Section 232 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417) directed the Secretary to Defense to enter into agreement with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, in order to conduct an independent study of concepts and systems for boost-phase missile defense. Specific elements of the study should include the following.
1. Content—the study should include: (a) the extent to which boost-phase missile defense is technically feasible and practical; and (b) whether any demonstration efforts by the Department of Defense of boost-phase missile defense technology existing as of the date of the study (including the Airborne Laser and the Kinetic Energy Interceptor) have a high probability of performing a boost-phase missile defense mission in an operationally effective, suitable, and survivable manner.
2. Systems to be examined—the study should include: (a) the Airborne Laser; (b) the Kinetic Energy Interceptor (land-based and sea-based options); and (c) other existing boost-phase technology demonstration programs.
3. Factors to be evaluated—the study should include: (a) technical capability of the system against scenarios identified in paragraph (4) below; (b) operational issues, including operational effectiveness; (c) the results of key milestone tests conducted prior to preparation of the report; (d) survivability; (e) suitability; (f) concept of operations, including basing considerations; (g) operations and maintenance support; (h) command and control considerations, including timelines for detection, decision-making, and engagement; (i) shortfall from intercepts; (j) force structure requirements; (k) effectiveness against countermeasures; (l) estimated cost of sustaining the system in the field; (m) reliability, availability,
and maintainability; (n) geographic considerations, including limitations on the ability to deploy systems within operational range of potential targets; and (o) cost and cost-effectiveness, including total lifecycle cost estimates.
4. Scenarios to be assessed—the study should include an assessment of each system identified in paragraph (2) above regarding the performance and operational capabilities of the system to: (a) counter short-range, medium-range, and intermediate-range ballistic missile threats from rogue states to the deployed forces of the United States and its allies; and (b) defend the territory of the United States against limited ballistic missile attack.
5. Comparison with non-boost systems—the study should include an assessment of the performance and operational capabilities of non-boost missile defense systems to counter the scenarios identified in paragraph (4) above. (The results under this paragraph shall be compared to the results under paragraph (4) above.) For purposes of this paragraph, non-boost missile defense systems include: (a) Patriot PAC-3 System and the Medium Extended Air Defense System follow-on system; (b) Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, with all variants of the Standard Missile-3 interceptor; (c) Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System; and (d) Ground-Based Midcourse Defense System.