HomeMission AreasAir and Missile DefenseOverview 


Our program areas focus on ballistic missile defense, sensors and weapons, and integrated warfare systems. The spectrum of tasks includes the initial definition of critical needs and performing system requirements analysis, technology evaluation and experimentation, system developments and performance demonstrations, and testing and evaluation of major systems and elements with the warfighters.

Aegis shipRecent contributions by APL staff supported the destruction of an errant satellite by a Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile cruiser, integrated with other elements of the larger Ballistic Missile Defense system. APL engineers are leading key development activities for Standard Missile-2, Standard Missile-3, Standard Missile-6, and the Air and Missile Defense Radar. Other staff are leading and performing technical work on the evolution and modernization of Aegis combat systems and integrated ship self defense systems that will make them more effective against raids of air, anti-ship cruise missiles, and ballistic missile threats. APL continues to lead the way in application of new technologies and the development of sensor netting capabilities for the services.    


RocketOur heritage in AMD programs originates during World War II with the research, development, and engineering of the anti-aircraft variable time (VT) fuze. This critical technology greatly improved the effectiveness of both the Navy's and the Army's anti-aircraft projectiles. When the war ended, APL was already applying science and technology to develop the U.S. Navy's first generation of guided missiles for air defense. In those early years, the Laboratory developed the prototypes and introduced these first surface-to-air guided missiles and systems into Navy ships. At the same time, APL's staff established a foundation of modern systems engineering principles that were used to develop the detect, control, and engage elements of those weapon systems.

Those systems engineering principles have continued to evolve and expand with our breadth and depth of knowledge and expertise gained through years of experience with weapon system developments. Today's staff are applying these principles to transform and insert new technologies into the elements of future weapon systems.