US Navy Chief Advocates for Land-based BMD

On June 12, speaking at the U.S. Naval War College, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson advocated for a transition from regular naval ballistic missile defense patrols to land-based BMD with systems like Aegis Ashore. Reflecting on the Navy’s BMD, Richardson said “It’s a pretty good capability and if there is an emergent need to provide ballistic missile defense, we’re there…But 10 years down the road, it’s time to build something on land to defend the land. Whether that’s Aegis ashore or whatever, I want to get out of the long-term missile defense business and move to dynamic missile defense.” As Defense News and subsequent reports note, the forward-deployment of six Aegis BMD ships requires keeping three times as many from sea operations. Land-based BMD systems are also less expensive and require fewer personnel than Aegis ships.