Missile Defense

US Missile Defense (read Offensive) system

US: Missile Plan To Go Ahead Despite Test Failure

The US military will go ahead with the deployment of a missile defense system in Alaska despite the recent test failure of an interceptor missile. … Four tests of GBIs — costing $70 million each — since 2010 have all ended in failure.

Read more at defensenews.com

Dracula’s Missile Defense

Things are beginning to move on the Pentagon’s plan to build a ground-based missile-defense system in Romania to protect U.S. allies in southern Europe – as well as American troops in the region – from attack by Iranian missiles (although it’s rarely stated so bluntly).

Read more at nation.time.com

Failed Launch Signals Need for New Course in U.S. Missile Defense

The U.S. missile defense program suffered perhaps its most serious test failure in recent history last week. The July 5 setback should serve as a warning to the Pentagon for the need to hedge against further deficiencies in the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system.

Read more at worldpoliticsreview.com

Pentagon Seeks Common Missile ‘Kill Vehicle’

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency is exploring the possibility of developing a universal kill vehicle for its missile-defense arsenal, including the Ground-Based Interceptors and various versions of the Standard Missile-3. … the so-called common kill vehicle, the portion of the missile that separates from the main body to “intercept” or knock an incoming projectile out of the sky.

Read more at defensetech.org

There’e much more on our Missile Page

US deploying jets around Asia to keep China surrounded

Stars and Stripes – By John Reed – July 30, 2013

The United States Air Force will dramatically expand its military presence across the Pacific this year, sending jets to Thailand, India, Singapore and Australia, according to the service’s top general in the region.

For a major chunk of America’s military community, the so-called “pivot to Asia” might seem like nothing more than an empty catchphrase, especially with the Middle East once again in flames. But for the Air Force at least, the shift is very real. And the idea behind its pivot is simple: ring China with U.S. and allied forces, just like the West did to the Soviet Union, back in the Cold War.

U.S. military officials constantly say they aren’t trying to contain China; they’re working with the Chinese and other Pacific nations to “maintain stability” in the region. Still, a ring of bases looks an awful lot like something we’ve seen before.

In Australia, for example, the Air Force will dispatch “fighters, tankers, and at some point in the future, maybe bombers on a rotational basis,” said Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, chief of U.S. Air Force operations in the Pacific …

Read on: www.stripes.com/news/pacific/us-deploying-jets-around-asia-to-keep-china-surrounded-1.232928

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Opportunity to Refocus on Strengthening Acquisition Management

This is a US report from the US Government Accountability Officer (April 2013). It is long with complex technical language but have a look at the conclusion on p 40.
The bottom line is that US missile defense continues to have huge technical difficulties, massive amounts of money has been spent on it and it is out of control of the GOA.

Read the report here: www.gao.gov/assets/660/654233.pdf (2.9 MB pdf)

The Enduring Illusion of Missile Defense—30 Years Later

Union of Concerned Scientists : All Things Nuclear – By David Wright – March 22, 2103

Thirty years ago [March 23, 1983] President Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars” speech spawned an enthusiasm for missile defense that even today dominates defense discussions in Washington. Much has changed in those 30 years, so where are we?

What’s Happened in 30 years?


Q&A Session on Recent Developments in U.S. and NATO Missile Defense with Dr. Yousaf Butt and Dr. George Lewis

FAS Strategic Security Project (blog) – March 20, 2103

Researchers from the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) asked two physicists who are experts in missile defense issues, Dr. Yousaf Butt and Dr. George Lewis, to weigh in on last week’s announcements on missile defense by the Obama administration.


Space-Based Infrared System-High (SBIRS-High)

From MissileThreat.com

The Space-Based Infrared System-High (SBIRS-High) program will consist of high-orbiting infrared satellites designed to detect and track ballistic missiles of all sizes. Once operational, SBIRS-High will function 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, and in all types of weather. It will replace the current Defense Support Program (DSP) satellites, which have provided early missile warning information for more than 30 years.

In the 1980s when laying the groundwork for its missile defense shield, the Pentagon realized that if it wanted to provide an effective defense against ballistic missile attack, it needed to create a quick and efficient method of detecting and tracking enemy launches. In other words, it needed to build a constellation of infrared satellites that would serve as the watchtower for the entire Ballistic Missile Defense System.

After experimenting with several models, the U.S. Air Force in 1996 decided to create a “system of systems” to accomplish this Herculean task. It began work on a constellation of “high” and “low” infrared satellites. SBIRS-High was to consist of six large satellites deployed 22,000 miles above the Earth. Its counterpart, SBIRS-Low, was to include 20-30 smaller satellites in low-earth orbit roughly 621 to 930 miles above the Earth.

In 2001, SBIRS-Low was transferred to the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and in 2002 was renamed the Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS). Scheduled for launch in 2007, STSS will be capable of tracking enemy missiles against the cold background of space and observing targets with great detail. Meanwhile, the Air Force is continuing to develop SBIRS-High. At present, Lockheed Martin is its prime contractor and manages the SBIRS-High team that includes Northrop Grumman.

Once deployed, SBIRS-High will be able to detect an enemy missile just after it has been launched; track the missile as it progresses along its flight path; figure out the exact moment at which the missile deploys its nuclear, chemical, or biological warhead; and provide reliable data to defense systems (air, land, sea, or space) for their attack on the incoming warhead. …

Read on: www.missilethreat.com/missiledefensesystems/id.56/system_detail.asp


Missile-Defense: Is it Working?

Global Research – By Bruce K. Gagnon, Coordinator, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
– Securing the Peaceful Use of Space for Future Generations –

One of the biggest questions in the space technology world today is will “missile defense” (MD) really work? Recently we’ve seen articles making a case that it does not work and never will. I would suggest that depending on where you are standing, a strong case could be made that MD is working quite well. It’s all a matter of perception and definition.

When looked at from the point of view of the Russians or Chinese one might consider that they view it very differently than some of the critics. Critics see scripted Missile Defense Agency tests while Russia and China see a hyperactive deployment program, which is directly connected to a larger U.S./NATO military expansion ultimately leading to their encirclement.

Critics might see the MD system today largely as a corporate boondoggle while the Russians and Chinese are looking toward 2020 and beyond when new generations of a well funded research and development program (now committed to by NATO’s 28 members) has delivered faster, more accurate and longer range interceptor missiles.

Critics in a sense can help demobilize opposition to the program. Some peace activists think it would be a waste of their valuable time and meager organizing resources to spend energy working against a program that has been labeled by experts as unworkable and an exaggeration. But viewed from a wider perspective, that includes U.S. and NATO military encirclement of Russia as well as the Obama administration’s “pivot” of military operations into the Asia-Pacific, one may see an entirely different picture. …

Read on: www.globalresearch.ca/us-nato-military-encirclement-missile-defense-is-it-working/31070

Missile defense debate reignites

Politico; By Edward-Isaac Dovre; April 13, 2012

For decades, the military’s been trying to get a missile shield system in place that would eliminate the danger of the kind potentially posed by the rocket North Korea launched Friday morning Pyongyang time.

But 60 years and an estimated $274 billion later, we’re not there yet. Or, according to many missile defense experts, very close at all.

The botched launch was widely believed to be a cover for a test of a ballistic missile — and while the Unha-3 rocket apparently crashed into the sea, the media focus on the event once again raised the prospect of how the United States would defend itself if such long-range weapons were ever operational and accurate.

Even before the week long build-up to the launch, the missile defense system —the latest incarnation of Ronald Reagan’s famous “Star Wars” program—was back in the political conversation and anxious American psyches thanks to President Barack Obama’s hot mic moment with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev in Seoul last month. …

Read on: www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/75090.html

Defense.gov Special Report:
National Security Space Strategy

The National Security Space Strategy is a pragmatic approach to maintain the advantages derived from space while confronting the challenges of an evolving space strategic environment. It is the first such strategy jointly signed by the Secretary of Defense and Director of National Intelligence. Release of the NSSS concludes the legislatively-mandated Space Posture Review by providing objectives and approaches for national security space.