Sea-Based Ballistic Missile Defense-Background and Issues for Congress [Updated May 18, 2007] [open pdf - 225KB]
"As part of its effort to develop a global ballistic missile defense (BMD) system, the Department of Defense (DOD) is modifying 18 Navy cruisers and destroyers for BMD operations, and has deployed 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 world-wide U.S. BMD architecture has not been determined. The overall issue for Congress for this report is: What should be the role of seabased systems in U.S. ballistic missile defense, and are DOD's programs for seabased BMD capabilities appropriately structured and funded? Decisions that Congress reaches on this issue could affect U.S. BMD capabilities and funding requirements; the size, capabilities, and operational patterns of the Navy and the other services; and the shipbuilding industrial base."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33745