Aegis-anchored ballistic missile defense (BMD) systems are proving to be worthwhile investments for protection in the Pacific, says a recent report by the National Research Council ( NRC ) released on Sept. 11.

The report, “Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense : An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives,” urges the Pentagon and Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to expand and improve Aegis.

“As a means to defend deployed U.S. forces and allies from short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missile threats, the Missile Defense Agency and the Services should continue investing in non-boost systems such as Aegis, Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense ( THAAD ), and PAC-3, with continued attention to architecture integration of sensors with shooters (sometimes referred to as an integrated battle command system, or IBCS), specifically to implement launch-on-remote (LOR) and engage-on-remote (EOR) firing doctrines,” the report says.

Aegis-equipped vessels are particularly suited to protect the Pacific, the report says. “The Aegis ship-based SM-3 Block II interceptors with launch or engage on remote — both of which capabilities are under development — together with the THAAD and PAC-3 systems and their elements will provide, where appropriate, adequate coverage for defense of U.S. and allied deployed forces and of Asian allies,” the report says.

Defense of Hawaii should be provided by Aegis with launch-on-remote capability, the report notes.