The United States National Missile Defense (NMD): Sensors (Radar net), weapons, command systems

(including the international network)



Current status as the U.S. moves towards the "Army Integrated Air and Missile Defense system" or AIAMD with its main feature, the "Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System", or IBCS being tested in order to become operational in 2022.


The new system will replace the Patriot system (Patriot air-and-missile defense radar).

Lockheed Martin plans to work on its Active Electronically Scanned Array Radar for Engagement and Surveillance (ARES)


AIAMD but will also connect to other vital systems on the battlefield, including the Army’s Indirect Fire Protection Capability (against rockets, artillery and mortars as well as cruise missiles and unmanned aircraft systems).


Information and excerpts from:


The Strategic Defense Initiative known as "Star Wars", a proposed advanced weapon and sensor system against ballistic missiles (Reagan Presidency).


The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) was a proposed missile defense system intended to protect the United States from attack by ballistic strategic nuclear weapons (intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched ballistic missiles).


A wide array of advanced weapon concepts, including lasers [2][3], particle beam weapons and ground- and space-based missile systems were studied, along with various sensor, command and control, and high-performance computer systems that would be needed to control a system consisting of hundreds of combat centers and satellites spanning the entire globe. A number of these concepts were tested through the late 1980s, and follow-on efforts and spin-offs continue to this day."


The Clinton administration in 1993 shifted to ground-based missiles and the space component was removed by the Secretary of Defense


The United States National Missile Defense (NMD) is currently described as follows:


"Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD), consisting of ground-based interceptor (GBI) missiles and radar in the United States in Alaska, which would intercept incoming warheads in space [8][9][10]. Currently some GBI missiles are located at Vandenberg AFB in California."


Ship-based system called the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System. "This was given major new importance by President Obama in September 2009, when he announced plans to scrap the plans for a missile defense site in Poland, in favor of missile defense systems located on US Navy warships."


"In 2009, several US Navy ships were fitted with SM-3 missiles to serve this function, which complements the Patriot systems already deployed by American units. Also, warships of Japan and Australia have been given weapons and technology to enable them to participate in the American defense plan as well."


Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense


Airborne systems (are examined)


Shorter-range anti-ballistic missiles: "Three shorter range tactical anti-ballistic missile systems are currently operational: the U.S. Army Patriot, U.S. Navy Aegis combat system/SM-2 missile, and the Israeli Arrow missile."


International network


"A radar site in the United Kingdom is being upgraded, and another one is being built in Greenland [26]".


"High-resolution, X-band missile defense radar would be located in Qatar."

"The Pentagon chose to place the new radar site in Qatar because it is home to the largest U.S. military air base in the region, Al Udeid Air Base, analysts said. The radar base in Qatar is slated to house a powerful AN/TPY-2 radar, also known as an X-Band radar, and supplement two similar arrays already in place in Israel's Negev Desert and in central Turkey, officials said. Together, the three radar sites form an arc that U.S. officials say can detect missile launches from northern, western and southern Iran. Those sites will enable U.S. officials and allied militaries to track missiles launched from deep inside Iran, which has an arsenal of missiles capable of reaching Israel and parts of Europe. The radar installations, in turn, are being linked to missile-interceptor batteries throughout the region and to U.S. ships with high-altitude interceptor rockets. The X-Band radar provides images that can be used to pinpoint rockets in flight [29]."


"On 23 August 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. is planning a major expansion of missile defenses in Asia. According to American officials this move is designed to contain threats from North Korea, but one that could also be used to counter China's military. The planned buildup is part of a defensive array that could cover large swaths of Asia, with a new radar in southern Japan and possibly another in Southeast Asia tied to missile-defense ships and land-based interceptors [33].


US Defence officials told the Wall Street Journal that the core of the new anti-missile shield would be a powerful early-warning radar, known as an X-Band, sited on a southern Japanese island. Discussions between Japan and the United States are currently underway. The new X-Band would join an existing radar that was installed in northern Japan in 2006 and a third X-Band could be placed in South East Asia. The resulting radar arc would cover North Korea, China and possibly even Taiwan [34]. According to U.S. Navy officials and the Congressional Research Service the U.S. Navy has drawn up plans to expand its fleet of ballistic missile-defense-capable warships from 26 ships today to 36 by 2018. Officials said as many as 60% of those are likely to be deployed to Asia and the Pacific [33]."


"In response to the Wall Street Journal U.S. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on 23 August 2012 that the United States are in discussions with its close ally Japan about expanding a missile defense system in Asia by positioning an early warning radar in southern Japan. Dempsey however stated that no decisions have been reached on expanding the radar [35]. The State Department said the U.S. is taking a phased approach to missile defense in Asia, as it is in Europe and the Middle East. "These are defensive systems. They don’t engage unless missiles have been fired," department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told a news conference. "In the case of Asian systems, they are designed against a missile threat from North Korea. They are not directed at China "[35]. Nuland said the U.S. has broad discussions with China through military and political channels about the systems’ intent [35].


"In addition to one American X-band radar – officially known as the AN/TPY-2 – hosted by Japan the United States and Japan announced an agreement on 17 September 2012, to deploy a second, advanced missile-defense radar on Japanese territory."


"During a joint news conference in Tokyo, Panetta and Japanese Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto said a joint U.S.-Japanese team would begin searching immediately for a site for the new radar [39]. On 15 November 2012, Australia and the United States announced that the US military will station a powerful radar and a space telescope in Australia as part of its strategic shift towards Asia. "It will give us visibility into things that are leaving the atmosphere, entering the atmosphere, really all throughout Asia", including China's rocket and missile tests, a US defence official told reporters on condition of anonymity [41]".