antiballistic missile (ABM)


antiballistic missile (ABM)
Weapon designed to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles.

Effective ABM systems have been sought since the Cold War, when the nuclear arms race raised the spectre of complete destruction by unstoppable ballistic missiles. In the late 1960s both the U.S. and the Soviet Union developed nuclear-armed ABM systems that combined a high-altitude interceptor missile (the U.S. Spartan and Soviet Galosh) with a terminal-phase interceptor (the U.S. Sprint and Soviet Gazelle). Both sides were limited by the 1972 Treaty on Antiballistic Missile Systems to one ABM location each; the U.S. dismantled its system, while the Soviet Union deployed one around Moscow. During the 1980s the U.S. began research on an ambitious Strategic Defense Initiative against an all-out Soviet attack, but this effort proved expensive and technically difficult, and it lost urgency with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Attention shifted to "theatre" systems such as the U.S. Patriot missile, which was used with limited effect against conventionally armed Iraqi Scud missiles during the Persian Gulf War (1990–91). In 2002 the U.S. formally withdrew from the ABM treaty in order to develop a defense against limited missile attack by smaller powers or "rogue" states.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Antiballistic Missile System —   [ æntɪbə lɪstɪk mɪsɪl sɪstɪm, englisch], ABM System …   Universal-Lexikon

  • antiballistic missile — noun a defensive missile designed to shoot down incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks placed limits on the deployment of ABMs • Syn: ↑ABM • Hypernyms: ↑guided missile …   Useful english dictionary

  • Antiballistic Missile Treaty — an agreement between the U.S. and U.S.S.R., signed May 26, 1972, limiting the number of ABM deployment areas, launchers, and interceptors. * * * …   Universalium

  • Antiballistic Missile Treaty — an agreement between the U.S. and U.S.S.R., signed May 26, 1972, limiting the number of ABM deployment areas, launchers, and interceptors …   Useful english dictionary

  • ABM — abbr. anti ballistic missile. * * * noun a defensive missile designed to shoot down incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks placed limits on the deployment of ABMs • Syn: ↑antiballistic missile • Hypernyms …   Useful english dictionary

  • ABM-System —   [eɪbiː ɛm , englisch], Antiballistic Missile System [ æntɪbə lɪstɪk mɪsɪl sɪstɪm, englisch], bodengestütztes Abwehrsystem gegen Angriffe land und seegestützter ballistischer Interkontinentalraketen. Es besteht aus Frühwarn und Radaranlagen, der …   Universal-Lexikon

  • ABM — ● ABM nom masculin (sigle de AntiBallistic Missile) Missile défensif porteur d une charge explosive, nucléaire ou non, destiné à détruire ou à neutraliser un missile balistique adverse. abm [abeɛm] n. m. ÉTYM. V. 1970, abrév. de l angl. Anti… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • ABM — abbrv. Anti ballistic missile. The Essential Law Dictionary. Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. Amy Hackney Blackwell. 2008. ABM Antiballistic missile …   Law dictionary

  • ABM — (Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty) arms control agreement between the USA and the Soviet Union that limited both countries to 200 antiballistic missile launchers each (signed in 1972) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • ABM — abbrev. antiballistic missile …   English World dictionary


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