SEST-559 Missile Technology and Missile Defense
Fall for 2017-2018
Ballistic missile defense is not only one of the most polarizing security issues today, it is also an issue where technology is fundamental to shaping the threat and United States’ ability to respond. This course will examine both the technological issues surrounding missile defense and the policy implications that flow from them. It will provide a primer on the technology behind ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and the proposed missile defense systems designed to defeat them. The course is designed to provide an understanding of the issues for non-scientists and a grounding in the topic for those who already have a scientific background. The first part of the course will focus on the threat of ballistic missiles: how they work, how states have acquired the technologies needed to build and deploy them, and how the threat is likely to evolve. Part 2 will focus on the fundamentals of ballistic missile defenses: how they work, what technologies, components, and systems are required, how they can be tested, and what acquisition strategies are likely to result in success for one of the most technically challenging endeavors ever attempted. Part 3 will focus on the policy implications that flow from the previous technical analysis.
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