The U.S. missile defense program suffered perhaps its most serious test failure in recent history last week. The July 5 setback should serve as a warning to the Pentagon for the need to hedge against further deficiencies in the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, a core element of the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS).
On Friday afternoon, the Defense Department launched a missile from the Army’s Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands. Several minutes later, the Pentagon launched an unarmed Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) aboard a rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and used data from a U.S. Navy ship and a large floating radar to plot an intercept solution for the EKV. The kill vehicle was then supposed to collide with the incoming missile and destroy it through the kinetic energy released by this “hit to kill” operation. ...
To read the rest, sign up to try World Politics Review
Sign up for two weeks of free access with your credit card. Cancel any time during the free trial and you will be charged nothing.
Request a free trial for your office or school. Everyone at a given site can get access through our institutional subscriptions.
- Global Insights: As China Ponders BMD Options, U.S. Must Consider Responses
- After Years of Talk, U.S.-India Defense Ties Gain Traction
- U.S. Recruits Europe and Latin America to Press Cuba to Open Up
- The Realist Prism: Crises in Ukraine, Libya Confront NATO With Risk of Division
- Global Insights: Ukraine Deal Could Buy U.S. Time to Formulate Effective Russia Policy