“When I say the world’s in the most dangerous position that it has been in my lifetime, one of the areas that I’m talking about is the proliferation of ballistic missile and cruise missile capability. Russia, China, Iran, North Korea use missiles as strategic leverage, and we need strategic imagination and strong leadership to counter this growth.” – Senator Jim Inhofe at the nomination hearing for General John Hyten to be Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on July 30th, 2019.
North Korea’s demonstration today of testing two short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs), ramping back up their ballistic missile testing program that had been dormant for close to a year and a half, indicates proliferation for external sales, internal security, and continued precedent to break from intent for peace against the international community. Iran’s continual pursuit of ballistic missile proliferation and testing mirrors the North Korean precedent and adds Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and cruise missiles. China and Russia’s collaboration last week in a unprecedented intrusion into South Korean airspace with H-6 and TU-95 bombers and A-50 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) that deliver, target, and control the world’s most advanced and complex long-distance cruise missiles sets a precedent for collective proliferation in this domain. Exemplifying this past weeks military airpower projection by Russia and China is their pursuit of the hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV), which is air launched from these same air platforms. Both China and Russia, ten plus tests and five tests respectively, have pursued testing hypersonic missiles that outpaces the United States, which has had three tests.
“As a combatant commander, I’m not involved in the details of moving the money around, but I’m a huge advocate for pursuing hypersonic technology. I’m also a huge advocate for looking at hypersonic defenses and hypersonic sensing. That’s what I can do as the combatant commander because this is critical to our nation’s future. We have adversaries that are going extremely rapidly in this area, and we have had fits and starts over the years on that hypersonic technology, which I believe is a mistake. We should have been going after that technology consistently and rapidly over the years, but we have not so, if I’m confirmed as Vice Chairman, I guarantee you that we will advocate inside the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, the JROC, and other places in order to ensure we continue to focus on hypersonics.” – General John Hyten at his nomination hearing to be Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on July 30th, 2019.
To negate and defend from the reality of this exponential and worldwide proliferation threat, is first and foremost to have a global and persistent architecture to accurately sense, track, and target these small cross sections of both low and slow missiles as well as high and hyper fast missiles. A constellation of hundreds of overhead sensors in space, launched commercially and militarily for cost efficiency, is where the United States is heading with the Space Force and the Space Development Agency to develop this architecture and to deploy it. As this gets built and developed, there will remain a reliance on sensors on current air platforms, both manned and unmanned, and terrestrial sensors on land and sea, which are all limited by the curvatures of the earth and their field of view. This is a world challenge and the United States cannot and will not do this alone.
“Missile defense needs to be an international capability. We need to be able to partner with our allies in terms of how we defend ourselves, too. Missile defense requires a spectrum of capabilities, and – it requires sensors. It requires command and control. It requires interceptors. It requires directed energy, new technologies. We need to be pursuing that because we’re going to have significant missile threats and emerging missile threats – that we’re actually not dealing with yet – in the very near future.” – General John Hyten at his nomination hearing to be Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on July 30th, 2019.
Changing the cost curve of intercept, versus the cost of what is being intercepted is the revolution in technology that must happen to reduce the proliferation of cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, and hypersonics that the world is witnessing today. Those technologies must be invested in, tested without fear of failure, developed and deployed rapidly. These disruptive technologies of directed energy, electronic magnetic fields, cyber, and kinetic interceptors must have unprecedented investment for the security of our nation and for the world.
MDAA’s mission is to make the world safer by advocating for the development and deployment of missile defense systems to defend the United States, its armed forces and its allies against missile threats.
MDAA is the only organization in existence whose primary mission is to educate the American public about missile defense issues and to recruit, organize, and mobilize proponents to advocate for the critical need of missile defense. We are a non-partisan membership-based and membership-funded organization that does not advocate on behalf of any specific system, technology, architecture or entity.