The United States' European Phased Adaptive Approach Missile Defense System

The United States' European Phased Adaptive Approach Missile Defense System: Defending Against Iranian Missile Threats Without Diluting the Russian Deterrent

Jaganath Sankaran
Copyright Date: 2015
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 74
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/j.ctt14bs1nj
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  • Book Info
    The United States' European Phased Adaptive Approach Missile Defense System
    Book Description:

    In 2013, the United States opted to cancel Phase 4 of its European Phased Adaptive Approach missile defense system. Russia had cited it as a threat to its nuclear deterrent. This report demonstrates that the restructured U.S. system is able to defend against a range of current and future Iranian missile threats and does not pose a threat to Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8920-5
    Subjects: Political Science, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xi-xiv)

    In October 2009, the Barack Obama administration announced the deployment of a missile defense system, the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA), that was based on the Standard Missile (SM)-3 (IB, IIA, and IIB variants) deployed on Aegis missile defense ships in the Mediterranean Sea and at Aegis Ashore land sites later slated for Deveselu, Romania, and Redzikowo, Poland.¹ The EPAA system was conceived to defend against present and future Iranian missile threats to U.S. bases in Europe and to North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member and allied nation cities.

    The plans for EPAA, however, were also seen as an effort...

  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  9. 1. Origin and Evolution of the European Phased Adaptive Approach
    (pp. 1-8)

    The European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) missile defense system was conceived by the Barack Obama administration to defend against Iranian missile threats, both present and future. In 2009, President Obama, announcing the deployment of the EPAA missile defense system, said:

    We have updated our intelligence assessment of Iran’s missile programs, which emphasizes the threat posed by Iran’s short- and medium-range missiles, which are capable of reaching Europe…. This new approach will provide capabilities sooner, build on proven systems, and offer greater defenses against the threat of missile attack than the 2007 European missile defense program…. Because our approach will be...

  10. 2. The Iranian Missile Threat
    (pp. 9-14)

    Concern over the threat posed by Iranian missiles, along with the progression of Iran’s nuclear program, has been present since the early days of the Obama administration. In 2008, Obama, then a Democratic presidential candidate, called for tighter sanctions on Iran after it flight-tested nine long- and medium-range missiles as part of its Great Prophet III exercise in the strategic Strait of Hormuz. “Iran is a great threat. We have to make sure we are working with our allies to apply tightened pressure on Iran,” he said.38In 2009, in announcing the deployment of the EPAA missile defense system to...

  11. 3. The Performance of EPAA Against Iranian Threats
    (pp. 15-36)

    The main motivation in developing and deploying the EPAA missile defense system was to defend against current and future Iranian missile threats. This chapter will demonstrate that the restructured EPAA system (after the cancellation of Phase 4 SM-3 IIB interceptors) will still be able to kinematically engage all current and potential Iranian IRBM missiles. Kinematic reach, however, does not imply an intercept capability under field operational conditions. In a real-world scenario, a number of conditions will have to be met to successfully intercept a missile. First, the early-warning satellites and missile tracking radars will need to pick up the signatures...

  12. 4. The Performance of EPAA Against Russian ICBMs
    (pp. 37-46)

    The primary Russian complaint about the EPAA missile defense system has been the Phase 4 advanced SM-3 IIB interceptors with a burnout velocity of 5.5 km/s that were to be deployed in Redzikowo. Some Russian experts have also brought up the possibility that Aegis BMD ships relocated to the North Sea or the Barents Sea would be better able to intercept Russian ICBMs.59

    This chapter will examine how the cancellation of the Phase 4 interceptors has changed the alleged threat to Russia. First, the figures in this chapter will demonstrate that the interceptors in Deveselu will not be able to...

  13. 5. Conclusion
    (pp. 47-50)

    Chapters 3 and 4 outlined in detail the technical basis for making ana fortioriargument that the restructured EPAA missile defense system would not dilute Russia’s deterrent. Some experts within Russia support this argument. In a number of articles, these experts have said that in a hypothetical strike against U.S. territory, Russian ICBMs cannot under any circumstances end up within reach of the missile defense in Romania. They also note that only ICBMs from Kozelsk in western Russia can be intercepted by the missile defense in Poland, but even they do so only if they are aiming for the...

  14. References
    (pp. 51-56)