Recent Missile Defense Agency (MDA) presentations at the August 2013 Space and Missile Defense Symposium suggest that boost phase defenses may be making something of a comeback at the MDA. This is somewhat surprising (to me), since in the last few years MDA has cancelled its two main boost program, the Kinetic Energy Interceptor in 2009 and the Airborne Laser in 2011.
However, a slide, shown below (click on it for a larger image), from MDA Director Vice Admiral J.D. Syring’s August 14 presentation showed an “Airborne Interceptor Layer” that was intended to provide “Highly mobile, survivable BMD; Autonomous and Integrated” as one of five MDA “Priority Technology Investments.” Another priority investment area was high power lasers, with one objective being the development and deployment a new Airborne Laser.
Another slide, shown below, from the presentation of Richard Matlock, MDA’s Program Executive for Advanced Technology, shows both a “Boost Phase Kill” from a “High Altitude Long Endurance Platform” (apparently using a laser), and an “Airborne Weapons Layer,” deployed on a fighter aircraft.
Slide 21 of VADM J. D. Syring, “Ballistic Missile Defense Overview,” 16th Annual Space and Missile Defense Symposium, August 14, 2013.