US Missile Defense Review 2019
US Department of Defense
January 17, 2019
The 2019 Missile Defense Review is essentially a policy framework that emphasizes the priority of protection for the nation against emerging and future rogue states' missile threats, and calls for robust regional missile defense for U.S. forces abroad and allies and partners against all potential adversaries.

For a number of years now, potential adversaries like Iran and North Korea, have been developing and testing new missiles, such as advanced cruise missiles, intercontinental ballistic missiles and hypersonic weapons, while the U.S. has lagged in enhancing its own missile defense systems.

The MDR addresses those threats. To counter a potential threat from North Korea, it will strengthen the defense of the nation against the ICBMs they’ve developed. Trump has directed a 50 percent increase in homeland defense interceptors — from 44 to 64 — and supporting radars. These interceptors can also defend the homeland against an Iranian ICBM threat should it materialize.

The MDR also seeks to counter the regional missile threat to U.S. and ally forces posed by Russia and China's increasing number and types of short, medium and intermediate- range missiles, to include hypersonic and advanced cruise missiles. The review calls for a layered approach that includes integrated air and missile defense, cooperation with allies, increased numbers of missile defense interceptors, and new technologies for intercepting advanced threats.

To ensure that the U.S. stays ahead of these threats, the MDR calls for pursuing advanced technologies and innovative concepts. Priority is given to space-based sensors to track missile threats and an emphasis is placed on intercepting missiles in the boost phase — just after launch — and utilizing directed energy weapons on unmanned aerial vehicles and modified air-to-air missiles carried by fighter aircraft.

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