Strategic Weapons: December 20, 2002


The U.S. will put in service ten ABM (anti-ballistic missiles) in Alaska in 2004. Such systems have been under development for decades. The current one has passed five of its last eight tests. Ten more would be put in service in 2005 or 2006. The U.S. Navy will also deploy the new Standard 3 ABM system on ships. The Standard 3 is a special version of the navy's anti-aircraft missile that can destroy short range ballistic missiles. The Standard 3 works on ships with the Aegis radar system and new software that enables Aegis to detect and track ballistic missiles. The ABMs in Alaska could intercept ICBMs from Korea, or China. Such missiles could employ decoys, but the U.S. ABM program is said to have developed techniques for detecting decoys. Naturally, the details of that are kept secret, lest any potential attacker figure out a way to fool the decoy detection.


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