Entries Tagged as ''

Missile Defense Success Questioned

Despite Testing at Vandenberg, Scientists Remain Skeptical of Weapon’s Effectiveness

The Santa Barbara Independent – Santa Barbara,CA,USA
Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tasked with protecting the United States from missile threats, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) — a direct descendent of Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative — has come under intense criticism from groups claiming that the cost of such a service isn’t justified by the effectiveness of shooting down a missile with another missile. Controversy has also arisen over the role of testing in securing Congressional funding.

The Union of Concerned Scientists, a national environmental watchdog organization, brought this issue to the fore during a December 5 missile launch from Santa Barbara County’s Vandenberg Air Force Base, when the MDA conducted what its representatives deemed a successful interception of a target missile. While the interceptor missile from Vandenberg did hit its target, the Union of Concerned Scientists issued a statement immediately afterward, stating that the test was not successful due to a lack of realistic circumstances. …


Russia to axe some weapons if U.S. abandons shield

Reuters – USA

… “If Americans give up plans to deploy the third positioning region and other elements of the strategic missile defense system then certainly we will adequately respond to it,” Colonel-General Nikolai Solovtsov said.
“We will simply not need a number of expensive programs,” he added echoing earlier Kremlin overtures to the new U.S. administration. …


See all stories on this topic

Russian diplomat criticizes US over arms control

By DAVID NOWAK The Associated Press

… The United States and Russia have begun talks on a successor deal to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty which expires in December 2009, but a cold spell in Russia-U.S. relations has stymied talks. … Efforts to negotiate a successor pact to the START I have been hurt by a strain in bilateral ties over the U.S. missile defense plans and Russia’s war with Georgia in August. …


See all stories on this topic

Russia alarmed by planned U.S. bases in Central Asia

RIA Novosti – Moscow,Russia

… The US has opened bases in Romania and Bulgaria, and according to our information plans to establish them in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. …


See all stories on this topic

Czech opposition plans missile defense challenge

PRAGUE, Czech Republic (AP)
11 December 2008

The opposition Social Democrats say they plan to ask the Constitutional Court to rule whether a U.S. missile defense installation on Czech territory would be legal. …


See all stories on this topic

Welcome Global Zero

Global Zero logo
Over 100 prominent leaders launch the Global Zero campaign this week at a historic gathering in Paris, followed by briefings in Moscow and Washington, D.C.

Please add your name to rid the world of nuclear weapons and tell everyone!


US hits target with missile test

BBC News – Friday, 5 December 2008

The US wants a similar defence shield in Europe Photo: Missile Defense Agency

The US has successfully tested its missile defence system designed to intercept long-range ballistic missile attacks, the Pentagon says.

A spokesman said it was a crucial step in plans for the missile shield the US wants to base in Europe.

The target missile was launched from the Alaskan island of Kodiak before being tracked and destroyed by an interceptor launched from California.

Russia sees US plans to base such a system in Europe as a direct threat.

The US wants to build a radar on Czech soil and put 10 interceptor rockets in Poland as a defence against what Washington describes as “rogue” states.

Russia has said it will deploy short-range Iskander missiles in the Kaliningrad region to “neutralise” the US shield. …


Comment on this test by Martin Butcher, Independent Security Consultant

The Pentagon said in advance that this would be an ‘operationally realistic test’. However, the missile that was hit was on a low and slow trajectory, moving much less quickly than would have been the case from North Korea, Russia or elsewhere.

Secondly, the test was supposed to allow the interceptor to discriminate between the actual warhead and a number of ‘target realistic’ decoys, ie decoys that look like the warhead to the interceptor sensors. But the decoys failed to deploy.

The interceptor hit the missile, but the test overall was a serious failure in terms of ‘operationally realistic testing’, the standard that the Congress has imposed for deployment in Europe.

A detailed briefing on this from the Union of Concerned Scientist will follow soon.

NATO backs US missile shield over Russian protest

By PAUL AMES, Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, December 3, 2008

NATO foreign ministers on Wednesday affirmed their support for U.S. plans to install anti-missile defenses in Europe despite Russia’s strong opposition.

The ministers said the planned U.S. defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic will make a “substantial contribution” to protecting allies from the threat of long-range ballistic missiles.

Russia has vehemently opposed the deployment, threatening to respond by placing short-range missiles in its westernmost region, Kaliningrad, which borders Poland. The U.S. insists the defenses are aimed at potential attack from Iran and pose no threat to Russia’s ballistic arsenal.

All 26 NATO allies signed the statement backing the deployment of interceptor missiles in Poland and an advanced radar station in the Czech Republic. …


Missile Defense rocket launch expected from Narrow Cape late next week

Article published on Friday, November 28th, 2008
Source: KodiakDailyMirror.com – Daily newspaper of Kodiak, Alaska

“The Missile Defense Agency plans to launch a missile from Kodiak sometime near the end of next week, according to Dale Nash, CEO of the Alaska Aerospace Development Corporation. The Department of Defense will announce exact time hours before the launch.

The launch, FTG-05, will simulate a missile attack on the United States. An interceptor missile will launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. ” …