Some missile technologies in ICBM are so deadly that you can’t possibly win a match if you don’t adopt an effective defensive strategy. Make sure to build anti-missile facilities to annihilate your enemies’ attempt to nuke your cities: they’ll lose precious time and resources while building missiles that will eventually get destroyed before reaching their target.
No matter how strong your anti-missile facilities are or how many you have deployed: you won’t be able to counter-attack if you can’t detect enemy missiles.
Different radar types have different characteristics when it comes to missile detection, so you need to choose your way.
Conventional Radars are available from the very beginning, but their main task is to detect aircraft, not missiles. With some upgrades, they’ll become good enough to deal with the Small and Medium-range missiles too. With the Improved SW Radar tech, you’ll be able to target SRBMs, while Advanced SW Radar is already good for dealing with MRBMs and even ICBMs on their terminal path. This is especially important if you plan to rely on your navy for the missile defence.
AWACS (Airborne Warning And Control System) - these air units can see everything from far away, including missiles. If you use Aircraft Carriers to deliver your might overseas, you want your Destroyers to protect them from enemy missiles. AWACS can give the necessary radar coverage to support ABM systems of your DDs.
However, if you want to have the best possible Anti-missile defence, you need to go the global Early Warning System path.
Space Radars are the first step you need to take when it comes to detecting, tracking and identifying artificial objects orbiting Earth. Not only they are essential to building an anti-satellite defence, but they also allow you to unlock advanced anti-missile technologies.
Once you have researched Space Radars, you’ll be able to move on to Over-the-Horizon Radars. Their primary role is to identify incoming enemy ballistic missiles long before they reach your territory, so your missile defence has time to intercept them. Additionally, they help pinpoint the launching unit, so you can destroy it in the retaliatory strike.
Not enough yet? Research and build Early Warning System, the ultimate missile detection technology. They allow long and super-long-range detection; furthermore, they are practically not affected by radio-visibility reducing technology that counts on the absorption of centimetre and sometimes decimeter waves.
Once you’ve secured the detection and targeting of enemy missiles, your anti-missile complexes will be able to intercept them. You may want to build these complexes near cities, borders, and critical facilities to keep your population safe while protecting your arsenal as well.
Research SAMs (Surface-to-Air Missiles) to unlock SAM sites, their corresponding launch facilities. SAM sites are cheap to build, so investing in them is always a good idea. They can intercept aircraft, but they can’t detect missiles without the appropriate radar support, and they can’t take them down without ABMs (Anti-Ballistic Missiles): make sure to research the right technologies to improve your SAM sites effectiveness.
The main weakness of SAM complexes is their lack of mobility. If you want to assure your defence some flexibility and make your complexes harder to locate, research and build Mobile SAMs too, that you’ll be able to move multiple times within your territory.
Take your SAM sites to the ultimate level by researching Advanced SAMs: this technology automatically upgrades your anti-air missiles range and speed, while increasing at the same time the number of simultaneous targets.
No SAM site will be able to defend you against enemy missiles without proper defence weapons: research ABMs to make sure you have everything you need to stand against an enemy attack.
Once you’ve developed ABMs, suppose you want to improve your chances of success. Initial ABMs can deal with single ICBMs, but can be easily overwhelmed by a more significant number of incoming warheads. In that case, you can research Advanced ABMs, next-generation air defence systems able to catch any air target including drones, winged missiles and even ICBMs. Other than a massive strategic strike using MIRVs or hypersonic weapons, no other type of attack can overcome this defence.
Don’t forget though that without receipt of data from the beyond-the-horizon radar, even the new ABM systems won't be effective.
Intercepting missiles from the ground by building and improving your SAM sites is not your only option.
You can also defend yourself from the ocean with Destroyers: fast, manoeuvrable, long-endurance warships intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against powerful short-range attackers. They are cheap to build, and they provide Anti-Air and Anti-Missile defence. Unlike other ships, that we’ll unveil in future articles, they are great for defensive tactics, but they can’t carry nuclear weapons.