Through the turmoil of partisan politics, a unifying $738 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year (FY) 2020 has been delivered to the United States President from the House and Senate, expected to be signed this evening, is a testament to the importance and value of the Department of Defense. The House and Senate also sent an omnibus appropriation bill that appropriated $695 billion to the Department of Defense (DOD) for FY2020. Within the 2020 defense appropriation bill, Congress increased the Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) funding by over 10% from the President’s request to $10.4 billion. This increase and policy direction will enable MDA to expand into space, initialize and fund the next generation interceptor (NGI) to defend the United States homeland while increasing the reliability of the first generation Ground-Based Interceptors (GBIs), and increasing the capability and capacity of the existing Aegis layered missile defense system to defend the U.S. homeland over the time it takes to deploy the NGI. Further these defensive bills put forward and fund for the first time a Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor (HBTSS) and a hypersonic defense intercept program with MDA leading the development, testing, and deployment of these vital missions.
A giant leap of technology to best defend the U.S. homeland is required for future missile threats that would at the minimum include multiple independent kill vehicles on each next generational interceptor. The NGI will replace the current fleet of 44 and go beyond the 64 interceptors that was put forward in the 2019 Missile Defense Review (MDR) which will take a decade to develop, test, prove, and deploy. Absolutely critical today is to increase the reliability of the first generational GBIs making up close to half of the fleet by taking them out of the silos to conduct maintenance and upgrades to their Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) as well as the booster, and extend their operational life to go another decade. The funding and scheduled on time completion of the Long-Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) in 2022 will increase reliability of the current GBIs and add the first persistent discrimination sensor for Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) and hypersonics coming over the Arctic towards the United States homeland. This is all being funded by the 2020 defense bills.
Reliance on current Aegis systems both at sea and on land to defend the United States homeland and territories will be dependent on the result of the upcoming Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA ICBM intercept test next year that is both funded and approved by the 2020 NDAA. Increased production of the SM-3 Block IIA interceptors and increased deployment of Baseline 9 Aegis software on existing Destroyers, along with Aegis Baseline 10 installed on the new Flight III Aegis Destroyers as well as future Aegis Ashore sites is being positioned to take place. Adding to this capability is the future addition of hypersonic defense interceptors, integrated 360 air and missile defense for cruise and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) on Aegis Ashore sites of which the latter is already deployed and operational on all Aegis Destroyers and Cruisers.
The future missile defense of the United States homeland is unified, funded, and approved.
Sleep in Peace
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.