The US military recently admitted that they cannot withstand the strategic nuclear weapons attacks by Russia and China.
The United States Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has announced plans to deploy a multi-layered missile defense system. Washington hopes that this system will protect the United States against attacks with the most modern weapons complexes of the enemy.
Detecting problems in the system
When Russia unveiled the latest versions of its nuclear deterrent, such as the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile and the Avangard hypersonic missile system, the Pentagon openly admitted: Moscow had surpassed Washington in the field of hypersonic weapon technology.
The US missile defense system is not even strong enough to partially mitigate the potential damage in the event of a war. MDA believes that in this regard, it is necessary to change the approach.
Currently, in order to protect its territory from attacks by intercontinental ballistic missiles, the US has deployed dozens of bases in Alaska and California to intercept surface-to-surface missiles, in the form of fixed launch tunnels. These bases are responsible for intercepting ballistic missiles in space in mid-orbit.
This system has been put into use by the US since 2005. During testing, the GBMD interceptor system shot down only half of the attack targets. This greatly frustrated the US government, even though it was a very expensive weapon system.
On the most important strategic directions, the US placed three fixed radar stations, with early warning function PAVE PAWS (Precision Acquisition Vehicle Entry Phased Array Warning System).
In the mid-2010s, Washington spent $6 billion developing new interceptor missiles in the RKV program. This project also had to be closed in 2019. Because the design of the warhead revealed very serious defects. As a result, the US Missile Defense Agency was almost dissolved.
Shield in the middle of the ocean
The first line of defense are the destroyers Arleigh Burke and cruisers Ticonderoga equipped with Aegis combat information control systems and Standard interceptor missiles. These warships are mainly on duty in the Pacific Ocean, serving as a mobile shield, preventing missiles from China and North Korea. Currently, some of these ships are deployed to the US coast.
However, if attacked by the enemy’s heavy ICBM intercontinental ballistic missile, the Standard interceptor missile will not be able to withstand. The Standard missile complex is mainly for combat with short- and medium-range missiles.
The second line of defense is the Aegis Ashore system. The US Missile Defense Agency MDA has not ruled out deploying a ground-based version of the Aegis Ashore. These systems have been deployed in Poland and Romania. The United States also planned to station in Japan, but Tokyo rejected the proposal.
Against hypersonic weapons
The last line of defense is the THAAD short-range interceptor missile system, located on the ground. The complex has been deployed in Korea and in Guam. A year and a half ago, the US invested another 273 million USD to upgrade this system. The mission of the THAAD complex is to shoot down missiles at the final stage of their flight trajectory.
Talking to the press, the director of the US Missile Defense Agency MDA, Vice Admiral John Hill said: “The most complex task today is to connect these three lines of defense together into a unified block. In order to coordinate actions among those defenses, an effective information network is required.
In addition, this system needs to be integrated with the Patriot complex. The commanding officer, at the right time, must know what means of transport.” Either way, the Pentagon still has many problems to solve in order to complete the modernization of its air defense system.
For example: a common control system for lines of defense. Air defense complexes are ineffective against new Russian and Chinese weapons.
Recently, analysts from the US Military Academy have come to the conclusion: “If it is not enough just to increase the number of missiles, it is necessary to develop modern fighter aircraft equipped with anti-missile and highly maneuverable interceptor capability”.
According to experts, the modern US air defense system can only intercept slow-flying missiles, flying in a predetermined trajectory. How to shoot down highly maneuverable warheads, flying at supersonic speeds? Currently, American design experts are still having a headache.