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National Missile Defense Capabilities

To meet the Capstone Requirements Document (CRD) requirements, the NMD Joint Project Office (JPO) at BMDO created a program to develop a defensive system that will evolve through three levels of capability:

  • Capability 1 satisfies CRD Threshold requirements against unsophisticated threats. The Administration and the Congress want the option of fielding this capability by the year 2003 given a deployment decision in 2000. The system provides the required performance against an unsophisticated rogue-state threat at the Threshold level. The Threshold threat, the details of which are classified, is said to consist of an attack of five single-warhead missiles with unsophisticated decoys that could be discriminated, plus chaff, obscurant particles, flares, jammers, and other countermeasures.
  • Capability 2 provides the required performance against any authorized, unauthorized, or accidental attack by sophisticated payloads at the Threshold level. The Threshold threat, the details of which are classified, is said to consist of an attack of five single-warhead missiles, each with either a few (about four) credible decoys that could not be descriminated [and would have to be intercepted], plus chaff, obscurant particles, flares, jammers, and other countermeasures.
  • Capability 3 satisfies the CRD Objective. The system provides the required performance against any authorized, unauthorized, or accidental attack by sophisticated payloads at the Objective level. The Objective, the details of which are classified, is said to consist of an attack of twenty single-warhead missiles, each with either a few (perhaps as many as five) credible decoys that could not be descriminated [and would have to be intercepted], or a larger number of less sophisticated decoys that could be discriminated, plus chaff, obscurant particles, flares, jammers, and other countermeasures.

The relationship between these Capability performance requirements and the Capability system architectures continues to evolve. The 1999 Welch Report noted that the 2005 deployment, which with 100 interceptors would appear to be the C2 Architecture, was in fact focused on addressing the far less stressing C1 threat. The cost for the land-based NMD Capability 2 architecture with some 100 interceptors based in Alaska is about $13B to $14B for the post-FY97 RDT&E, procurement and military construction.

As of early 2000, the NMD program went beyond the original Capability 1, or "C1," architecture by developing an "Expanded C1" architecture to be capable of defending all 50 states against threats larger than the initial C1 architecture was designed to handle. The Expanded C1 deployment option builds on revised program guidance announced in 1999 year by the Secretary of Defense. For planning purposes, the Expanded C1 system will incorporate 100 ground-based interceptors based in Alaska and an advanced X-Band radar based at Shemya Island, also in Alaska. Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for the C1 architecture, consisting of 20 interceptors, will take place in 2005. The full 100 can be deployed by Fiscal Year 2007. This represented a two year delay from the plan outlined in 1999, under which the first 20 interceptors could have been deployed by 2003, with 100 interceptors becoming operational by 2005.

Notional Deployment Architectures

Architecture C1 C2
Expanded C1
C3
IOC 2005 2007 2010-2015
Cost [non-add] $9-11B
1998-2003
$13-14B
1998-2005
Threat simple penetration aids sophisticated penetration aids
5 ICBMs with
5 warheads+
simple decoys
25 ICBMs with
25 warheads+
simple decoys
or
5 ICBMs with
5 warheads +
20 credible decoys
50 ICBMs with
50 warheads+
simple decoys
or
20 ICBMs with
20 warheads +
100 credible decoys
GBI interceptors 20 Alaska 100 Alaska 125 Alaska
125 Grand Forks
UEWR Beale
Clear
Cape Cod
Flyingdales
Thule
Beale
Clear
Cape Cod
Flyingdales
Thule
Beale
Clear
Cape Cod
Flyingdales
Thule
XBR Shemya Shemya
Clear
Flyingdales
Thule
Shemya
Clear
Flyingdales
Thule
Beale
Cape Cod
Grand Forks
Hawaii
South Korea
Space Sensors DSP
SBIRS-High
DSP
SBIRS-High
SBIRS-Low

SBIRS-High
SBIRS-Low
IFICS Alaska
Shemya AK
Caribou ME
Alaska
Shemya AK
Caribou ME
Munising MI
Alaska
Shemya AK
Caribou ME
Munising MI
Hawaii



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