Admiral John Richardson, the US chief of naval operations, said he is confident about the ability of the Aegis combat system aboard appropriately outfitted US guided-missile destroyers and cruisers to conduct ballistic missile defence (BMD) missions, even during the initial boost phase.
“Aegis is highly effective in BMD,” Richardson testified on 18 January during a House Armed Services Committee hearing. “We have attuned it for that role.”
Aegis is more effective, he said, during the terminal, or latter, phases of a ballistic-missile trajectory.
But, he said, there is nothing technically that could prevent a properly placed Aegis-equipped ship from engaging a missile in the boost phase.
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