Sea-Based Ballistic Missile Defense - Background and Issues for Congress [Updated December 19, 2006] [open pdf - 210KB]
"In developing a global ballistic missile defense (BMD) system, the Department of Defense (DOD) currently is modifying 18 Navy cruisers and destroyers for BMD operations, and has placed a large BMD radar - the Sea-Based X-Band Radar (SBX) - on a modified floating oil platform. The eventual role for sea-based systems in the worldwide U.S. BMD architecture has not been determined. The issue for Congress for this report is: What should be the role of sea-based systems in U.S. ballistic missile defense? Potential issues for Congress regarding sea-based BMD systems include the role of sea-based BMD systems in the eventual U.S. BMD architecture, whether to initiate a program to fully replace the canceled Navy Area Defense (NAD) program for sea based terminal-defense operations, pacing and funding for Aegis BMD radar and missile upgrades, and whether the Aegis BMD development approach offers potential lessons for the ground-based midcourse development program. This report will be updated as events warrant."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33745