Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz is examining the feasibility of missile defense systems mounted on aircraft, such as strike fighters.
Interest in the Air Launched Hit-to-Kill systems comes as Congress may move to cut funding for some missile defense systems. (Please see stories in this issue.)
One example of an aircraft-mounted missile defense system is the Network Centric Airborne Defense Element (NCADE). (Please see Space & Missile Defense Report, Monday, June 15, 2009.)
It is a relatively low-cost system, hitting enemy missiles just after they launch.
Two major systems in development that do just that, the Airborne Laser and the Kinetic Energy Interceptor, have been sidelined in the budget cutting.