Cost-exchange ratio

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In anti-ballistic missile defence the cost-exchange ratio is the ratio of the incremental cost to the aggressor of getting one additional warhead through the defence screen, divided by the incremental cost to the defender of offsetting the additional missile.

In the early part of the Cold War, the cost-exchange ratio favoured the defender, since the cost of missiles increases rapidly with size, and interceptors are generally much smaller than ballistic missiles. This gave a strong impetus to the development and deployment of anti-ballistic missiles in the 1960s.

However, the deployment of multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRV's) required the defender to deploy multiple interceptors for each enemy missile, thus skewing the cost-exchange ratio in favour of the aggressor.

Consideration of cost-exchange ratios was influential in persuading the United States and the Soviet Union to sign the ABM Treaty.

Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cost-exchange_ratio&oldid=811748029"
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost-exchange_ratio
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Cost-exchange ratio"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA