Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) ... The Aegis

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  • Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress

    Ronald O'Rourke Specialist in Naval Affairs

    June 25, 2014

    Congressional Research Service

    7-5700 www.crs.gov

    RL33745

  • Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program

    Congressional Research Service

    Summary The Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) program, which is carried out by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Navy, gives Navy Aegis cruisers and destroyers a capability for conducting BMD operations. Under MDA and Navy plans, the number of BMD-capable Navy Aegis ships is scheduled to grow from 33 at the end of FY2014 to 43 at the end of FY2019. The figure of 43 ships for FY2019, however, includes four BMD-capable Aegis cruisers that are proposed under the Navy’s FY2015 budget for some form of reduced operating status starting in FY2015.

    Under the Administration’s European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) for European BMD operations, BMD-capable Aegis ships are operating in European waters to defend Europe from potential ballistic missile attacks from countries such as Iran. On October 5, 2011, the United States, Spain, and NATO jointly announced that, as part of the EPAA, four BMD-capable Aegis ships are to be forward-homeported (i.e., based) at Rota, Spain, in FY2014 and FY2015. BMD- capable Aegis ships also operate in the Western Pacific and the Persian Gulf to provide regional defense against potential ballistic missile attacks from countries such as North Korea and Iran.

    The Aegis BMD program is funded mostly through MDA’s budget. The Navy’s budget provides additional funding for BMD-related efforts. MDA’s proposed FY2015 budget requests a total of $2,046.3 million in procurement and research and development funding for Aegis BMD efforts, including funding for two Aegis Ashore sites in Poland and Romania that are to be part of the EPAA. MDA’s budget also includes operations and maintenance (O&M) and military construction (MilCon) funding for the Aegis BMD program.

    Issues for Congress regarding the Aegis BMD program include the following:

    • burden-sharing—how European naval contributions to European BMD capabilities and operations compare to U.S. naval contributions to European BMD capabilities and operations;

    • the Navy’s proposal to place four BMD-capable Aegis cruisers into some form of reduced operational status starting in FY2015;

    • a proposed reduction in planned numbers of SM-3 interceptors to be procured;

    • the lack of a target for simulating the endo-atmospheric (i.e., final) phase of flight of China’s DF-21 anti-ship ballistic missile; and

    • concurrency and technical risk in the Aegis BMD program.

  • Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program

    Congressional Research Service

    Contents Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 1 Background ...................................................................................................................................... 1

    Aegis Ships ................................................................................................................................ 1 Ticonderoga (CG-47) Class Aegis Cruisers ........................................................................ 1 Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) Class Aegis Destroyers .............................................................. 2 Projected Aegis Ship Force Levels ...................................................................................... 2 Aegis Ships in Allied Navies ............................................................................................... 3

    Aegis BMD System ................................................................................................................... 3 Versions of Aegis BMD System .......................................................................................... 3 Aegis BMD Interceptor Missiles ......................................................................................... 3 Summary of Aegis BMD Versions ...................................................................................... 5

    European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) for European BMD .......................................... 6 Planned Numbers of BMD-Capable Aegis Ships and SM-3 Interceptors ................................. 7 October 5, 2011, Announcement of Homeporting in Spain....................................................... 8 Aegis BMD Flight Tests ............................................................................................................ 9 Allied Participation and Interest in Aegis BMD Program ....................................................... 13

    Japan .................................................................................................................................. 13 Other Countries ................................................................................................................. 14

    FY2015 Funding Request ........................................................................................................ 14 Issues for Congress ........................................................................................................................ 15

    Burden Sharing: U.S. vs. European Naval Contributions to European BMD ......................... 15 Proposal to Place Four BMD-Capable Aegis Cruisers in Reduced Operating Status ............. 16 Proposed Reductions in Planned Procurement Quantities of SM-3 Missiles .......................... 16 Target for Simulating Endo-Atmospheric Flight of DF-21 ASBM ......................................... 17 Concurrency and Technical Risk in Aegis BMD Program ...................................................... 18

    Aegis System Modernized Software ................................................................................. 18 SM-3 Block IB Missile ..................................................................................................... 18 SM-3 Block IIA Missile .................................................................................................... 22 Aegis Ashore ..................................................................................................................... 24

    Legislative Activity for FY2015 .................................................................................................... 28 Summary of Action on FY2015 MDA Funding Request ........................................................ 28 FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4435/S. 2410) ........................................ 28

    House (Committee Report) ............................................................................................... 28 House (Floor Action) ......................................................................................................... 31 Senate ................................................................................................................................ 32

    FY2015 DOD Appropriations Act (H.R. 4870) ....................................................................... 34 House ................................................................................................................................. 34

    Tables Table 1. Versions of Aegis BMD System ......................................................................................... 6 Table 2. Numbers of BMD-Capable Aegis Ships and SM-3 Missiles ............................................. 8 Table 3. MDA Funding for Aegis BMD Efforts, FY2014-FY2019 ............................................... 14 Table 4. Planned SM-3 Missile Procurement Quantities ............................................................... 17

  • Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program

    Congressional Research Service

    Table 5. Summary of Congressional Action on FY2015 Request for MDA Procurement and RDT&E Funding for Aegis BMD Program ......................................................................... 28

    Table A-1. Aegis BMD Flight Tests Since January 2002............................................................... 36

    Appendixes Appendix A. Aegis BMD Flight Tests ........................................................................................... 35 Appendix B. Homeporting of U.S. Navy Aegis BMD Ships at Rota, Spain ................................. 54 Appendix C. Allied Participation and Interest in Aegis BMD Program ........................................ 57

    Contacts Author Contact Information........................................................................................................... 66

  • Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program

    Congressional Research Service 1

    Introduction This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) program, which is carried out by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Navy, and gives Navy Aegis cruisers and destroyers a capability for conducting BMD operations. Congress’s decisions on the Aegis BMD program could significantly affect U.S. BMD capabilities and funding requirements, and the BMD-related industrial base.

    Background

    Aegis Ships The Navy’s cruisers and destroyers are called Aegis ships because they are equipped with the Aegis ship combat system—an integrated collection of sensors, computers, software, displays, weapon launch

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