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Thread: Missile Defense (General thread)

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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    Don't know if this was covered previously but I don't recall it.

    McFaul On SM-3 Data
    December 7, 2012

    The nomination of U.S. Ambassador-designate to Russia Michael McFaul is in trouble, based on recent responses to senators’ questions about a possible plan to give sensitive data to Russia on the SM-3 anti-missile interceptor.

    Several senators continue to hold up his nomination, and, as reported earlier in this space, Sen. Mark Kirk recently asked Mr. McFaul to provide answers about whether the Obama administration plans to provide extremely sensitive missile technical data to Russia as part of efforts to convince Moscow that U.S. missile defenses are not targeted against Russian ICBMs.

    Mr. McFaul was asked directly if the administration is considering giving Russia so-called “velocity burnout” data, known as VBO, on SM-3 anti-missile interceptors.

    In a detailed response, Mr. McFaul acknowledged that sharing the classified SM-3 velocity data is a possibility.

    “The United States is currently assessing what information it would be in our interests to share with the Russian Federation and others regarding the capabilities of U.S. missile defense systems,” Mr. McFaul stated.

    Mr. McFaul then sought to play down security concerns by stating that Russia probably learned details of the SM-3 speed from technical intelligence from monitoring tests.

    He said the administration does not intend to give the Russians telemetry data - signals sent to ground stations during test flights - about missile-defense interceptors or target vehicles.

    Security officials are concerned that if Moscow learns the technical parameters of the SM-3, one of the most advanced interceptors in the U.S. arsenal, Russia will be able to develop countermeasures for the missile or compromise the effectiveness of the weapon by providing the data to nations such as China, Iran or North Korea.

    Also, knowledge of the SM-3 technical parameters could be used in arms-control talks as part of Moscow’s push for a legal limits on U.S. defenses.

    Such details of a missile’s burnout speed also could be used to develop ballistic missiles that travel faster than the interceptors, U.S. officials said.

    Mr. McFaul said a special security committee that can waive rules against providing classified U.S. data to foreign governments has not been asked to make an exception for SM-3 velocity burnout data.

    However, he said the National Disclosure Policy Committee (NDPC) has approved an exception for Russia to watch an SM-3 missile-defense flight test. Earlier, it approved waivers for Russian viewing of flight tests for a ground-based interceptor (GBI) and Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile in 2007 and 2010. Viewing flight tests normally is restricted to prevent foreign intelligence services from learning classified capabilities from U.S. weapons.

    Mr. McFaul further explained in written responses to Mr. Kirk that a decision to provide velocity burnout data would not violate assurances provided to the Senate last year that no U.S. missile telemetry data would be given to Russia under the New START arms treaty. Telemetry data, he said, originates onboard a missile and is encrypted.

    “Velocity burn out (VBO) is a performance specification that is readily observed and confirmed by land-based, sea-based, and/or space-based sensors,” Mr. McFaul said.

    “Accurate approximations of VBO can be calculated from the unclassified dimensions of the interceptor and an informed estimate of the mass of the kill vehicle. Taking into account Russian capabilities, and numerous opportunities to observe missile defense flight tests from international waters over the past ten years, it is likely that Russia has already been able to make reasonable estimates of the VBO of current variants of the SM-3 interceptor missile.”

    The possible sharing of SM-3 velocity data was suggested in talks with the Russians by Army Lt. Gen. Patrick J. O'Reilly, head of the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency, prompting opposition from U.S. national security officials concerned about compromising the system.

    A Senate arms-control official said Mr. McFaul’s answers suggest the administration is prepared to give the data to Russia.

    “The answers clearly suggest the administration is considering this, and if that’s the case, Mr. McFaul may not be confirmed,” the official said.

    Further questions were raised on the McFaul nomination by a group of eight former national security officials in a letter sent Wednesday to President Obama. They include former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Eric Edelman.

    The former officials, who earlier endorsed Mr. McFaul, said they share Mr. Kirk’s concerns about the plan to share SM-3 interceptor data with Russia.

    Noting recent Russian threats to take military steps against U.S. missile defenses, the former officials stated: “Under present circumstances, it would seem unwise to share any classified missile defense data with Russia.”

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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    Obama Mulls Giving Moscow Data On Missile Defense
    March 6, 2012

    The Obama administration disclosed on Tuesday that it is considering sharing some classified U.S. data as part of an effort to allay Russian concerns about a controversial antimissile shield.

    The administration is continuing negotiations begun under former President George W. Bush on a defense technical cooperation agreement with Moscow that could include limited classified data, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Brad Roberts told a House of Representatives' Armed Services subcommittee.

    He gave no details on the sort of data that might be shared under such an agreement.

    Russia strongly opposes the U.S.-engineered bulwark being built in and around Europe against ballistic missiles that could be fired by countries like Iran.

    Moscow fears that such a shield could grow strong enough over time to undermine Moscow's own nuclear deterrent force and has threatened to deploy missiles of its own as a counter.

    "We're not the first administration to seek coooperation on missile defense," Roberts, who is responsible for nuclear and missile defense policy, told the subcommittee on strategic forces.

    Nor is the administration the first "to believe that cooperation could be well-served by some limited sharing of classified information of a certain kind if the proper rules were in place to do that," he said in reply to questions from Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican.

    "The Bush administration headed down precisely the same path," Roberts said.

    "We're making no progress" in persuading Russia to drop its opposition, despite the willingness to consider sharing certain sensitive data, he added.

    The Obama administration is pursuing this cooperation because it would be in the security interests of the United States, NATO and Russia by strengthening the defensive capabilities of both NATO and Russia, Roberts said.

    Under any such agreement, NATO would be responsible for the defense of its member states and Russia would be responsible for the defense of Russia, Roberts added in written testimony.

    Army Lieutenant General Patrick O'Reilly, the head of the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency, said he had no knowledge of any move to share with Moscow any classified information on the U.S. technology used to knock out target missiles.

    "I never received a request to release classified information to the Russians," he told the panel, testifying alongside Roberts.

    Panel chairman Michael Turner said last November that he would oppose any Obama administration effort to provide Russia information on the so-called burnout velocity of Raytheon Co Standard Missile-3 interceptors, a key part of the layered defense.

    "The House Armed Services Committee will vigorously resist such compromise of U.S. missile defense capabilities," he said in a speech last November.

    Republicans who control the panel will back legislation that would bar the administration from transferring classified missile defense technology to Russia as part of any negotiations or for any other purpose, a congressional staff member said.

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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    3/13/2012
    U.S. Cuts THAAD Acquisition Plans

    The U.S. Army could receive three fewer Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense firing units and 66 fewer interceptors than previously planned under Defense Department spending plans, Inside Defense reported on Friday.
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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    Missile Defense Priorities Would Shift Under Romney



    Sept. 4, 2012

    By Chris Schneidmiller
    Global Security Newswire



    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, speaking Thursday at the GOP convention in Tampa, Fla., criticized President Obama's handling of the U.S. missile defense enterprise. Experts said the antimissile program's priorities could shift again under a Romney administration (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong).



    WASHINGTON -- Republicans are leaving little doubt that the U.S. government’s ballistic missile defense priorities would be revamped again if Mitt Romney is elected president.


    The “American Exceptionalism” section of the party platform approved last week at the GOP convention in Tampa, Fla., charges that President Obama has “systematically undermined America’s missile defense” through funding reductions and cuts to deployment of interceptors in Alaska, among other steps.


    It says Republicans “will fully deploy a missile defense shield for the people of the United States and for our allies.”
    That wording “suggests to me that there will be a rebalancing of the priorities and the funding towards U.S. homeland defense first, and most likely our warfighters second and Europe third,” said Riki Ellison, chairman of the nongovernmental Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance.


    Former U.S. Ambassador Steven Pifer, though, said Romney and the Republicans have yet to offer a clear picture of their antimissile strategy. He and others argued it would be difficult to fully reverse the direction set by Obama without angering Washington’s NATO allies.


    “There’s nothing in the platform that suggests what they would do differently,” Pifer, director of the Brookings Institution’s Arms Control Initiative, told Global Security Newswire. “For example, would a Romney administration revive the idea of trying to put ground-based interceptors into Poland? I don’t know that they would. That would be one possibility.”


    Obama in 2009 canceled the Bush administration’s plan to field 10 long-range missile interceptors in Poland and a radar base in the Czech Republic. In its place is the “phased adaptive approach,” a several-stage project to station around Europe increasingly advanced land- and sea-based versions of the Standard Missile 3 system and supporting technology.


    The administration said the change was based on an updated intelligence assessment indicating the threat from potential Iranian ICBMs was outstripped by the danger that nation’s shorter-range ballistic missiles could pose to U.S. forces and allies in Europe and the Middle East.


    Republicans have criticized Obama for focusing energy on missile defense efforts outside the country and for deploying to Europe what Romney national security counselor and former Defense Undersecretary Eric Edelman in March called an “untested and uncreated system.”


    Obama “abandoned our friends in Poland by walking away from our missile defense commitments, but is eager to give Russia’s President Putin the flexibility he desires, after the election,” Romney said in his nomination acceptance speech at the Republican convention. He was referring to Obama’s comment in March to then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, picked up by a live microphone, that he would have “more flexibility” to discuss and resolve the two nations’ differences on missile defense after November.


    As it focuses on Europe, Washington has cut spending for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense program, which fields long-range interceptors as the primary protection against enemy ballistic missile strikes on the United States. The administration is seeking $903 million for the budget year that begins on Oct. 1, down from $1.25 billion delivered in fiscal 2011 and less than 10 percent of the total $9.7 billion funding request for ballistic missile defenses.


    Alongside the funding drop, the Defense Department reduced the number of interceptors to be installed at Fort Greely in Alaska from 40 to 26. Another four are in place at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.


    The system has not had a successful intercept test in nearly four years, failing twice in 2010, Ellison noted.


    “There is a lot of concern about getting that system fixed as soon as possible, resolving those issues within the system, so that you can expand the system and make it more capable, which is what I believe the Republican platform is leaning towards,” he said.


    The GOP-led House of Representatives has already backed fiscal 2013 defense legislation that calls for installing additional interceptors on the East Coast. That would be one option for giving the United States a “second-strike” capacity that is missing in existing defenses against Iranian ballistic missiles, according to Ellison. However, there is continuing debate over the number of years Iran would need to field an ICBM that could reach the United States and the Pentagon has played down the necessity of an East Coast site.


    “The interceptors in Alaska and California are capable of providing a defensive capability against an Iranian ICBM,” Missile Defense Agency spokesman Richard Lehner said by e-mail.


    Romney has suggested he is prepared to roll back Obama’s missile defense plan in favor of something closer to the Bush project, but has been light on details.


    The contender’s campaign website says the former Massachusetts governor, if elected, would “begin [the] process of reversing Obama-era budget cuts to national missile defense and raise to a top priority the full deployment of a multilayered national ballistic-missile defense system.”


    He would also “commit to the on-time completion of a fully capable missile defense system in Eastern Europe on the current timeline” around 2020, “but retain the option of reverting to President Bush's swifter plan if Iran is making faster progress on developing long-range missiles or if new technologies on which the current plan relies fail to materialize in a timely fashion,” according to the Romney campaign.


    “Not very specific, but this suggests a desire to place long-range interceptors in Europe more quickly than as planned under the phased adaptive approach,” Kingston Reif, nuclear nonproliferation director at the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation, said by e-mail. “It also suggests Romney may increase the number of [ground-based interceptors] deployed in Alaska and California.”


    The Republican National Committee and Romney campaign did not respond to requests for comment on their missile defense positions.


    Ellison said the Defense Department could provide $1 billion in additional annual funding to establish increased sensor coverage and other enhanced capabilities for the GMD system. Shifting money away from the European project would be likely to slow it down rather than spell its demise, he said in a telephone interview.


    A U.S. long-range radar system is already operational in Turkey, while Aegis-equipped guided missile destroyers are on rotating deployment in the Mediterranean. A GOP president is more likely to push back rather than eliminate plans to deploy SM-3 interceptors Romania in 2015 and Poland three years later, according to Ellison.


    “I don’t think they want to go through that same process and lose the trust of the allies. I think that would be more of a delay tactic,” he said.


    Undoing the phased adaptive approach could undermine NATO’s determination to move ahead with a broad European missile shield, as authorized during the alliance’s November 2010 summit in Portugal and reaffirmed last May in Chicago, Pifer said.


    “Tinkering with that could raise the risk of causing NATO support for missile defense to come undone, which I don’t think a Romney administration would want to chance,” he said.


    A do-it-all approach that front-loads both homeland and Europe-based missile defenses would also be difficult in this fiscal climate, Pifer said. The Defense Department is already faced with nearly $500 billion in spending cuts over the next decade, with another half-billion dollars in reductions looming if the prospects of budget sequestration remain unchanged.
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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    Putin: U.S. Military Won't Let Obama Get Flexible on Missile Shield

    Topic: U.S. missile shield in Europe


    Barack Obama
    AFP/ Jim Watson



    12:18 06/09/2012
    MOSCOW, September 6 (RIA Novosti)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has said U.S. President Barack Obama is willing to revive deadlocked talks on a planned U.S. missile shield in Europe, but that a military lobby in Congress and the "conservative" State Department are holding him back.


    "Is it possible to find a solution to the problem, if President Obama is re-elected for a second term? In principle, yes, it is," Putin told the RT international news channel in an interview.


    "But this isn't just about President Obama," he said. "My feeling is that he is a sincere man and that he sincerely wants to implement positive change. But can he do it, will they let him do it? There is... the military lobby, and the Department of State, which is quite conservative."


    Putin also stressed the need for dialogue on the controversial shield, but said he was "not sure" that Washington was "ready for this kind of cooperation."


    Negotiations between Russia and the United States on the missile defense project have stalled over Washington's reluctance to give Moscow legally-binding guarantees that the shield will not be used against it. Washington and NATO say they need the shield to defend Europe against a possible missile attack from Iran. Russia says the project could pose a threat to its national security and has threatened a host of countermeasures.


    In May, the Russian General Staff said it did not rule out a pre-emtrive strike against the U.S. shield in the event of an "aggravation of the situation."


    The U.S. Democratic Party said in its 2012 national platform earlier this week that if re-elected, President Obama would "move forward" with the missile shield program regardless of Moscow's stance.


    But Putin told the channel a unilateral move would "not enhance global stability." He added that Russia would "have to think of how we can defend ourselves" if the United States proceeded with the shield.


    "You also have to think about its strategic character, it's built not for a year or even a decade," he said.


    He also said chances that a figure like Obama's Republican challenger Mitt Romney - who famously described Russia as the United States' "number one geopolitical foe" - could come to power in the United States were "quite high."


    "So what are we supposed to do to ensure our security?" he asked.


    In 2010, Obama scrapped the previous George W Bush administration's plans to deploy an anti-ballistic missile defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland, in a move welcomed by Moscow.


    But Washington later announced it would be replaced by a reconfigured system that will eventually be deployed in the Mediterranean, Poland, Romania and Turkey.
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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    U.S. to Locate Key Space Systems in Australia

    By Cheryl Pellerin
    American Forces Press Service

    PERTH, Australia, Nov. 14, 2012 – Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Australian Defense Minister Stephen Smith have agreed to place two key space systems in Australia.

    One system, an Air Force C-band space-surveillance radar, will move from Antigua in the West Indies to Western Australia in 2014. It will track space assets and debris, increase the security of space-based systems and increase coverage of space objects in the Southern Hemisphere.

    The other system is an advanced U.S. space surveillance telescope designed and built by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. In Australia, the system will help to leverage space surveillance capabilities for both nations, officials said.

    The United States and Australia also are discussing establishing a combined communications gateway in Western Australia. The system would give operators in both nations access to wideband global satellite communications satellites.

    “All of that represents a major leap forward in bilateral space cooperation and an important new frontier in the United States’ rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region,” Panetta said during a news conference after a series of meetings here today during the 2012 Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations.

    The C-Band mechanical tracking ground-based radar is useful in space surveillance and can identify space objects in low Earth orbit. It can accurately track up to 200 objects a day and can help to identify satellites, their orbits and potential anomalies, according to a fact sheet about the system.

    When the radar is relocated to Australia, it will be the first low-Earth-orbit space surveillance network sensor in the Southern Hemisphere. The new location will give needed southern and eastern hemispheric coverage that will lead to better positional accuracies and predictions, the fact sheet states.

    The system will provide a critical dedicated sensor for the U.S. Space Surveillance Network, the main system that the United States and its partners rely on to detect, track and identify objects in space.

    C-band radar also can help in tracking high-interest space launches from Asia.

    A senior U.S. defense official said the United States will get the system up and running once it is in Australia, then will train Australians to operate the system.

    Relocating and getting the system running will cost about $30 million, and after that will cost $8 million to $10 million a year to operate.

    The second system, the DARPA space surveillance optical telescope, will offer an order-of-magnitude improvement over ground-based electro-optical deep space surveillance, or GEODSS, telescopes in search rate and the ability to detect and track satellites, officials said.

    Existing telescopes can’t provide a full picture of objects such as microsatellites and space debris. The SST gives a wider field of view and can better detect and track small objects at deep-space altitudes -- about 22,000 miles above Earth’s surface -- associated with geosynchronous orbits.

    A geosynchronous orbit is an orbit around Earth that’s about 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds around, matching the planet’s rotation period. For an observer on the ground, an object in geosynchronous orbit returns daily to the same position in the sky.

    The SST telescope achieved first light in February 2011 and then went through an extensive checkout period and fine-alignment phase that readied the system for a demonstration beginning in October 2011. The DARPA test and evaluation period was completed in August.

    The telescope is now based in New Mexico, but moving it to Australia will allow it to cover a more densely populated region of the geostationary satellite belt, according to a fact sheet.
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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    Going on Defense
    China, U.S. conduct missile defense tests


    BY: Bill Gertz
    January 27, 2013 5:02 pm

    China on Sunday conducted the second test of a new anti-ballistic missile defense interceptor that United States officials say is directly linked to Beijing’s secret anti-satellite weapons program.

    Meanwhile, the Pentagon on Sunday announced it conducted a successful test of a long-range anti-missile interceptor.

    China’s Defense Ministry announced the test, according to the official state-run Xinhua news agency, which quoted an official saying “the test has reached the preset goal.”

    “The test is defensive in nature and targets no other country,” the official was quoted as saying.

    China in the past has opposed U.S. missile defenses, claiming the systems are designed to weaponize space. However, Beijing refused to discuss any details of its secret ASAT program. A 2007 ASAT missile destroyed a Chinese weather satellite, creating a debris field that threatens both manned and unmanned satellites.

    It is the second time China announced such a missile test. A similar anti-missile interception test was successfully conducted on Jan. 11, 2010.

    The test was not unexpected. U.S. officials said Chinese missile defense testing facilities were under close intelligence surveillance since early January amid signs a missile defense interceptor test was to be carried out.

    The Washington Free Beacon reported in September that new intelligence had indicated the Chinese were planning to fire what they called a Dong Ning-2 anti-satellite missile that is part of Beijing’s program to target U.S. military communications, navigation, and targeting satellites in space.

    Pentagon officials had no immediate comment on the Chinese test.

    Maj. Catherine Wilkinson, a Pentagon spokeswoman, earlier this month declined to comment on Chinese plans for an ASAT test, citing a policy of not discussing intelligence matters.

    “We carefully monitor China’s military developments and urge China to exhibit greater transparency regarding its capabilities and intention,” she said. “Military-to-military dialogues between the United States and China featuring open and substantive discussions between our armed forces will help us improve mutual understanding, build trust, and reduce the risk of misperception and miscalculations.”

    A U.S. official said earlier this month there were signs in China that the missile defense test was being readied.

    Regarding the 2010 test, a State Department cable, disclosed by Wikileaks, revealed that China had launched an SC-18 missile from the Korla Peninsula and intercepted a near-simultaneous launched CSS-X-11 medium-range target missile from the Shuangchengzi Space and Missile Center.

    The cable noted the similarities between the missile defense interceptor and China’s ASAT missile. “An SC-19 was used previously as the payload booster for the Jan. 11, 2007, direct-ascent anti-satellite (DA-ASAT) intercept of the Chinese FY-1C weather satellite,” the cable said. “Previous SC-19 DA-ASAT flight-tests were conducted in 2005 and 2006. This test is assessed to have furthered both Chinese ASAT and ballistic missile defense technologies.”

    Richard Fisher, a China military affairs specialist, said the latest test also was carried out over Korla, China’s traditional center for anti-missile research dating to the 1960s.

    “So far the missile used for the Jan. 27 test has not been identified,” Fisher, with the International Assessment and Strategy Center, said. “It could be a second test of the SC-19 ASAT missile modified for warhead interception for the January 2010 test, or it could be a new missile.”

    Fisher said China is known to be developing several anti-missile systems. “One system sometimes referred to as the HQ-26 appears to be intended to have a capability similar to the Raytheon-built SM-3 [interceptor], the main system used by the U.S. Navy for missile defense,” he said.

    “China’s new missile is expected to arm a new large PLA Navy combat ship that has not yet been launched and is also expected to have a land-deployed version as well.”

    According to reports from China, an engineer from the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC), the state-run company most likely behind development of a HQ-26-like missile, has received a national prize for the development of a dual-pulse rocket engine, a technology also used on the SM-3, Fisher said.

    “China’s development of more capable theater missile defense systems addresses what for China is a practically non-existent threat,” Fisher said. “Other than North Korea and to a slight degree India, no country has the ability to target China with medium or intermediate range missiles.”

    Fisher said unlike the Chinese, the United States has retired its subsonic nuclear cruise missiles and has no plans for medium-range ballistic missiles or longer-range non-strategic missiles.

    “These Chinese missiles allow the PLA to target Asian-based land and naval aircraft at longer distances,” he said. “In all, it poses another major chop at the U.S. ability to ‘extend’ deterrence to its Asian allies, adds another layer to China’s ‘anti-access’ capabilities.”

    The missile test comes as the Pentagon on Sunday announced the successful test of a Ground-Based Interceptor, the new limited anti-missile system currently deployed against North Korean ICBMs.

    Missile Defense Agency spokesman Rick Lehner said in a statement that the GBI test was “successful” after launch on Saturday from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., one of two western U.S. missile defense bases.

    “Data from this flight test will be used to evaluate the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle system performance in a flight environment,” Lehner said. “If a target missile were present, the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle would collide directly with the threat warhead to perform a hit-to-kill intercept. Engineering data from this test will be used to improve confidence for future intercept missions.

    The test did not plan to use a target missile.

    “After performing fly out maneuvers, the three-stage booster deployed the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle to a designated point in space,” Lehner said. “After separating from the booster, the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle executed a variety of pre-planned maneuvers to collect performance data in space.”

    Preliminary results show all components performed as designed, he said.
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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    http://www.mda.mil/news/13news0001.html

    January 26, 2013

    Ground-Based Interceptor Completes Successful Flight Test

    The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) successfully completed a flight test of a three-stage Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI), launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., at 2 p.m. (PST) today.

    Data from this flight test will be used to evaluate the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle system performance in a flight environment. If a target missile were present, the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle would collide directly with the threat warhead to perform a hit-to-kill intercept. Engineering data from this test will be used to improve confidence for future intercept missions.

    A target missile launch was not planned for this flight test. After performing fly out maneuvers, the three-stage booster deployed the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle to a designated point in space. After separating from the booster, the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle executed a variety of pre-planned maneuvers to collect performance data in space.

    Initial indications are that all components performed as designed. Program officials will assess and evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test.

    Today’s event, designated Ground-Based Midcourse Defense Control Test Vehicle (GM CTV)-01, is part of an extensive test series initiated after the Flight Test Ground-Based Interceptor (FTG)-06a failure in December 2010. The Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle flown during GM CTV-01 was modified based on findings from the FTG-06a Failure Review Board. This test is the critical first step in returning GMD to successful intercept testing.
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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)


    U.S. Cancels Part of Missile Defense That Russia Opposed

    March 16, 2013

    The United States has effectively canceled the final phase of a Europe-based missile defense system that was fiercely opposed by Russia and cited repeatedly by the Kremlin as a major obstacle to cooperation on nuclear arms reductions and other issues.

    Russian officials here have so far declined to comment on the announcement, which was made in Washington on Friday by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel as part of a plan to deploy additional ballistic missile interceptors to counter North Korea. The cancellation of some European-based defenses will allow resources to be shifted to protect against North Korea.

    Aides to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia said there would be no reaction until early next week, when they expect to be briefed by American officials.

    But Russian news accounts quickly raised the possibility that the decision could portend a breakthrough in what for years has been a largely intractable dispute between Russia and the United States. A headline by the Itar-Tass news agency declared, “U.S. abandons fourth phase of European missile defense system that causes the greatest objections from Russia.”

    Russian leaders on several occasions used meetings with President Obama to press their complaints about the missile defense program. At one such meeting, in South Korea last March, Mr. Obama was heard on a live microphone telling the outgoing Russian president Dmitri A. Medvedev in a private aside that he would have “more flexibility” to negotiate on missile defense after the November presidential election in November.

    Pentagon officials said that Russia’s longstanding objections played no role in the decision to reconfigure the missile interceptor program, which they said was based on the increased threat from North Korea and on technological difficulties and budget considerations related to the Europe-based program.

    “The missile defense decisions Secretary Hagel announced were in no way about Russia,” George Little, a Pentagon spokesman, said Saturday.

    Still, other Obama administration officials acknowledged potential benefits if the decision was well-received in Moscow, as well as the possibility of continued objections given that the United States is not backing away from its core plan for a land-based missile shield program in Central Europe.

    “There’s still an absolutely firm commitment to European missile defense, which is not about Russia; it’s about Iran these days,” said a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “If there are side benefits that accrue with Russia, so be it. But that wasn’t a primary driver.”

    Regardless, some experts said it could help relations by eliminating what the Russians had cited as one of their main objections — the interceptors in the final phase of the missile shield that might have the ability to target long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles, which are part of Russian’s nuclear arsenal.

    The Obama administration has sought cooperation from Russia on numerous issues, with varying degrees of success. Russia generally has supported the NATO-led military effort in Afghanistan and has helped to restrict Iran’s nuclear program by supporting economic sanctions. But the two countries have been deeply at odds over the war in Syria, and over human rights issues in Russia. Most recently, Mr. Obama has said he would like further reductions in the two countries’ nuclear arsenals, something Russia has said it would not consider without settling the dispute over missile defense.

    American experts insisted that the Russians’ concern over the antimissile program was exaggerated and that the system would not have jeopardized their strategic missiles had the final phase been developed. That Russian concern has now been addressed.

    “There is no threat to Russian missiles now,” said Steven Pifer, an arms control expert who has managed Russia policy from top positions at the State Department and the National Security Council. “If you listen to what the Russians have been saying for the last two years, this has been the biggest obstacle to things like cooperation with NATO.”

    “Potentially this is very big,” said Mr. Pifer, now of the Brookings Institution. “And it’s going to be very interesting seeing how the Russians react once they digest it.”

    In Washington, many officials have said they believe Russia’s real objections are not only about the particular capabilities of the missile shield but also about a more general political and strategic opposition to an expanding American military presence in Eastern Europe. Canceling only the final stage of the program does not address that concern, so it is possible that Russia’s position will remain unchanged.

    Sean Kay, a professor at Ohio Wesleyan University and expert in international security issue and Russian relations, said that the so-called fourth stage of the Europe-based missile defense program “was largely conceptual” and might never have been completed.

    Eliminating that portion of the program made sense, Mr. Kay said. “In effect, by sticking with a plan that was neither likely to work in the last stage but was creating significant and needless diplomatic hurdles at the same time, we gained nothing,” he said. At least some of the canceled interceptors were to have been based in Poland, which will still host less-advanced interceptors.

    In the past, efforts to restructure the antimissile program provoked sharp criticism in Poland, but this time reaction from Warsaw has been more muted. Analysts have said Poland’s main goal in hosting the interceptors has been having an American military presence there as a deterrent to Russia.

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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    http://www.mda.mil/news/13news0005.html


    May 16, 2013

    Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System Completes Successful Intercept Flight Test

    The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and U.S. Navy sailors aboard the USS LAKE ERIE (CG-70) successfully conducted a flight test today of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system, resulting in the intercept of a separating ballistic missile target over the Pacific Ocean by the Aegis BMD 4.0 Weapon System and a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB missile.

    At 5:25 p.m. (Hawaii Time, 11:25 p.m. EDT), May 15, a separating short-range ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, on Kauai, Hawaii. The target flew northwest towards a broad ocean area of the Pacific Ocean. Following target launch, the USS LAKE ERIE (CG-70) detected and tracked the missile with its onboard AN/SPY-1 radar. The ship, equipped with the second-generation Aegis BMD weapon system, developed a fire control solution and launched the SM-3 Block IB missile. The SM-3 maneuvered to a point in space based on guidance from Aegis BMD Weapons Systems and released its kinetic warhead. The kinetic warhead acquired the target reentry vehicle, diverted into its path, and, using only the force of a direct impact, engaged and destroyed the target.

    Initial indications are that all components performed as designed. Program officials will assess and evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test.

    This test exercised the latest version of the second-generation Aegis BMD Weapon System and Standard Missile, providing capability for engagement of longer-range and more sophisticated ballistic missiles.

    Last night’s event, designated Flight Test Maritime-19 (FTM-19), was the third consecutive successful intercept test of the Aegis BMD 4.0 Weapon System and the SM-3 Block IB guided missile. Previous successful ABMD 4.0 SM-3 Block IB intercepts occurred on May 9, 2012 and June 26, 2012. Other Aegis BMD intercepts have employed the ABMD 3.6 and 4.0 with the SM-3 Block IA missile, which is currently operational on U.S. Navy ships deployed across the globe.


    FTM-19 is the 25th successful intercept in 31 flight test attempts for the Aegis BMD program since flight testing began in 2002. Across all Ballistic Missile Defense System programs, this is the 59th successful hit-to-kill intercept in 74 flight tests since 2001.

    Aegis BMD is the naval component of the MDA’s Ballistic Missile Defense System. The Aegis BMD engagement capability defeats short- to intermediate-range, unitary and separating, midcourse-phase ballistic missile threats with the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3), as well as short-range ballistic missiles in the terminal phase with the SM-2 Block IV missile. The MDA and the U.S. Navy cooperatively manage the Aegis BMD program.

    DoD Release: http://www.defense.gov/releases/rele...eleaseid=16008
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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    House to take up EMP protection. Bill would add 'surge protectors" to the grid.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/lights...rticle/2532038

    Lights out: House plan would protect nation's electricity from solar flare, nuclear bomb

    BY: PAUL BEDARD JUNE 17, 2013 | 6:45 PM

    149Comments
    Topics: Energy Washington Secrets
    Amid growing fears of a massive electromagnetic pulse hit from either a solar flare or a terrorist nuclear bomb, House Republicans on Tuesday will unveil a plan to save the nation's electric grid from an attack that could mean lights out for 300 million Americans.


    Dubbed the Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage Act, the legislation would push the federal government to install grid-saving devices such as surge protectors to protect against an attack.


    "It is critical that we protect our major transformers from cascading destruction. The Shield Act encourages industry to develop standards necessary to protect our electric infrastructure against both natural and man-made EMP events," said Rep. Trent Franks, the Arizona Republican who is offering up the bipartisan bill.


    Electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, has come into focus because of fears the sun is pushing out unusually big solar flares that can disrupt the electric grid. Defense officials are also worried about a terrorist attack, possibly in the form of a small nuclear bomb exploded overhead. Emphasis mine. PF


    "This is serious stuff," said former Pentagon official Frank Gaffney, who heads the Center for Security Policy. But, he added, there is a growing bipartisan consensus to protect the electric grid.


    Any EMP attack could be damaging, said Gaffney. He cited a new Lloyds of London report that determined that the area from Washington, D.C., to New York could be without electricity for up to two years in a major solar flare-up.


    The legislation will be introduced Tuesday by Franks and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at a meeting of the House EMP Caucus. Officials said that the legislation, provided in advance to Secrets, will include information from a recent EMP commission report that "contemporary U.S. society is not structured, nor does it have the means, to provide for the needs of nearly 300 million Americans without electricity.''


    Gaffney told Secrets that there are some 300 huge electric transformers around the nation that control the grid and that have to be protected. "You are basically talking about surge protectors, of a somewhat exotic kind, but it is a means of interrupting the pulse," he said.


    Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com

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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    How many years have we been discussing this?
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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    Oh since about "One Second After"

    About time is what I say. All the pork and stolen tax revenue and we would have already had a very solid shield had it been funneled here.

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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    Hell, we'd have a freaking lunar base Phil, if the government could keep a budget and actually organize and manage things.

    We'd be on Mars already and a Star Ship would be in the works.
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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    True. The things discussed in timelines of expected progress in science were not out of bounds in the 50's and 60's. Much has actually become possible but funds are diverted to pet projects and to line supporters pockets. Corruption will be what ends the world as we knew it.

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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    Boy, you just said a mouthful in a few words....

    Corruption will be what ends the world as we knew it.
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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    I have gotten accustomed to summarizing things. I cannot speak clearly for long periods due to my oral surgery yet, so have adapted shorter ways to convey what I am saying.

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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    not me.

    LOL
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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    Pentagon Studies Aegis Antimissile System for Potential East Coast Use


    July 18, 2013

    By Rachel Oswald

    Global Security Newswire


    WASHINGTON -- The head of the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency on Wednesday said that Aegis antimissile technology is being studied for use at a possible new missile-interceptor site on the U.S. East Coast.

    “It’ll be … a capability that we examine in conjunction with examining the third site,” Vice Adm. James Syring said in response to a lawmaker question during a Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee hearing. He declined to offer further detail in a public setting.

    Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) had asked whether the Pentagon antimissile agency was studying any “sea-based option” in its ongoing review into the merits and feasibility of establishing a third U.S. interceptor site for homeland long-range ballistic missile defense.

    The Missile Defense Agency is in the middle of conducting a comprehensive study of possible areas at which to establish a possible third interceptor site on the East Coast at the direction of Congress. MDA officials expect to winnow down options and make a recommendation before the year is over regarding where a new interceptor site could be built, though no official decision to build the antimissile site has been made.

    The two existing interceptor sites are on the West Coast. A main site at Fort Greely, Alaska, is populated by 26 long-range interceptors and another at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California has four similar interceptors.

    Thus far, many have speculated that were an East Coast missile defense site to be built, it would involve silo-based Ground-based Interceptors, as is the case with the two existing West Coast locations. However, the long-range GBI missile has had a problematic testing track record and some Democrats continue to doubt the merits of expanding use of the technology.

    The Aegis system -- which employs a variety of developed and developing Standard Missile 3 interceptors and could be based on land or at sea -- has had a more solid testing record.

    Syring praised the technology to senators, saying it was a “fantastic system.”

    “The Aegis system … has been extremely successful. The hit- to-kill technology and the hit-to-kill theory I think has been proven over and over again,” the vice admiral said.

    A ground-based version of the Aegis system, known as Aegis Ashore, is planned for fielding in coming years in Romania and Poland as part of the U.S. contribution to NATO efforts to establish a ballistic missile shield to cover all of Europe.

    The idea of deploying Aegis Ashore on the U.S. East Coast has been touted in the past by its manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, and by some issue specialists.

    Peter Huessy of the consulting firm Geostrategic Analysis, for one, said last month that he supports having a “mixed defense” for the East Coast that could involve Aegis Ashore, Aegis-equipped U.S missile destroyers deployed along the coast, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system and GBI missiles.

    Huessy emphasized the importance of getting some kind of missile defense architecture quickly established for the East Coast to respond to a perceived future threat of Iran’s emerging ICBM program. The mix of antimissile technologies can be tinkered with down the road, he said.

    A number of Republican lawmakers have cited Tehran’s growing long-range missile capabilities as the impetus for rushing establishment of the East Coast site. The Defense Department has said Iran could test-fire its first ICBM as early as 2015, if it is supplied with outside help.

    The Aegis system was not originally designed to deal with ICBM threats but rather short-, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. Still, the technology has proven more reliable in testing than the GMD system, which was designed to focus on neutralizing long-range threats launched by North Korea and Iran.

    Past plans to develop an Aegis capability capable of countering ICBMs have been canceled. Still, Aegis and its current family of SM-3 interceptors could be strategically deployed to provide coverage to major East Coast cities, even though the technology cannot comprehensively protect the entire eastern half of the nation, said former MDA head Trey Obering. He spoke to Global Security Newswire last month.

    “The net outcome is the Aegis system is reliable, and we count on it to protect our nation. The [GBI] ground missile defense system has not reached -- not produced that level of confidence,” Subcommittee Chairman Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) said at the hearing.
    - See more at: http://www.nti.rsvp1.com/gsn/article....lPuC1BAf.dpuf
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    Default Re: Missile Defense (General thread)

    I was unaware we were sitting ducks here in the east. I knew we had the decom'd Nike sites and simply took for granted a predecessor had been established.

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