The U.S. has a grand total of one program in its entire military arsenal capable of intercepting long-range nuclear warheads aimed at America. It is called the Ground-based Midcourse Defense, and within ten years it is likely to lose its effectiveness against an evolving North Korean threat. The Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency has responded by proposing a “next-generation interceptor” capable of defeating pretty much anything that Pyongyang can come up with. Only problem: it could take ten years (or longer) to field a new interceptor capable of addressing all potential threats. The effectiveness of the existing system will begin eroding before then. The obvious solution is to make interim upgrades to interceptors in the current Ground-based Midcourse Defense and increase their numbers to fill the gap until something better is available. Boeing has a low-cost plan to do that. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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