Definition/Scope: (JP 1-02) Defensive measures designed to destroy attacking enemy missiles, or to nullify or reduce the effectiveness of such attack. //Missile defense are those measures (systems, weapons, or technology) that are involved in the detection, tracking, interception and destruction of attacking missiles. Originally conceived as a defense against nuclear-armed ICBMs, its application has broadened to include shorter-ranged non-nuclear tactical and theater missiles. In recent decades non-nuclear kinetic warheads have been used. Directed-energy weapons such as lasers have been investigated and deployed on a limited basis. The types/ranges are strategic, theater and tactical. Each type has unique requirements for interception. However, the defensive system capabilities for intercepting one missile type frequently cannot intercept others; while there is sometimes overlap in capability. Strategic missile defense targets long-range ICBMs, which travel at about 7 km/s (15,700 mph). Some examples of currently active systems are the Russian A-135 system which defends Moscow, and the U.S. Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system that defends the United States. Geographic range of strategic defense can be regional (Russian system) or national (U.S. system). Theater missile defense are those targets concerning medium-range Theatre ballistic missile, which travel at about 3 km/s (6,700 mph) or less. In this context the term "theater" means the entire localized region for military operations, typically a radius of several hundred kilometers. Defense range of theater defensive systems is usually on this order. Examples of deployed or soon-to-be deployed theater missile defenses are THAAD, Airborne laser and Russian S-400 Triumf. The tactical missile defense is those targets of short-range tactical ballistic missiles, which usually travel at less than 1.5 km/s (3,400 mph). Tactical ABMs have short ranges, typically 20-80 km (12-50 miles). Example of currently-deployed tactical ABM: MIM-104 Patriot, S-300V.
Used For:Protection WFF
Broader Terms:Air Defense Airspace Management/Brigade Aviation Element
Narrower Terms:Anti-theater Ballistic Missile
Related Terms:active air defense