US President Donald Trump has unveiled a new drive to update the country’s missile defence system, which includes a “space-based missile defence layer”.
President Trump outlined a six-point plan that significantly expands missile defence in the US, including "space-based sensors" that can be used to detect hostile threats.
These space sensors "take advantage of the large area viewable from space for improved tracking and potentially targeting of advanced threats, including HGVs and hypersonic cruise missiles", according to the Missile Defence Review.
"Our goal is simple: to ensure we can detect and destroy any missile launched against the United States – anywhere, any time, any place," President Trump said.
“We are committed to establishing a missile defence program that can shield every city in the United States. And we will never negotiate away our right to do this.”
The President also confirmed that the upcoming defence budget for the US will include investment in space-based missile defence.
The missile review noted that space basing of interceptors "may provide significant advantages", particularly for boost-phase defence.
Also included in President Trump's six-point plan is:
- Build 20 new ground base missile interceptors at Fort Greely, Alaska, and create a missile shield "to protect every city in the US";
- Develop new technology because the "world is changing and we are going to change much faster than the rest of the world";
- Protect America from all types of missile attacks, including cruise and hypersonic;
- Remove bureaucratic obstacles; and
- Insist on fair burden sharing with allies.
The President also used the address to commit to NATO "100 per cent", pouring cold water on suggestions the US were considering pulling out of the alliance.
"We are going to be with NATO 100 per cent, but as I told the countries, you have to step up," he said.
"You have to pay minimum numbers, actually. The numbers should be much higher."
President Trump has been critical in the past of NATO and Asian allies not providing enough financial support to the US.