Making Decisions in Missile Defense

Course Length:



This three-day course treats in a consistent manner the various key factors that must be taken into account when deciding on the form of missile defense for any nation. It first takes the technical factors of performance, cost, schedule and risk and determines which system out of a set of candidate systems provides the best solution based on a given set of easily understood criteria. These technical solutions are then modified, in a controlled and transparent manner, by such modifiers as political factors, national requirements and other less tangible factors. All factors are presented with both historical background trends for contextual appreciation and with known values that can be either statistical State-of-Art values or user input values as needed. Engineering formulation of equations and data is provided sparingly where necessary for technical background and for sensitivity analyses. Attendees will receive Mr. Mantle’s AIAA book The Missile Defense Equation: Factors for Decision Making.

What you will learn:


  • Key drivers in missile defense for any nation
  • Integration of technical, political & programmatic considerations
  • Trade-off technical, cost, schedule and risk. Handling of less precise decision making


Course Outline:

  1. Setting the Stage & Methodology Factors of Peformance, Cost, Schedule,Risk. Non-technical factors (political, progammatic). Defense system make-up and architecture. Domains of defense (BPI to Terminal). Two Layer defense. History of air & missile defense systems in US. NATO plans for missile defense. General approach with example architectures in Europe. Setting priorities and criteria. Formulation of equations, boundaries, limits.
  2. Performance of Ballistic and Cruise Missiles. Statistics of past, present and future missile systems. Trajectory analyses (orbital mechanics, non-rotating spherical Earth, flat Earth). Minimum energy, lofted & depressed trajectories. Defended Footprints key parameters (forward edge, back & side edge radius). Interceptor, radar and BM/C3 influences on footprints. Survivability (Passive & Active). Fragmentation and “hit-to-kill” warheads. Firing doctrine of “shoot” and “shoot-look-shoot”. Probability of kill (including WMD). Trade-off of system parameters to maximize defended areas.
  3. How Much will it Cost? US Defense Budget as share of GDP, Total Federal Outlay. Historical trends in Defense Budgets. Budget of Missile Defense. Life Cycle Cost and its components: R&D, Acquisition, Operating & Support. Statistics of US and International data on component costs (satellites, radars, interceptors, cruise missiles, platforms (ships & aircraft) and BM/C3 networks). BM/C3 in US and NATO and possible “global network”. Missile defense system costs for land, ship and air based systems (including missiles & DEW). Sample architecture costs for sample European nation.
  4. How Long will it Take? Acquisition Policies in US, NATO and European nations and their Key Milestones.Review of Milestones I,II,III and A,B,C from 1969 to present day.. Overview of DoDD 5000.1 and DoDI 5000.2. Statistical data on Program elapsed times from Program Start to FSD, to LRIP and to IOC. Comparison statistics of US, European and Israel programs. Transition from RDT&E to Acquisition. Increasing development times of systems and possible improvements. International cooperation and OTS.
  5. Risk and Evaluation. Reduction of Risk through Preliminary Design, Simulations, ATD, Qual tests and OPEVAL. US ACAT categories and Decision Authorities. Risk assessment based on RDT&E Cost and Schedule. Formulating the right questions for Evaluation. Combining Performance, Cost,Schedule and Risk for Evaluation. Constraints, boundary conditions and “Requirements”. Non-technical factors important to Decision Makers. Mathematical treatment of equations and graphical evaluation. “Less precise” and “conditional” decision making. Representative candidate missile defense options. Special Topics Boost Phase Intercept treatment. Weapons of Mass Destruction(nuclear, bulk & submunition chemical and biological warheads). Treatment of “true range”.


REGISTRATION:  There is no obligation or payment required to enter the Registration for an actively scheduled course.   We understand that you may need approvals but please register as early as possible or contact us so we know of your interest in this course offering.

SCHEDULING:  If this course is not on the current schedule of open enrollment courses and you are interested in attending this or another course as an open enrollment, please contact us at (410)956-8805 or Please indicate the course name, number of students who wish to participate. and a preferred time frame. ATI typically schedules open enrollment courses with a 3-5 month lead-time.   To express your interest in an open enrollment course not on our current schedule, please email us at

For on-site pricing, you can use the request an on-site quote form, call us at (410)956-8805, or email us at


  • Peter Mantle with over 40 years of experience in engineering and program management, has served in industry and government in UK, Canada and the US. In The Pentagon, he was the US Navy’s liaison executive to the Strategic Defense Initiative in 1983. He was Chairman of NATO’s studies on air & missile defense 1990-2000. He was the Chairman of US Delegation to NATO’s Industrial Advisory group 2003-2007. He has lectured in Europe, India and the US and has authored many articles on missile defense and other topics.

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