Schatz, Sullivan Introduce Legislation to Strengthen America’s Missile Defense Systems


WASHINGTONU.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) introduced S. 2980, the Integrated Missile Defense Act of 2018. The bill – which builds upon the success of last year’s bipartisan Advancing America’s Missile Defense Act of 2017 – seeks to further strengthen and integrate our nation’s missile defenses. 

“When it comes to North Korea, we can hope for the best while still planning for the worst,” Senator Schatz said. “I strongly support diplomacy, but in the meantime, this bill beefs up our missile defense system and protects Hawai‘i, Alaska, and the U.S. mainland from rogue missile threats. It also speeds up our efforts to protect U.S. forces and allies in the region by improving our ability to detect, track, discriminate, and intercept increasingly sophisticated future missile threats.”

“Last year, Congress – working closely with the Trump administration – undertook much-needed efforts to dramatically bolster and advance our country’s missile defense,” said Senator Sullivan. “This year, continuing to work in a bipartisan fashion, our bill finally authorizes the full development and deployment of a space-based sensor layer. This important measure further helps to ready our missile defenses and make them increasingly interoperable and effective against an ever-evolving missile threat. Additionally, this bill seeks to better align our missile defenses with the 2018 National Defense Strategy including more quickly fielding advanced capabilities to address future threats, better integrating our missile defense systems, and seeking to collaborate more with allies and partners on missile defense technologies.”

S. 2980 is also cosponsored by Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.).

Background:

  • Develops and Deploys Space-based Sensors: Mandates the development deployment of space-based sensors as soon as practicable. 
  • Readies Our Defenses: Mandates an analysis of accelerating the development and deployment of the Redesigned Kill Vehicle (RKV) to Missile Field 4 at Fort Greely.
  • Promotes a More Integrated Missile Defense: Directs a study on an integrated air-and-missile defense architecture to protect against evolving threats outlined in the 2018 National Defense Strategy.
  • Accelerates Our Defenses Against Hypersonic Threats: Directs the acceleration of our hypersonic missile defenses and links them to the deployment of space-based sensors.
  • Focuses of Allies: Expresses that the U.S. should work with allies and trusted partners to share missile defense capabilities.
  • More Rigorous Testing: Seeks to discourage a risk adverse culture of missile defense testing and promotes a more rigorous testing regime to deliver capabilities at the “speed of relevance.”


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