Archive for the ‘ballistic missiles’ Category

India and Pakistan: Two Very Dangerous Neighbors

December 1, 2008

The tensions between India and Pakistan since the Mumbai terrorism should serve as a reminder that India and Pakistan are two of the more dangerous neighbors on earth.

Both nuclear-armed, India and Pakistan have fought several wars since Britain left South Asia and the nations were “partitioned” in 1947.

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Wikipedia says, “resulted in the creation of the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, there have been three major wars, one minor war and numerous armed skirmishes between the two countries. In each case, except the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, where the dispute concerned East Pakistan, the casus belli was the disputed Kashmir region.”

India sees itself as a rival to another “emerging superpower”: China.  The two have tense relationships.

China has built the largest seaport in the world in Pakistan and provides Pakistan with military hardware, technology and assistance.  But when Pakistan recently needed cash, Hu Jintao’s China turned them away and sent them to the IMF.

The U.S. tries to have friendly and helpful relations with both India and Pakistan.  The U.S. just completed a nuclear technology assistance deal with India and Pakistan’s air force has U.S.-made F-16 aircraft.

China, the U.S., Pakistan and India all want a Navy strong enough to assure security in the Indian Ocean and surrounding sea lanes.  Persian Gulf oil headed to Japan, the U.S., and China all passes through these waters.

File photo of the Indian naval warship INS Tabar. A maritime ... 
The Indian naval warship INS Tabar has been involved in recent anti-piracy missions near Somalia.
AFP/Indian Navy/Ho/File

India has a variety of missiles including the short-range Prithvi ballistic missile, the medium-range Akash, and the supersonic Brahmos. The Agni missiles are the most powerful.

India last year successfully test-fired the Agni-III, which is capable of carrying nuclear warheads across much of Asia and the Middle East.

New Delhi says it developed its missile program as a deterrent against neighbors China and Pakistan.

The Agni-II missile being displayed on a mobile launcher during the 2004 Republic Day parade.

The Agni-II missile being displayed on a mobile launcher during the 2004 Republic Day parade.

Pakistan has its own ballistic missiles plus assistance from China on many weapons and projects.

JF-17 testing.jpg


China and Pakistan’s Strategic Importance: Background

JF-17 “Thunder” Aircraft Join Pakistani Air Force

Pakistan’s Ghauri missile can strike into India and other neighboring nations….

Four months after the U.S. ordered its troops into Afghanistan to remove the Taliban regime, China and Pakistan joined hands to break ground in building a Deep Sea Port on the Arabian Sea. The project was sited in an obscure fishing village of Gwadar in Pakistan’s western province of Baluchistan, bordering Afghanistan to the northwest and Iran to the southwest. Gwadar is nautically bounded by the Persian Gulf in the west and the Gulf of Oman in the southwest.

Attacks push India and Pakistan into deep water: analysts


Russia’s Medvedev Moving Missiles in Europe: Here’s The Low Down

November 7, 2008

November 6, 2008: Russia is shipping some SS-26 (9M723K1, or “Iskander”) ballistic missiles to Kaliningrad, as a way to threaten the new NATO anti-missile system being built in Poland (to protect Europe from Iranian missiles). This Russian deployment is all about a unique feature of Iskander, which is that it is not a traditional ballistic missile. That is, it does not fire straight up, leave the atmosphere, then come back down, following a ballistic trajectory. Instead, Iskander stays in the atmosphere and follows a rather flat trajectory.

From Strategy Page

It is capable of evasive maneuvers and deploying decoys. This makes it more difficult for anti-missile systems to take it down. Russia is buying several dozen Iskanders for its own military. These versions have a longer range (400 kilometers) and more countermeasures (to interception). Russia will not provide details. Russia has admitted that it could use Iskander to destroy the U.S. anti-missile systems in a pre-emptive attack. Just in case Russia wanted to start World War III for some reason or another. This Iskander deployment is mainly a publicity stunt, unless you want to seriously consider the possibility that the Russians are trying to start a nuclear war.

Kaliningrad is the perfect place for Russia to start World War III. The city is the former German city of Konisgberg, which was captured at the end of World War II, and kept by Russia, as the boundaries of Eastern Europe were rearranged in the late 1940s. Until 1991, Kaliningrad was on the Soviet Union’s western border. But when the Soviet Union dissolved that year, and more than half the Soviet Union split away to regain their independence as 14 new nations, Kaliningrad found itself nestled between Poland and the newly reestablished Lithuania. The small (200 square kilometers, 400,000 Russians, the Germans were expelled 60 years ago) city is still the headquarters of the Russian Baltic fleet and protected by a large force of troops and warplanes. The Iskander missiles will feel right at home.

The Iskander finally completed its development in the last few years. The 3.8 ton missile has a range of 280 kilometers, and a 900 pound warhead. Russia sells several different types of warheads, including cluster munitions, thermobaric (fuel-air explosive) and electro-magnetic pulse (anti-radar, and destructive to electronics in general.) There is also a nuclear warhead, which is not exported. Guidance is very accurate, using GPS, plus infrared homing for terminal guidance. The warhead will land within 30 feet of the aim point. Iskanders are carried in a 20 ton 8×8 truck, which also provides a launch platform. There is also a reload truck that carries two missiles.

Russia developed the solid fuel Iskander to replace its Cold War era SS-23 battlefield ballistic missiles (which in turn had replaced SCUD). The SS-23 had to be withdrawn from service and destroyed by 1991, because the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty prohibited missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,300 kilometers. When post Cold War financial problems slowed down development of Iskander, this left Russia dependent on the shorter range (120 kilometers) SS-21 system, along with some aging SCUDS, for battlefield ballistic missile support. Russia used some of these older missiles against Chechen rebels in the 1990s.

Bush Pushes Missile Defense; Heads For Meeting With Putin

April 2, 2008

BUCHAREST, Romania – President Bush says he remains committed to building a missile defense system in Europe and will press Russian President Vladimir Putin to drop his objections to the project.

Bush says he is willing to cooperate with Putin on the plans that he says is not aimed at Russia and that he plans to make that point to the outgoing Russian leader when he meets with him this week. He says the system is needed to counter potential threats from the Mideast.


U.S. Presses For Missile Defense in Europe

Robert Burns / Associated Press

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Scrambling to seal a missile defense deal this weekend, the United States is offering guarantees to assure the Russians the system isn’t a European military threat aimed at them.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, right, and Danish Minister ...
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, right, and Danish Minister of Defense, Soren Gade, are seen at a press meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, Tuesday, April 1, 2008. Gates said Tuesday the United States and Russia are closer to an accommodation on U.S. missile defenses in Europe. He expressed hope new steps will be agreed on in weekend talks between President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Missile defense is among topics on the agenda of a NATO summit this week in Bucharest, Romania.(AP Photo/ POLFOTO, Tariq Mikkel Khan)

A key pledge: The United States won’t activate new sites in Poland and the Czech Republic unless Iran proves itself an imminent threat to Europe by test-flying a missile capable of reaching the continent.

A broader but less-specific agreement seems assured when President Bush sits down with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. That would be a “strategic framework” for relations between the two countries after Bush and Putin leave office. 
President George W. Bush speaks during a keynote address at ... 
President George W. Bush speaks during a keynote address at the headquarters of the state-owned CEC Bank in Bucharest April 2, 2008.(ROMPRES/Mihai Poziumschi/Reuters)

U.S. sees more Beijing missiles aimed at Taiwan

March 28, 2008

By Richard Halloran
The Washington Times
March 28, 2008

China has deployed far more missiles aimed at Taiwan than previously reported, according to U.S. officials with access to intelligence assessments.
The officials say China has 1,400 ballistic missiles targeting the self-governing island over which Beijing claims sovereignty.
Above: A Taiwanese military planner decribes the weapons of China arrayed against the island.
That is 40 percent more than earlier U.S. reports saying about 1,000 missiles were deployed across the strait from Taiwan.
The Pentagon, in its recent report on Chinese military power, said 990 to 1,070 missiles were pointed at Taiwan, including variants “with improved ranges, accuracies, and payloads.”

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GAO: Missile Defense Has Cost Overruns

March 18, 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Missile Defense Agency made progress in installing land-based interceptors and sea-based missiles and upgrading ships’ combat systems over the past two years, but spent at least $1 billion more than planned.

An aerial photo of the Pentagon in Arlington, Virgina. The Pentagon ... 

On Monday, the Government Accountability Office said its investigation found cost overruns with individual programs but couldn’t put a dollar figure on the agency’s overall spending for 2006 and 2007. That’s because the Missile Defense Agency deferred some budgeted work into the future and because contractors used a planning method that did not link time and money spent with work completed.The Missile Defense Agency, the largest research and development program inside the Defense Department, is funded at up to $10 billion a year. The agency oversees the nation’s system of missiles and other interceptors intended to detect, track and shoot down incoming missiles before they strike.

The GAO also noted that unprecedented flexibility in funding and decision making has made the Missile Defense Agency less accountable and transparent than other major government programs.

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Missile Defense: Russia and U.S. in “Intense Negotiations”

March 17, 2008
By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

MOSCOW – Russia‘s president-elect on Monday predicted intense negotiations on U.S. missile defense plans, saying Moscow still has some questions and differences with the Bush administration.
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates speaks to reporters aboard ... 
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates speaks to reporters aboard his plane enroute to Moscow Sunday, March 16, 2008. Gates and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will meet their Russian counterparts March 17 and 18 to discuss missile defense, non-proliferation and counterterrorism.(AP Photo/Kevin Lamarque, POOL)

“At the same time, we are determined to go ahead,” said Dmitry Medvedev, setting a positive tone ahead of talks set for Tuesday. “We need to provide for continuity in the Russian-U.S. relationship. We have all the requisite tools to do this.”

Medvedev’s comments came as he met with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates in an ornate room in the Kremlin.

Rice agreed with Medvedev, saying the U.S. and Russia have “a firm foundation for cooperation” on missile defense, which the United States sees as a way to defend against missile from nations such as Iran and North Korea.

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Satellite Shot Down: Lucky or Excellence?

March 16, 2008

16 March 2008

(CBS) Last month, we were treated to a space spectacular – not a shuttle launch or moon landing, but the shoot down of a crippled intelligence satellite by a missile launched from a U.S. Navy ship. It was a test of the country’s missile defense system, a system that was conceived over 20 years ago by President Reagan. And it worked. Was it a lucky shot, or is the nation’s missile defense a reason for Americans to feel secure? National Security correspondent David Martin has some answers.

single modified tactical Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) launches from the U.S. Navy AEGIS cruiser USS Lake Erie
This photo provided by the U.S. Navy shows an SM-3 missile being launched from the USS Lake Erie warship on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2008. The Pentagon says the missile successfully intercepted a wayward U.S. spy satellite orbiting the earth at 17,000 miles per hour, about 133 nautical miles over the Pacific ocean. (AP Photo/US Navy)

It was 25 years ago this month, in a presidential address from the Oval Office, when Ronald Reagan asked this question:

“What if free people could live secure in the knowledge that we could intercept and destroy strategic ballistic missiles before they reach our own soil or that of our allies?”

President Reagan never used the words, but this will forever be known as the “Star Wars” speech, a term of gentle derision for his vision of battle stations in space destroying Soviet missiles with lasers.

It never happened, but today there is a scaled-down version of Star Wars, not in space but on Earth – interceptors to defend not against an all-out Soviet attack, but against a handful of missiles launched by North Korea or Iran.

“If you want to call it Star Wars lite,” Lt. Gen. Trey Obering told CBS News correspondent David Martin, “I have no problem with that term.”

Obering is the man in charge of building a system that can shoot down incoming ballistic missiles – the proverbial “hitting a bullet with a bullet.”

“I was a big fan of the ‘Star Wars’ movies,” Obering told Martin, “and when you think about what that was involving, it was, I think, the force of good versus the forces of evil in the universe.”
A ballistic missile streaks across the sky during a test for ... 
A ballistic missile streaks across the sky during a test for the US missile defense program in 2001.(AFP/File/Mike Nelson)

Obering’s forces of good include a giant radar floating on an oil platform in the Pacific Ocean; nearly two dozen interceptor missiles in underground silos in Alaska and California; and still more interceptors on Navy cruisers. One of those blew up that out-of-control satellite a few weeks ago – the first real shootdown by a system that to date has cost $115 billion, but which most Americans don’t even know exists.

Martin asked Obering straight out if the U.S. currently has a missile defense system.

“Yes sir,” he answered. “We have a missile defense system today.”

“As we’re speaking,” Martin pressed him, “someone is sitting at a screen watching for that North Korean missile?”

“Yes sir, that’s a fact. We have crews on alert.”

“This may be one of the best kept secrets in Washington,” Martin told him.

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China’s Missiles

January 4, 2008

By Bill Gertz
“Inside the Ring”
The Washington Times
January 4, 2008

The Pentagon’s latest estimate of Chinese missile deployment opposite Taiwan is that there are now more than 1,000 missiles aimed at Taiwan.
“China has deployed roughly 1,000 mobile CSS-6 and CSS-7 short-range ballistic missiles to garrisons opposite Taiwan,” said one knowledgeable defense official.
The official declined to comment on a Tuesday speech by Chen Shui-bian, president of the Republic of China (Taiwan), who stated that Taiwanese military intelligence now counts 1,328 Chinese missiles deployed within range of Taiwan, an increase of more than 300 from earlier estimates.
The China missile buildup has drawn no criticism from the Bush administration, which appears to have shifted its policy away from supporting Taiwan to backing communist-ruled mainland China.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice last month echoed Beijing in calling Taiwan’s plan for a vote on United Nations membership as “provocative.” By contrast, Miss Rice and other administration officials have said nothing about the missile buildup, which the Pentagon says is designed for a massive “decapitation” strike against Taiwan in any future conflict.
Defense officials said the policy tilt toward Beijing is due to the growing power of pro-China and anti-Taiwan policy and intelligence officials located at key posts within the National Security Council staff, the State Department, Treasury Department and within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

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Israel: More Progress on Missile Defense

December 21, 2007

by Leah Krauss
Haifa, Israel (UPI) Dec 20, 2007

The Israel Defense Forces this week announced progress in testing a new Patriot missile launching system in southern Israel. “(The system’s) updated design, developed by the Americans — primarily with the help of lessons learned from the war in Iraq — was installed and successfully tested with one of the Israeli Patriot missiles,” the IDF said in a statement from the spokesman.

“The ballistic threats (to Israel) are only increasing,” Lt. Col. Shabbatai Ben-Bohar — the first commander of the Patriot Battery Unit to try the new launching system — said via the IDF statement. “Our enemies understand that in air-to-air combat we have the upper hand, so they prefer to hide among the civilian population and launch ballistic missiles, knowing (they won’t be caught),” Ben-Bohar continued.

“As such, the new missile system has to address the reality Ben-Bohar describes,” the IDF said in the statement. “The new system represents another step in improving the interception of surface-to-surface missiles; now that it has passed the true test (of successful launches), it is expected to be installed for all Patriot missiles (in Israel).”

“In Tuesday’s experiment, the first of its kind in a very long period of time, a missile was launched at a target simulating an airplane carrying out an attack mission. The improved missile was able to successfully intercept the target,” according to a report on the test from the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz.

“Israel is improving the system’s radar and range as part of the implementation of lessons learned from the 34-day war with Hezbollah in the summer of 2006, during which the radical Lebanese movement fired nearly 4,000 Katyusha rockets at northern Israeli towns and communities,” the newspaper report continued.

This development, and the test itself, were carried out with the cooperation of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., one of Israel’s largest defense firms. The company announced in August that the Iron Dome, a short-range, rocket-based missile interception system, would be operational within a year and a half. Later, in October, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak visited the United States to discuss, among other things, missile defense collaboration.

“We are giving high priority to the production of a system involving several projects, which, within a few years, will provide protection for Israel from about 90 percent of all attempts to fire rockets at us, from (Iranian) Shihab missiles to Qassams (from Gaza),” he said at the time. “In the longer range, we will have, for many reasons, to achieve a much higher interception level.”

Israel’s Patriot testing is just the latest development in a longstanding cooperation with the United States on missile defense. The Arrow Weapons System was jointly developed by the two countries and continues to be upgraded. In late July the U.S. House Appropriations Committee approved $26 million in federal funding for the Arrow System Improvement Program, according to the office of Rep. Steve Rothman, D-N.J., a member of the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Defense.

At that time, Rothman said of the appropriation, “The Arrow program is one of the most advanced missile defense systems around and has been proven to work in tests against real and surrogate targets in California and Israel.

“It provides essential protection against ballistic missiles for Israel’s civilian population, as well as U.S. troops in the Middle East.

“In light of Iran’s open hostility toward the U.S. and Israel, I consider increasing the effectiveness of the Arrow system to be essential to our defense. This technology, along with diplomacy, can help us avert another deadly and costly war,” Rothman said.

Bush touts European missile defense plan

October 23, 2007

By BEN FELLER, Associated Press Writer 

WASHINGTON – President Bush said Tuesday that plans for a U.S.-led missile defense system in Europe are urgently needed to counter an emerging threat of attack by Iran.

“If (Iran) chooses to do so, and the international community does not take steps to prevent it, it is possible Iran could have this capability,” Bush said. “And we need to take it seriously — now.”

Bush’s latest warning about Iran’s nuclear ambitions came in a broad defense of his security policies at the National Defense University and it came not long after Defense Secretary Robert Gates told a news conference in the Czech Republic that ….

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