Ballistic missile defence [fr]

NATO has for several years been developing a ballistic missile defence (BMD) programme, in order to protect its forces when they are deployed on a theatre of operations. In 2010, in Lisbon, Allies decided to develop a missile defence system to protect European populations and territory. At the Chicago summit, Allied heads of States and governments declared an interim missile defence capability and set out a precise framework for the development of the NATO missile defence system.

Theatre missile defence

NATO has for several years been developing a ballistic missile defence (BMD) programme, in order to protect its forces when they are deployed in a theatre of operations, the Active-Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defense (ALTBMD) programme.

Missile defence of populations and territories

In 2009, the United States proposed that NATO develop its own ballistic missile defence capability to defend its populations and territory. The Obama administration, after abandoning the Bush administration’s missile defence shield project, proposed in this framework a “phase adaptative approach” (EPAA) aimed at protecting European territory against ballistic missiles.

In this context, Allied Heads of States and governments decided at the Lisbon Summit (lien déclaration Lisbonne) in 2010 that “the Alliance will develop a missile defence capability to pursue its core task of collective defence”, by expanding its existing theatre missile defence capabilities. They decided that this missile defence capability would be developed “based on the principles of the indivisibility of Allied security and NATO solidarity, equitable sharing of risks and burdens, as well as reasonable challenge, taking into account the level of threat, affordability and technical feasibility, and in accordance with the latest common threat assessments agreed by the Alliance.”

This system’s mission will “to provide full coverage and protection for all NATO European populations, territory and forces against the increasing threats posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles”.

The Chicago Summit: a new step towards the development of NATO BMD, within a reaffirmed and more detailed framework

During the Chicago Summit (lien déclaration Chicago), the Alliance took a new step by declaring an interim territorial missile defence capability. This interim capability represents a first, limited, step towards the operational implementation of NATO BMD. It provides coverage to South-Eastern European Allies against ballistic missile attacks, within available means (for the most part, at this stage, American radars and interceptors).

France fully supports the development of a territorial missile defence capability, provided certain parameters are respected. In particular, at the Chicago Summit, we set out, and Allies agreed, a precise framework for NATO BMD, in several areas in particular :

  1. The development of the NATO ballistic missile defence system will be based on a regular threat assessment, and it will adapted according to the evolutions of the threat ; the Chicago declaration underlines that “should international efforts reduce the threats posed by ballistic missile proliferation, NATO missile defence can, and will, adapt accordingly” ;
  2. NATO missile defence is a complement, not a substitute, to nuclear deterrence;
  3. NATO will acquire its own missile defence capability in order to allow all allied countries to exert political control over this capability;
  4. the costs of the development of NATO BMD must be controlled: only command and control systems will be eligible for common funding. Other contributions (radars and interceptors) will be funded nationally, on a voluntary basis;
  5. NATO will engage with third States, in particular those that could be affected by the NATO BMD system (in the event of an interception above their territory, for example). NATO will in particular endeavour to cooperate with Russia.

The work to develop territorial missile defence, within this framework, is ongoing. The next important step will be the declaration of an initial operational capability (IOC), at a date to be determined.

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Dernière modification : 13/06/2013

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