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missile defense

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
airborne laser
Army Missile Defense Task Force
international environment
Missile Defense Agency
National Defense Strategy
Strategic Defense Initiative
Theater Army Air and Missile Defense Coordinator
YAL-1 Airborne Laser

Narrower Terms:

Anti-theater Ballistic Missile
Hawk missile
intercontinental ballistic missile
Medium Extended Air Defense System
Nike Hercules
Nike Zeus
PATRIOT missile
Surface-to-Air Missile
US Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command

Related Terms:

active air defense
Air Defense
Air Defense System Integrator
Anti-theater Ballistic Missile
Army Air and Missile Defense Command
Army Air-Ground System
Army Tactical Missile System
Ballistic Missile Defense System
Captain’s Career Course Air and Missile Defense
Future Warfare Center
Joint Theater Air and Missile Defense
Nuclear Posture Review
passive air defense
Ship Self-Defense System
Theater Air Missile Defense

CALL Homepage >> Thesaurus Last Updated: Sept 17, 2008