Entries Tagged as 'Missile Defense'

Pentagon Plans East Coast Missile Defense Sites

by Kris Osborn
May 9, 2013

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency is evaluating potential missile-defense sites on the East Coast to fortify existing interceptor locations in Alaska and California.

“The effort has started in terms of defining criteria and evaluating sites,” Navy Vice Adm. James Syring, the agency’s director, said during a May 9 hearing of the Senate Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee. “Some of the criteria that will be finalized and approved includes assessments of things such as booster drop zones, proximity to populations and the overall operational efficacy of the site.”

Senior Pentagon leaders told lawmakers that three or more locations may be identified, in accordance with last year’s National Defense Authorization Act, which specified the need to explore a third U.S.-based interceptor location.

“The MDA is currently in the process of developing criteria to identify a candidate list of sites. From a candidate list of sites there will be a narrowing down to at least three. [Environmental impact statements] will be completed for all of those. Should there be a decision that we need an East Coast site, this would allow an acceleration of the time that we would need,” said Madelyn Creedon, assistant secretary of defense for global strategic affairs.

Discussion of a third U.S. site comes after the Pentagon announced that 14 more ground-based interceptors, or GBIs, will be added to the arsenal in Fort Greely, Alaska. The $1 billion effort, to be completed by 2017, will bring the total number of GBIs at Fort Greely and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., from 30 up to 44. …

Read on: www.military.com/daily-news/2013/05/09/pentagon-plans-east-coast-missile-defense-sites.html

Growing Threat To US As Enemies Acquiring More Ballistic Missiles, Senate Told

RTT News
May 10, 2013

Senior U.S. defense officials underscored the importance of ballistic missile defense modernization efforts requested in the fiscal 2014 budget proposal citing disturbing trends in Iran, North Korea, Syria and elsewhere around the globe.

“The threat continues to grow as our potential adversaries are acquiring a greater number of ballistic missiles, increasing their range and making them more complex, survivable, reliable and accurate,” Navy Vice Adm. J.D. Syring, Director of the Missile Defense Agency, told the Senate Armed Services Committee during a testimony on Thursday.

“The missile defense mission is becoming more challenging as potential adversaries incorporate [ballistic missile defense] countermeasures,” he reported.

Syring said the Missile Defense Agency “is engaged either bilaterally or multilaterally with nearly two dozen countries and international organizations,” including NATO and the Gulf Cooperation Council. He reported “good progress in our work with our international partners.”

The budget requests $9.2 billion in fiscal 2014 and $45.7 billion over future years to develop and deploy missile defense capabilities.

Madelyn Creedon, Assistant Secretary of Defense for global strategic affairs, told the panel that these capabilities would both protect the U.S. homeland and strengthen regional missile defenses.

The administration remains committed to developing proven and cost-effective missile defense capabilities through the phased advance approach to regional missile defense, Creedon noted in her written statement.

“This approach puts emphasis on a flexible military toolkit with forces that are mobile and scalable. They underwrite deterrence in peacetime, but can be surged in crisis to meet defense requirements,” she said. …

Read on: www.rttnews.com/2114860/growing-threat-to-us-as-enemies-acquiring-more-ballistic-missiles-senate-told.aspx

Canada Evaluates Participating in US Missile Shield

Defense News
By David Pugliese
May 2, 2013

Canada’s potential participation in the US military’s continental missile defense system is once again under consideration, sparking a debate in Canada on whether it makes sense to take part in the ground-based interceptor shield.

Canadian defense sources say work is underway to see what the country could contribute to the US missile defense system. The most likely contribution would be land for the installation of early warning radars, a proposal that will be presented to US officials in the near future.

In 2004, then-Liberal Party Defence Minister David Pratt said the Canadian government was considering making sites available to the US in Canada’s Arctic for use as missile defense radar sites. But a year later, in a major about-face, then-Prime Minister Paul Martin announced that Canada had decided not to join the US missile shield after all.

But with a Conservative Party government in power, the discussions on what the country can contribute are back on.

Canada’s interest is centered on the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, which is composed of ground-based interceptor missiles, and support and fire control systems. The interceptors are located at Fort Greely, Alaska, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

On April 21, Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said on television that discussions about Canada’s role in the US missile defense system are needed. “I think we need a broader discussion about that, and I’m not prepared to venture an opinion at this time,” he said when asked about news reports Canada is prepared to join the system. …

Read on: www.defensenews.com/article/20130502/DEFREG02/305030007/Canada-Evaluates-Participating-US-Missile-Shield

Russia prepares replacement for soviet-era railway-based missiles

Aplril 23, 2013

Russia has started design works to create a new railroad-based missile system to replace weapons destroyed in the mid-2000s under the old START treaty and are now allowed by the “New START”.

The design bureau that developed Russia’s most modern ballistic missiles the Bulava, Topol and Yars, has started research and development of the new project – the railway car based ICBM – Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov told the press on Tuesday.

Currently work is at a primary stage and does not require significant investment. The overall costs to design a completely new railway-based missile has not yet been determined, he added.

If complete and launched into production, the missile would replace the RT-24 system, also known as SS-24 Scalpel – the intercontinental weapon disguised as an ordinary freight train, which made its detection and preemptive destruction extremely difficult.

Russia decommissioned its railway car based missiles in 2005 and destroyed all the systems by 2007 as part of the START II treaty on nuclear arms reduction with the US. The ‘New START’ treaty (which is also called START III in Russia) that came into force in 2011 does not limit the use of railway car based systems and allows Russia to restart production. …

Read on: http://rt.com/politics/redesigns-missiles-railway-based-soviet-era-243/

U.S. seeks $220 million for Israel missile defense

Space Daily
April 23, 2013

The Pentagon has stepped up efforts to fund Israel’s anti-missile shield with the Missile Defense Agency requesting $220 million in fiscal 2014 for Israel’s air force to buy more Iron Dome batteries.

It’s the first time the MDA has specifically sought funds for Iron Dome, developed and built by Haifa’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, in its annual budget process.

That underlines the U.S. Defense Department’s effort to maintain military aid for Israel despite major cutbacks in defense spending.

The agency is also expected to seek another $520 million to fund other Israeli anti-missile systems, including the David’s Sling and the high-altitude Arrow 3, which is under development.

“The money, if approved, would be on top of the $486 million the White House and Congress have requested or added for Iron Dome in recent years after formal budgets were submitted,” The Jerusalem Post reported.

The House of Representatives and the Senate indicated in 2012 “they wanted to approve spending as much as $680 million for Iron Dome through 2015.”

Iron Dome, designed to shoot down short-range missiles and rockets and recently upgraded to counter longer-range weapons as well, became operational in early 2012. But the Israeli air force, which has responsibility for air defense, has only acquired five batteries, several of those with direct U.S. funding on top of the annual $3.1 billion in U.S. military aid Israel receives.

That allowed Israel to deploy all five batteries during an eight-day November clash with Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.

By official count, Iron Dome successfully intercepted 84.6 percent of the rockets it engaged, including several that for the first time targeted Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Iron Dome’s Tamir interceptors engage only those projectiles its computer calculates will hit populated areas and ignores the rest.

Several missile scientists and others have questioned the system’s kill rate, with one saying it was closer to 5-10 percent of rockets engaged than the government’s assessment of 84.6 percent. …


NATO-Russia Talks Make Little Progress On Missile Defense

April 23, 2013

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says that the latest meeting of the NATO-Russia Council “maintained an active dialogue” but did not make significant progress on the key issue of missile defense.

NATO foreign ministers met in Brussels on April 23 and were joined by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Lavrov said Moscow was studying changes to the U.S. missile-defense program, but still wanted guarantees that the system would not be used against Russia.

The NATO ministers earlier discussed the situation in Syria, and Rasmussen said the alliance was committed to protecting all of its members, including Turkey.

Rasmussen said NATO was “extremely concerned” about the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Lavrov said any reports that chemical weapons have been used in Syria should be investigated carefully, noting that prior allegations were proven wrong.

Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held bilateral talks on the sidelines of the meeting.

Those talks were expected to focus on Syria, in the wake of Kerry’s recent visit to the Middle East. …

Read on: www.rferl.org/content/nato-foreign-ministers-meeting/24965761.html

Rogozin Says U.S. Missile Defense No Longer a Threat

The Moscow Times
April 17, 2013

In an apparent reversal, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said a proposed U.S. missile shield posed no threat to Russia and could easily be penetrated by Russian forces, RIA-Novosti reported Tuesday.

“We have solved the issue of penetrating the missile shield,” Rogozin was quoted as saying in a speech at the Russian Embassy in London.

“We regret that the United States is wasting their money on missile defense and compelling us to do the same. The missile shield is nothing for us, it’s a bluff. It poses no military threat, but remains a political and economic problem,” he said.

The remarks by Rogozin, who oversees Russia’s military-industrial complex, could signal a turning point in Russian criticism of U.S. missile defense plans. Russia repeatedly has denounced the Europe-based shield as an attempt to undermine its national security, and it has spent months trying to convince the U.S. and its allies in NATO to allow it to participate in the plans. …

Read on: www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/rogozin-says-us-missile-defense-no-longer-a-threat/478706.html

LANPAC 2013: PACOM working to form air and missile defence CONOPS

IHS Janes.com
By Daniel Wasserbly
April 15, 2013

As US forces in the Pacific are slated to soon receive new missile defence assets, officers at US Pacific Command (PACOM) are working to establish a concept of operations (CONOPS) to ensure different units with different capabilities are working under a common understanding.

Brigadier General Dan Karbler, commanding general of 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, which ultimately resides under PACOM, said the services are about five or six months into the process of establishing a concept of operations for integrated air and missile defence in the Pacific theatre.

An integrated air and missile defence cell has been formed within US Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) staff to work on the concept of operations as well as to focus on clarifying theatre-wide missile defence issues, Gen Karbler said on 11 April at the Association of the US Army’s Land Power in the Pacific (LANPAC) symposium in Honolulu, Hawaii.

US Air Force Major General Russell Handy, director of operations, plans, and policy (A3/5) for PACAF, noted during the same briefing that the project was proving difficult due to the yet unclear budget picture among the commands and their different service components. …

Full article available here: www.janes.com/products/janes/defence-security-report.aspx?ID=1065978088&channel=defence

U S approves final year funding for Lockheed Martin missile system

Economic Times
April 10, 2013

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has told his German and Italian counterparts the Pentagon plans to spend about $310 million to help fund the final year of development of Lockheed Martin’s MEADS missile defense system, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday. …

The funding is subject to a 10 per cent cut because, under a US law aimed at curbing the government’s deficit spending, the Pentagon will actually provide about $310 billion for the final year of development, officials said.

It also is not guaranteed. The US Senate on Tuesday began the process of bringing a bill to the floor that would withdraw funding for the MEADS system.

Lockheed plans to keep working with Italy and Germany on the three-nation missile defense program even after the United States stops participating.

Lockheed says MEADS is significantly cheaper to operate than the Patriot system built by its rival Raytheon Co, and would provide significantly larger coverage areas.

Read in full: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-04-10/news/38434328_1_medium-extended-air-missile-defense-system-meads

The New US Plans for Missile Defense: Enough to Reinvigorate US-Russian Arms Control?

CNS (Center for Nonproliferation Studies)
By Nikolai Sokov and Miles Pomper
March 19, 2013

A decision to cancel a controversial interceptor is unlikely to overcome the missile defense obstacles that have stalled US-Russian arms control.

The Obama administration’s March 15 decision to abandon development of a controversial missile defense interceptor that had angered Moscow had, for a moment, renewed hopes in Washington for a new round of US-Russia arms control negotiations. However, lingering Russian technical and political concerns about the nature and direction of the revised US missile defense plans mean that this optimism may be misplaced.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced the decision to abandon the so-called “Block IIB” interceptor as part of an overall restructuring of the missile defense program. He cited development problems with the interceptor and the need to direct limited funds to focus specifically against the North Korean threat.

“The Fourth Phase of Missile Defense”

These interceptors, intended to protect the United States against a potential Iranian intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), were to be based in Poland and possibly Romania, and were to be deployed early in the next decade.

This fourth phase of missile defense was to replace the Bush-era plans for high-speed interceptors with radars based in the Czech Republic, a proposed deployment pattern that Russia believed was oriented more toward their missiles rather than Iranian ones. Obama’s plans for slower interceptors, more suited for Iran’s medium-range missiles, were initially welcomed by Russia.

Still, Russia had continued to express concern that Obama’s fourth phase would feature a new missile defense interceptor, the SM-3 Block IIB, which Russia said would be capable of targeting its ICBMS as well. It continued to argue that the US should agree to legal limits on the scale and locations of the planned interceptors in order to make sure the overall capability of the defense system would remain limited and not affect the Russian deterrence capability vis-à-vis the United States. The Obama administration, under pressure from Republicans in Congress determined to avoid such limits, had refused to concede to the Russian demand. At the same time, the United States insists that the interceptors do not threaten Russia.

Over the last year, Russia’s objections to the Polish deployment won technical support from US experts, including a 2012 report from the National Research Council. That report concluded that an interceptor deployed in Poland would have to be so fast to intercept a future Iranian ICBM that it could also threaten Russian missiles. Instead, the report argued for the deployment of a third missile defense site in the Eastern United States to counter the Iranian threat, along with existing North Korea-oriented sites in Alaska and California. Congress had also passed legislation calling for studying such a third US site. In his remarks, Hagel announced that, following Congress’s direction, the administration would be conducting environmental impact studies of three potential sites—two on the East Coast and one on the West Coast—but had not yet decided whether such a site was needed. …

Read on: http://cns.miis.edu/stories/130319_us_russia_missile_defense_arms_control.htm