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USN fleet burdened by ballistic missile defence missions, review says

18 December 2017

The expanding need for ship-provided ballistic missile defence (BMD) has added to the US Navy (USN) fleet’s already overburdened operational mission requirements, the recently released USN Strategic Review said.

“The proliferation of ballistic missiles in the Middle East and Northeast Asia place further demands on the navy as surface combatants are the preferred, available, and politically unobtrusive option to provide ballistic missile defence in those regions,” said the 12 December review of changes needed to avoid the spate of recent surface-ship collisions in the Western Pacific.

“To generate this continuous and more robust presence with fewer ships and aircraft the navy more than doubled its forward-based, or Forward Deployed Naval Forces,” the review said.

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