This bill would look to enhance the integrated missile defense system that protects the U.S. homeland through the development and deployment of additional interceptors, a space-based sensor layer, and authorizing additional missile defense testing. It would direct the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to accelerate the development, testing, and fielding of several technologies including the redesigned and multi-object kill vehicles, rocket boosters, an airborne laser on unmanned aerial vehicles, and an additional missile defense site in the East Coast or Midwest regions of the U.S.
The bill would authorize 28 ground-based interceptors in addition to the 44 that will be operational by the end of 2017, which will be based at Fort Greely, Alaska and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The MDA would also be required to report to Congress on increasing the missile defense system by an additional 100 interceptors, including the identification of new or existing sites to house them and the advantages and challenges posed by each.
The MDA would collaborate with the Air Force on a report on the status of the integrated layers of missile defense radars, including possible adjustments, integration into the missile defense system architecture, and modernization plans. It would also be tasked with developing a highly reliable space-based missile defense sensor architecture using sound acquisition practices and rigorous testing as soon as technically feasible. The space-based sensors would have the ability to detect, track, identify, discriminate warheads from other objects, assist in debris mitigation, and effectively assess the results of the engagement.
This bill would also call on the Dept. of Defense to allocate more funding to homeland missile defense testing to ensure that defenses continue to evolve faster than the threats they’re defending against.