Archive for the ‘Kauai’ Category

Japan, U.S. Navy Express Disappointment, Regret At Failure of Missile Defense Test “At the Last Second”

November 20, 2008

The Navy of Japan and the United States Navy as well as the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) expressed disappointment and  after a missile defense test failure over the Pacific Ocean November 20, 2008.

By William Cole
The Honolulu Advertiser

A missile fired by the Japanese destroyer Chokai yesterday failed to intercept a ballistic missile target off Kaua’i in a second test of Japan’s ship-based Aegis ballistic missile defense system.
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The $55 million exercise paid for by Japan was intended to knock down a simulated ballistic missile in which the warhead separated from the booster.

But Rear Adm. Brad Hicks, the Aegis system program manager for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, said an “anomaly” occurred in the fourth stage of flight by the Standard Missile-3 Block 1A seeker missile.

A kinetic warhead released by the missile found and tracked the simulated ballistic missile, but in the last few seconds it “lost track” of the target, Hicks said.

 
This is the ballistic missile target launched from the Pacific missile range facility (PMRF) in Hawaii.  Photo: MICHAEL BEJARANO | Sandia National Laboratories

“The missile, until the very end of flight, had excellent performance,” Hicks said.

Hicks said an investigation will determine “if it was just that individual missile, or something that we need to take a look at.”

The Aegis ballistic missile defense system has been successful in 16 of 20 attempts.

Hicks said the same type of missile, fired by the Pearl Harbor cruiser Lake Erie, was used to successfully shoot down a failing U.S. spy satellite in February.

“This system works,” said Hicks, adding the success rate is good compared to other U.S. missiles.

On Dec. 17 off Kaua’i, the Japanese destroyer Kongo shot down a ballistic missile target, marking the first time that an allied naval ship successfully intercepted a target with the sea-based Aegis weapons system.

That target was a nonseparating simulated ballistic missile. Officials said yesterday’s target separated from a booster, making it harder to discriminate.

At 4:21 p.m., the ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The Japanese destroyer Chokai detected and tracked the target using an advanced on-board radar, according to the Missile Defense Agency.

The Pearl Harbor-based destroyer Paul Hamilton also participated in the test.

The Aegis Weapon System developed a fire-control solution, and at 4:24 p.m., a single SM-3 Block IA was launched. The Chokai was about 250 miles off Barking Sands in Kaua’i, and the intercept was to occur about 100 nautical miles above earth in the mid-course phase of the ballistic missile’s trajectory.

Approximately two minutes later, the SM-3 failed to intercept the target. The Chokai crew performance was “excellent” in executing the mission, according to the Missile Defense Agency.

The Japanese ship will stop in Pearl Harbor before returning to Japan with additional SM-3 Block 1A missiles.

Hicks said Aegis ballistic missile defense is a certified and deployed system in the U.S. Navy, and certified and operational in Japan’s navy.

Eighteen U.S. cruisers and destroyers and four Japanese ships are being outfitted with the Aegis ballistic missile defense capability.

On Nov. 1, during the exercise “Pacific Blitz,” the Hawai’i-based destroyers Hamilton and Hopper fired SM-3 missiles at separate targets launched from Kaua’i.


Above: USS Hopper

Hamilton scored a direct hit, while the missile fired by the Hopper missed its target, the Navy said.

Hicks yesterday said the missiles fired from the ships were older rounds going out of service, and the Navy took the opportunity to use them as training rounds “knowing that they carried a higher probability of failure.”

Related:
Japan-U.S. missile defense test fails

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Missile Defense Going Global

December 21, 2007

By James T. Hackett
The Washington Times

December 21, 2007

The Dec. 17 interception of a ballistic missile by a Japanese Aegis destroyer off the Hawaiian Island of Kauai is a milestone in the U.S.-Japan missile defense collaboration. The Bush administration’s goal of global missile defenses is becoming reality, but to effectively protect the Eastern United States defenses in Europe are needed.

For years, representatives of Japan and a number of other countries attended missile defense conferences. They regularly announced plans to study the need for missile defenses. Each year they said the same, but there was little sense of urgency and no sign of progress, except in Israel and the United States.

The United States developed the Patriot PAC-2 to stop short-range missiles just in time to defend U.S. troops and Israel in the first Gulf war. Then Israel, surrounded by enemies, developed and deployed its Arrow missile interceptor in record time.

Land-based Patriots were sent to defend U.S. forces and allies around the world, but the ABM treaty prevented the U.S. from developing either a national missile defense or ship-based defenses. The problem became critical in 1998 when North Korea launched a Taepodong missile over northern Japan. It was a blatant threat to Japan and its three stages meant it also had the potential to reach the United States. Tokyo began deploying defenses.

Japan placed 27 Patriot PAC-2 batteries around the country, put in orbit its own spy satellites, bought Aegis radar systems for six new destroyers, joined the U.S. in developing a longer-range ship-based missile interceptor, and allowed the U.S. to put an X-band radar in northern Japan. Last March, Japan began deploying more capable Patriot PAC-3s at 16 locations to protect major cities, military installations and other potential targets.

Japan also is modifying its four operational Aegis destroyers to carry SM-3 missile interceptors. The destroyer Kongo, which made the successful intercept on Monday, is the first non-U.S. ship to shoot down a ballistic missile. The U.S. Navy already has shot down 11 in 13 attempts with ship-based interceptors.

By the end of 2008 the United States will have 18 Aegis warships equipped for ballistic missile defense. Japan eventually will have six, and Australia, South Korea, Taiwan and others also likely will put missile defenses on their ships. Ship-based defenses can be coordinated with land-based defenses, including the various models of Patriots in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, and the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense when it is ready in a few years.

Ship-based SM-3s can intercept missiles outside the atmosphere. Any that get through can be stopped inside the atmosphere by the land-based interceptors. Such defenses can both protect against North Korean missiles and reduce intimidation by China, which has nearly 1,000 missiles opposite Taiwan.

For decades the Soviet missile defenses around Moscow were the only defenses against long-range missiles anywhere. The Russians are now modernizing those defenses against the kind of missiles being developed by Iran. Even though Russia claims Iran is no threat, in August Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin, commander of the Russian air force, announced activation of the first S-400 interceptors as part of Moscow’s missile defense.

Russian reports claim the S-400 can reach out 250 miles and stop missiles with ranges greater than 2,000 miles. This covers both Iran’s Shahab-3 and the new solid-fuel Ashura, the development of which Tehran announced three weeks ago, claiming a range of 1,250 miles.

With the constraints of the ABM treaty removed by President Bush, the United States is putting missile defenses in Alaska and California, at U.S. bases abroad, and on ships at sea. Other countries also are developing and buying missile defenses. India, surrounded by nuclear missile-armed Russia, China and Pakistan, plans to deploy its own two-tier missile defense in a few years. On Dec. 6, India conducted a successful intercept within the atmosphere, while a year ago it killed a ballistic missile outside the atmosphere.

Proliferating missile defenses diminish the value of the nuclear-armed ballistic missile. In the Middle East, Israel is expanding its missile defenses, while Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Turkey have bought or are seeking to buy such defenses. In Europe, Britain and Denmark are hosting early warning radars.

The Polish and Czech governments are resisting Russian pressure and are expected to sign basing agreements early next year. Meanwhile, the threat continues to grow as Iran develops new longer-range missiles. Ship-based defenses in the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean can help, but to effectively protect the U.S. East Coast and Europe, bases in Europe are needed.

Sea-based defenses now are advancing quickly. It is time to move forward with land-based defenses in Europe.

James T. Hackett is a contributing writer to The Washington Times based in Carlsbad, Calif.

Peace and Freedom wishes to thank Mr. Hackett who provided this and many other great articles to our readers.

Japan, U.S. Complete “Historic” Missile Defense Exercises

December 18, 2007

Rear Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano, of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and Lt. General Henry “Trey” Obering III, Director of the United Stated Missile Defense Agency, announced today the successful completion of the cooperative Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) intercept flight test, conducted off the coast of Kauai in Hawaii.

The event, designated Japan Flight Test Mission 1 (JFTM-1), marked the first time that an allied navy ship successfully intercepted a ballistic missile targe using the midcourse engagement capability provided by Aegis BMD including the SM-3 missile.

The JFTM-1 test event verified the new engagement capability of the midcourse Aegis BMD configuration of the recently upgraded Japanese destroyer, JS KONGO (DDG-173) weapons system. 

At approximately 12:05 pm (HST), 7:05 am Tokyo time on Dec. 18, 2007, a ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii. JS KONGO crew members detected and tracked the target.  The Aegis Weapon System then developed a fire control solution and at approximately 12:08 pm (HST),
7:08 am Tokyo time, the crew of KONG launched a Standard Missile -3 (SM-3) Block IA.

Approximately 3 minutes later, the SM-3 successfully intercepted the target approximately 100 miles above the Pacific Ocean.  FTM-1 marked the first live-fire SM-3 launch and intercept by a ship of Japan’s navy, a major milestone in the growing cooperative program on ballistic missile defense between Japan and the U.S.

Japan previously participated with its warships tracking, testing communications and data links and collecting data and training opportunities during U.S. ballistic missile defense events. 
 
 Media contacts: Pam Rogers, MDA Public Affairs, at  (808) 335-4740/8020 (PMRF),
(256) 503-3726 cell and Rick Lehner, MDA Public Affairs, at (703) 697-8997.  Photos are available at (MDA and Navy Visual News) websites.  Post event video will be available at 4:00-5:00 p.m. (HST), 9:00-10:00 p.m. (EST), Satellite Digital Feed, AMC 3, Transponder 8A, FEC 3/4, Data Rate 5.5, DL Frequency 11845V.  Symbol Rate 3.9787.  Analog Feed AMC 3TR8, DL Frequency 11860 V.  Trouble uplink 678-313-6001.  Video also available from DVIDs and Navy Visual News Streambox.

Classification:  UNCLASSIFIED

(Parts of this U.S. Government release were re-written by Peace and Freedom due to grammatical errors)

Japan Navy Kills Ballistic Missile Target

December 17, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
Tuesday, December 18, 2007, 0045 GMT

Japan’s Navy ship KONGO destroyed a ballistic missile target in flight Monday afternoon  December 17, 2007 off the coast of Kauai in the Hawaiian Island chain.  The ship used an SM-3 Missile to destroy the BMD target at the U.S. Pacific Missile Range Facility.

This was the first test ever of the SM-3 by an allied navy.  All previous test flights of the SM-3 were conducted by the U.S. Navy.  The test highlights the close cooperation between the U.S. and Japan.

The Raytheon Corportion produces the SM-3.

Japan has demonstrated an acute interest in Ballistic Missile Defense in general and the SM-3 in particular since North Korea launched a ballistic missile which overflew Japan in 1998.  That same year, China fired missiles in the vicinity of Taiwan.

Details as they become available.
DDG Kongo
KONGO at sea.

From the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (Provided pending Government and Corporate Press Releases)

Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii, Dec. 17, 2007:  Riki Ellison, President of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA), reported today that at (12:15 p.m. Hawaii time), the Japanese Aegis Destroyer, the JS KONGO (DDG-173), shot down a scud-like target missile similar in speed and size to those deployed by the North Korean military off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii.

This historic first missile intercept by Japan demonstrates to the Japanese public that Japan has proven its capability to defend and protect their country from North Korean missiles. The international ramifications of having Japan invest, develop and deploy their own missile defense system that can protect their nation independently of the United States are tremendous.  This intercept sends a resounding, persuasive and compelling message to other countries that seek their own self-defense from the threat of ballistic missiles to follow Japan’s lead.  Moreover, this demonstration further dissuades and deters those countries and entities that choose to invest in ballistic missiles.

At (12:05 p.m. Hawaii time) on a tropical day with a slight breeze and scattered clouds in the northern area of Kauai at the Pacific Range Missile Facility (PRMF), a target missile was launched.  Within a minute or so after the launch of the target in white cap seas off the coast of Hawaii, the crew of the JS KONGO, using Aegis sensors, located and tracked the target missile and downloaded that information to the Standard Missile (SM-3 Block 1A) located in the vertical launch tubes on the JS KONGO.  Moments later at (12:08 p.m. Hawaii time), the defensive SM-3 Block 1A missile was fired from the ship and continued to receive updated information while in flight. At (12:15 p.m. Hawaii time), high above the Pacific Ocean in space, the Japanese SM-3 missile intercepted the target missile launched from Kauai using an internal heat seeking sensor and from the sheer velocity speeds of thousands of miles per hour, both the target missile and the defensive missile were completely destroyed.

This test marks the first time the United States Naval facility (the PRMF) was used and paid for by a foreign government for a ballistic missile test.  Approximately $57 million was paid by the Japanese government for the test.  The United States was able to watch and independently use its missile defense sensors from multiple platforms on this Japanese owned test, which are part of the current U.S. missile defense system.  Three of the U.S. sensors that were used included the Sea-Based X-Band Radar, the Aegis cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG -70), and the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) stationed at the PRMF. 

This successful missile test marks the 10th intercept for the Aegis Missile Defense System since December 2002, when the United States made the decision to deploy missile defenses and the 27th overall ballistic missile intercept since that date.

This historic intercept marks the 10-year culmination, investments and resolve of the Japanese government and its public to build their own missile defense system.  In 1998, North Korea launched a ballistic missile unannounced over the country of Japan.  Since then, North Korea has built its force to approximately 200 ballistic missiles, and most of them are scud-type missiles.  On Dec. 17, 2007, Japan proved with its own ship, crew and interceptor that it can locate, track, discriminate and destroy a ballistic missile similar to a current North Korean scud missile.

The JS KONGO will soon return to Pearl Harbor and disembark with a load of SM-3 Block 1A missiles to return to Japanese waters. With the U.S. Aegis Missile Defense Destroyers and Cruisers in the Sea of Japan, this international missile defense fleet coupled with other U.S. defense assets in the region will be a formidable deterrence force that will further ensure stability, protection and peace in this part of the world.

Related:
https://johnibii.wordpress.com/2007/12/17/missile-defense-test-expected-as-early-as-today/