Discontinued Programs


In 2009, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced a significant reshaping of the Pentagon’s Budget.[1] Gates announced that the Missile Defense Agency’s budget would be cut by $1.4 billion and programs under development would be cancelled including a second Air Born Laser prototype aircraft and the Multiple Kill Vehicle. The 2010 Ballistic Missile Defense Review outlined the rationale for cancelling these programs:

The President has made clear that the United States will move forward with missile defenses that are affordable, proven, and responsive to the threat. This primarily means that the Department of Defense will realign spending away from defenses planned to rely on currently immature technology, away from technologies that require unrealistic concepts of operations in order to be effective, and away from technologies intended to defeat adversarial missile threats that do not exist and are not expected to evolve in the near to midterm. These considerations led to the decisions to terminate both the Multiple Kill Vehicle and Kinetic Energy Interceptor programs and to shift the Airborne Laser to a technology demonstration program in the FY 2010 budget. [2]


[1] Robert Gates,“Defense Budget Recommendation Statement (Arlington, VA),” The Department of Defense, April 6, 2009, Accessed November 5, 2014. http://www.defense.gov/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=1341.

[2] “Ballistic Missile Defense Review” The Department of Defense, February 2010, Accessed November 5, 2014, http://www.defense.gov/bmdr/docs/BMDR%20as%20of%2026JAN10%200630_for%20web.pdf.

Below are some discontinued missile defense programs:

Precision Tracking Space Systems (PTSS)

The Precision Tracking Space System (PTSS) was a proposed plan of nine to 12 satellites that would augment terrestrial radars and sensors to detect and track ballistic missiles and warheads in flight. Intended to be a follow-on program for the Space Tracking Surveillance System (STSS), PTSS combined lessons learned from both the STSS program and the Space Based Infrared System Low programs to create one comprehensive space-based missile defense system. The entire constellation of satellites would orbit simultaneously above the equator and was designed to address the challenge of tracking missiles in their post-boost phase of flight. The satellites would use infrared sensors to provide persistent tracking of ballistic missiles and warheads by using their heat signature. The PTSS was also meant to discriminate between real warheads and decoys.

Click here to learn more about PTSS.

Kinetic Energy Interceptor (KEI)

The Kinetic Energy Interceptors program’s mission is to provide the Ballistic Missile Defense System with a strategically deployable, tactically mobile land- and sea-based capability to defeat medium- to long-range ballistic missiles during the boost, ascent, and midcourse phases of flight. The Kinetic Energy Interceptor’s weapon system has the potential capacity to be deployed as an element of the Integrated Ballistic Missile Defense System in three configurations: land-mobile, sea-mobile, and land-fixed. These multiple deployment configurations increase engagement opportunities, enhance the Ballistic Missile Defense System’s layered defensive capability, and decrease life-cycle operational costs by leveraging common sub-components across the three deployed configurations.

Click here to learn more about KEI.

Network Centric Airborne Defense Element (NCADE)

The Network Centric Airborne Defense Element (NCADE) is a small, low-cost, air-launched, anti-ballistic missile developed by Raytheon and Aerojet and builds on the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM). The NCADE is being designed to intercept short and medium-range ballistic missiles in their ascent- and boost-phase. NCADE and AMRAAM missiles share the same aerodynamic design, aircraft interface and flight control system.

Click here to learn more about NCADE.

Surfaced-Launched Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (SLAMRAAM)

The SLAMRAAM system was designed by Ratheon to replace the Stinger Missile as the Army’s primary short-range air defense weapon. It would have consisted of 4-6 AIM-120C-7 AMRAAMs mounted on Humvees and utilized the Battle Management Command, Control, Computers, Communications, and Intelligence (BMC4I) system to provide beyond-line-of-site coverage (25km) at a greater range than the Stinger against incoming cruise missiles, helicopters, and UAVs. The Marine equivalent was the Complementary Low Altitude Weapons System (CLAWS).

Click here to learn more about SLAMRAAM.

EPAA Phase 4

Phase 4 of EPAA called for deployment of the SM-3 Block IIB to Aegis BMD components in Europe. The SM-3 is an interceptor employed by Aegis BMD, and the upgraded Block IIB variant would have had limited capability against long-range ballistic missiles. Phase 4 of EPAA was cancelled in 2009 in response to diplomatic pressure from Russia, who voiced concern that the advanced SM-3 Block IIB interceptors would diminish Russia’s strategic nuclear deterrent capability.

Click here to learn more about EPAA Phase 4.

Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System (JLENS)

The Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System or JLENS consists of two large, unmanned, helium-filled aerostats that carry a radar system designed to detect and track threats such as cruise missiles, drones, aircraft, large caliber rockets, vehicles, and maritime surface vessels. The JLENS aerostats can float up to 10,000 feet and provide 360 degree coverage for an area approximately the size of Texas. It can also detect threats over the horizon, up to 340 miles away, and can stay airborne for up to 30 days providing 24/7 continual protection. JLENS also integrates with defensive systems such as the Patriot missile defense system, the Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) employed by Aegis BMD systems, Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), and the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS), as well as other command and control and defensive systems.

Click here to learn more about JLENS.

Missile Defense


International Cooperation