Former CNO: Navy Reaching the Limits of its Afloat BMD Platform Capabilities
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
WASHINGTON — The Navy has about 10 years to develop a new afloat ballistic-missile defense (BMD) system to keep pace with the threat, a former chief of naval operations (CNO) said.
“We don’t have a keel-up missile defense platform afloat,” retired Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, told an audience Feb. 2 at a seminar sponsored by the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, noting that the Navy relied on BMD modifications to existing cruisers and destroyers.
He said the Navy had looked at adapting the large hull of a San Antonio-class amphibious platform dock ship, fitting a large-aperture radar on it to target a battery of BMD-capable missiles.
Greener said the San Antonio-class ships “can generate a lot of electricity” to power more capable radar systems.
“Imagine the size of aperture you could put on there — a TPY-2 [radar] easily, and probably double that — and you can put a lot of missiles in there,” he said.
Noting that the Navy is approaching the growth margin of its Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class destroyers as BMD platforms, Greenert said “we are reaching the limits of our asymptote out there, and probably I’d say we’re probably 10 years from having to move on to another means afloat to meet the threat out there.”