Since the first work in the field of ballistic missile interception systems, the Pentagon has invested close to $350 billion in this specific field intended to protect American soil, and to a lesser extent, some of its allies, against strikes from potentially nuclear ballistic missiles. In recent years, the subject has been revitalized by the resurgence of strategic threats from Russia, China and also North Korea, which now have ballistic missiles, certainly intercontinental, but with operational capabilities much lower than the latest models of ICBM missiles. and Russian and Western SLBMs. Yet, according to a report made public by the American Physical Society, an association of many American physicists, the current capabilities of this US anti-missile defense, and those that will be in service in the next 15 years, would be unable to protect American soil from a ballistic missile attack, including led by North Korea and its older generation systems.
According to this report, while progress has been made in some areas, many impasses remain in providing effective defense against intercontinental ballistic missiles, particularly in terms of system density, the time required for detection, identification and engagement of the targets, and the too restricted effective window of intervention which results from these elements to carry out a sure and effective interception against the threats. Concretely, if during the exercises, the simulations actually show the proven effectiveness of the systems deployed, in an operational framework that does not allow the unknowns to be resolved within comparable timeframes (has a missile or a space launcher been detected? the chain of command available? Are the interception systems placed in the right place?), the real and objective interception capabilities would be greatly deteriorated, including against relatively old or technologically dated weapon systems such as those implemented by Pyongyang.
In this same report, the APS estimates that the solutions currently being developed by the Missile Defense Agency, such as directed energy weapons and the space interception systems of the Space-based Interceptor's program, will not be operational for a good fifteen years. . Moreover, concerning this last program, the APS estimates that the density of space systems necessary to simply cover the North Korean threat is incompatible with sustainable investments by the Pentagon. In conclusion, the report questions the relevance of US investments in this area, knowing that other areas are forced to reduce or postpone their own critical investments to meet the budgetary constraints of the Pentagon.
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