO, while the U.S. withdrawal the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) in 2002 lessened the restrictions to develop and test these technologies. In 2002, the BMDO was renamed the Missile Defense Agency. OLD VERSION Joint service Defense Department agency charged with managing most U.S. missile defense programs.
Used For:Ballistic Missile Defense Organization
Broader Terms:DoD support agencies
Narrower Terms:airborne laser
Related Terms:Ballistic Missile Defense Program