The Missile Defense Agency MDA is the section of the United States Government's Department of Defense responsible for developing a layered defense against ballistic missiles. The Missile Defense Agency has its origins in the Strategic Defense Initiative which was established in 1983 and was headed by Lt. General James Alan Abrahamson with physicist and engineer James Ionson, Ph.D. as head of the Innovative Science and Technology Office. It was renamed as the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization in 1993 and then renamed as the Missile Defense Agency in 2002. See National Missile Defense for the history of DoD missile defense programs.
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