Missile defense in the 21st century acquisition environment: exploring a BMD-capable LCS mission package
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In the aftermath of the Cold War, proliferation of late-20th-century Soviet and NATO offensive weaponry has provided many countries and groups around the globe with the ability to challenge the defensive infrastructure of neighboring states. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the struggle between two great superpowers to gain and maintain access to regions of strategic interest has been eclipsed by the emergence of new threatscorrupt regimes, warlords, and terrorists who now have the capability to attack civilian populations, destabilize regional governments, and threaten United States and allied strategic interests. Of particular concern are the threats presented by aggressor short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. These weapons, capable of carrying weaponized chemical or biological payloads, are small, mobile, and difficult to track. Aegis, the premiere sea-based ballistic missile defense (BMD) system of the U.S. Navy, is a high-demand, cost-limited resource that cannot be mobilized to defend all potential target zones. A smaller, more mobile solution is necessary to afford foreign U.S. interests adequate protection. This paper details a systems engineering approach to assess the emergent ballistic missile threat, synthesize solution options to meet littoral region capability needs, and conduct comparative analyses to downselect a conceptual BMD system that meets stakeholder needs.
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