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Appendix 8C. A survey of US ballistic missile defence programmes


I. Introduction

II. US ballistic missile defence programmes

III. International missile defence cooperation

IV. Conclusions


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The USA continues to pursue an expansive array of weapon and sensor programmes for active defences against short-, medium- and long-range ballistic missiles. It has given high priority to deploying an integrated, multi-layer defence system designed to protect US territory and allies from perceived emerging threats posed by adversaries with missiles potentially armed with nuclear weapons. Under a controversial US plan, key elements of the system will be deployed in the Czech Republic and Poland. There remain concerns about the technological readiness of the system as well as about its cost and likely effectiveness in realistic missile engagement scenarios. The USA has bilateral ballistic missile defence development programmes under way with Israel and Japan, which involve significant defence-industrial cooperation.



Shannon N. Kile (United States) is a Senior Researcher with the SIPRI Non-proliferation and Export Controls Project.

Shannon N. Kile