Archive for the ‘MDA’ Category

US general urges Obama to keep missile defense

November 13, 2008

The Air Force general who runs the Pentagon’s missile defense projects said Wednesday that American interests would be “severely hurt” if President-elect Obama decided to halt plans developed by the Bush administration to install missile interceptors in Eastern Europe.

This 2008 handout image courtesy of the US Missile Defense Agency ... 
This 2008 handout image courtesy of the US Missile Defense Agency (USMDA) shows a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) being launched off the island of Kauai in Hawaii. The Pentagon’s missile defense chief Trey Obering said Wednesday he looked forward to reporting to Barack Obama that the US anti-missile system is “workable,” and to setting the president-elect’s mind at ease.(AFP/HO USMDA/File/Ho)

By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

Lt. Gen. Henry A. Obering III, director of the Missile Defense Agency, told a group of reporters that he is awaiting word from Obama’s transition team on their interest in receiving briefings.

During the campaign, Obama was not explicit about his intentions with regard to missile defense. The program has tended to draw less support from Democrats over the years, particularly during the Reagan presidency when it was seen as a “Star Wars” effort to erect an impenetrable shield against nuclear missile attack from the Soviet Union. More recently the project has been scaled back, although it has again created an East-West divide by stirring Russian opposition to the proposed European link.

Obama has said it would be prudent to “explore the possibility of deploying missile defense systems in Europe,” in light of what he called active efforts by Iran to develop ballistic missiles as well as nuclear weapons.

U.S. Missile Defense Agency Director Lieutenant-General Henry ... 
U.S. Missile Defense Agency Director Lieutenant-General Henry Obering is seen during the Czech Republic – U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense Industry Research and Business Seminar in Czernin Palace in Prague in this January 16, 2008 file photo.REUTERS/David W Cerny/Files

But Obama expressed some skepticism about the technical capability of U.S. missile defenses. He said that if elected his administration would work with NATO allies to develop anti-missile technologies.

Obering, who is leaving his post next week after more than four years in charge, said in the interview that his office has pulled together information for a presentation to the Obama team, if asked.

“What we have discovered is that a lot of the folks that have not been in this administration seem to be dated, in terms of the program,” he said. “They are kind of calibrated back in the 2000 time frame and we have come a hell of a long way since 2000. Our primary objective is going to be just, frankly, educating them on what we have accomplished, what we have been able to do and why we have confidence in what we are doing.”

Asked whether he meant that Obama or his advisers had an outdated view of missile defense, Obering said he was speaking more generally about people who have not closely followed developments in this highly technical field.

A key question for the new president will be whether to proceed with the Bush administration‘s plans to install 10 missile interceptors in Poland and a missile-tracking radar in the Czech Republic. That system is on track to be ready for use by 2014, Obering said. It is strongly opposed by Russia, which sees it as an unwelcome military threat close to its borders; the Bush administration says it is needed to defend European allies against an emerging missile threat from Iran.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081113/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/
missile_defense_obama;_ylt=ApjhXOTUNyCh5xaS0ebJpHSs0NUE

Read CNN’s version of this story:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/12/obama.
missiles/index.html

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Missile Defense at 25

March 23, 2008

By James Hackett
The Washington Times
March 23, 2008

It is fitting that the 25th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s announcement of the Strategic Defense Initiative is on Easter Sunday, a day synonymous with peace. As a result of Reagan’s vision, and President Bush’s determination in withdrawing from the ABM treaty and fielding defenses, this Easter the world is a safer place.
Ronald Reagan
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Despite the collapse of the Soviet Union, the danger of nuclear-armed missiles is still with us. Russia under permanent ruler Vladimir Putin still has 2,945 deployed nuclear warheads and is fielding new SS-27 Topol-M intercontinental missiles (ICBMs). And Moscow is developing a new version known as the RS-24, which has been tested with three warheads but is expected to carry as many as six.
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Mr. Putin threatens to target missiles on Poland and the Czech Republic if they host U.S. missile defenses, and on Ukraine if it joins NATO.
Vladimir Putin
And in Asia, China is engaged in a massive military buildup, with new ballistic and cruise missiles designed to strike U.S. aircraft carriers, new DF-31A ICBMs aimed at the United States, and more than 1,000 short-range missiles opposite Taiwan.
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Other countries are developing longer-range missiles while seeking nuclear weapons, notably North Korea’s oddball regime, which seems willing to sell nuclear technology as well as missiles to anyone, and the mullahs in Iran. Then there is Pakistan, which already has an arsenal of nuclear warheads and missiles to carry them. Pakistan is an ally today, but al Qaeda wants to seize power and control the “Muslim bomb.”
 

Google Earth captured an image of the new Chinese ballistic-missile submarine, docked at the Xiaopingdao base south of Dalian. U.S. officials say the new submarines may increase Beijing´s strategic arsenal.
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The main value of missile defense is to deter opponents from using nuclear missiles to intimidate and achieve their goals through fear. Defenses also provide security in the event of an actual missile launch by design or accident. And as the recent shoot-down of a falling satellite showed, missile interceptors can be used for other useful purposes, including deflecting asteroids on a collision course with Earth.
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The missile defense program has come a long way since Reagan’s speech 25 years ago today when he said deterrence works, weakness invites aggression, and we maintain peace through strength. He urged use of our technological strength to find a way to deter attack. It may take decades, he warned, “but I believe we can do it.”
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He was right about American technology. The idea of striking a very fast missile with a fast interceptor was considered a joke by many at the time. But that technology, unmatched by any other country, is now the key element of our missile defenses. After several test failures, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has done a remarkable job of improving the program to conduct successful flight tests.
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Since 2005, there have been 26 intercepts in 27 tests, an amazing record for a new weapon system. Today there are 24 interceptors in silos in Alaska and California protecting the United States, and 25 on ships in the Pacific, with more on the way. It is important to keep this successful program on track and not make changes that might jeopardize progress toward deployment of a global layered defense.
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As Vice President Richard Cheney said at a recent Heritage Foundation dinner, the talk about which presidential candidate would be best to take a call at 3 a.m. reminds us that no president should ever be told that a missile is coming toward the United States and there is no way to stop it.
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Missile defense can stop it.
 

The plan is to base 40 interceptors in Alaska, four in California and 10 in Poland, a radar in the Czech Republic and a mobile radar closer to Iran. But as the threat grows, more interceptors will be needed, at least 20 in Europe and up to 100 in Alaska, given the growing threat from China.
 

There is some discussion of breaking up the missile defense program to separate sustaining current deployments from future development. It is natural for MDA to want to turn operational activities over to the services and concentrate on research and development. But that could lead to future budget cuts as research projects fail and the services meet their immediate needs by reducing missile defense funds.
 

Another issue involves moving toward a very centralized command-and-control system, which could increase the risk of systemwide failure. It is important not to tinker too much with the program that has been highly successful in producing the defenses protecting the nation today. It is up to the White House and defense secretary to keep this effort on track, finish negotiations for the bases in Europe this year, and preserve the legacy of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

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

US briefs NATO allies on missile defense plans

March 6, 2008

(AP)BRUSSELS, Belgium – The United States briefed NATO allies Wednesday on the latest developments of its plan to station anti-missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Lt. Gen. Henry Obering III, head of the US Missile Defense Agency, was joined by senior State and Defense Department officials in a meeting with envoys from the 26 NATO allies.

The talks come between visits to Washington by Czech and Polish leaders to discuss the plans.

Read the rest:
http://www.khaleejtimes.com/darticlen.asp?xfile=data/theworld/2008/March/theworld_March212.xml&section=theworld&col=

Sayonara and Aloha: Japan and U.S. Ending Successful Missile Defense Test; Vow to “Press Ahead”

December 19, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
December 19, 2007

Scientists, engineers, missile defense experts and naval warfare professionals are meeting now to evaluate the initial data extractions of a landmark event: Japan’s Navy ship JS KONGO detected, tracked, developed a fire control solution, launched an SM-3 midcourse ballistic missile (BM) interceptor and killed the intended BM target on Monday.
In this photo provided by Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, ... 
In this photo provided by Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, a Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) is launched from the Japanese Aegis Destroyer JS Kongo in the warter off Kauai, Hawaii, Monday, Dec. 17, 2007. The Japanese military became the first U.S. ally to shoot down a mid-range ballistic missile in space, about 100 miles above the Pacific Ocean, fired from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, run by the U.S. Navy, with the interceptor fired from the ship at sea in a test Monday.(AP Photo/Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, HO)
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Never before has an ally of the United States employed this lethal and long-range ballistic missile defense system: the modified AEGIS weapon system including the SPY radar and the SM-3 missile.

All previous tests employing this system were conducted solely by the U.S. Navy.

In fact, this event again proved the viability of effective ballistic missile defense; a science once thought impossible.

The KONGO guided intercept that destroyed the ballistic missile occurred more than 100 miles above the surface of the sea.

The event was carried out at America’s Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) near Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii. Many in the international community including Admirals from Japan, South Korea and as far away as Germany call PMRF the finest missile land, sea and air test facility in the world.

The lead U.S. agency for event coordination of Japan Flight Test Mission 1 (JFTM-1) was the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) headed by Lt. General Henry “Trey” Obering III.

Lockheed Martin is the lead engineering agent for the AEGIS system.  Raytheon engineerers the SM-3.  A Raytheon press release said, “The SM-3 Block IA provides increased capability to engage short-to-intermediate-range ballistic missiles. The missile incorporates rocket motor upgrades and computer program modifications to improve sensor performance, missile guidance and control, as well as lower cost. SM-3 Block IA includes production and mission support features required to qualify the missile as a tactical fleet asset.”

“We are proud of SM-3’s impressive record of successful intercepts,” said Fred Wyatt, Raytheon’s vice president for Naval Warfare Systems in a previous statement.

“The program has truly transitioned to a manufacturing mindset. We have delivered more than 23 operational SM-3 rounds to our customers. We are ramping up our facilities and suppliers to accelerate deliveries of this urgently needed capability to the fleet,” said Wyatt.

Rear Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano of Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Force said the missile defense test event was “Breathtaking and a wonderful success.” He praised the professionalism and competence of KONGO’s Captain and crew.
DDG Kongo
KONGO at sea

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency called the test “a major milestone” in U.S.-Japanese relations.

A senior U.S. Naval Officer told Peace and Freedom, “This is a beginning and not an ending.  Someday, in the not to distant future, U.S. Navy and Japan Navy cruisers and guided missile destroyers will work together to deter actors with ballistic missiles like North Korea. Moreover, the two naval forces will work in an integrated architecture to defend the people of Japan and increase security and confidence of the American people and all U.S. allies. This is an ‘Aloha’ moment, not a good bye. You can expect both nations to press ahead.”
In this photo provided by Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, ... 
The SM-3 Interceptor Missile blasts from JS KONGO’s Vertical Launch System on December 17, 2007.  The missile flew downrange and killed a ballistic missile target more than 100 miles above the sea.

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)

Direct Hit for Missile Defense

December 4, 2007

 

WHITE SANDS, NM- The Missile Defense Agency is announcing the successful test of a high-altitude missile defense system in New Mexico yesterday.

The test achieved all of its flight objectives.

In that test, crews launched a target missile, which was successfully intercepted by a missile launched from an F-16 fighter jet.

The THAAD Program is managed by the Missile Defense Agency in Washington, D-C and executed by the THAAD Project Office in Huntsville.

Russian radar in Azerbaijan is unacceptable, missile defense chief says

September 19, 2007

By Thom Shanker
International Herald Tribune
September 18, 2007

American technical experts spent Tuesday inspecting a Russian radar station in Azerbaijan, but the director of the Pentagon’s missile defense program emphatically stated that the Soviet-era early warning system was incapable of replacing an antimissile tracking radar proposed for the Czech Republic.

The director of the Missile Defense Agency, Lieutenant General Henry Obering, pressed the Kremlin to drop its objections to American proposals for 10 antimissile interceptors in Poland and for a radar in the Czech Republic. In a speech here, the general urged Moscow to link its radar in Azerbaijan to the American system in Central Europe to assist collective security.

The visit to Azerbaijan by a high-level delegation of missile experts was a response to a proposal from President Vladimir Putin of Russia that the United States drop plans for the new construction in Central Europe and to use instead the Russian radar in a system to defend against a future Iranian threat.

Read the rest at:
http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/09/18/europe/missile.php?WT.mc_id=rsseurope

Missile Defense: Save the Airborne Laser

August 5, 2007

James T. Hackett
The Washington Times
August 5, 2007

For years, missile defense opponents claimed defenses could not distinguish warheads from decoys and other penetration aids. The solution, they said, was to stop missiles in the first two or three minutes of flight, known as the boost phase, before warheads and decoys are released.

The Missile Defense Agency is trying to meet that challenge with the Airborne Laser (ABL), the nation’s primary boost-phase program. But this year, the congressional armed services committees made deep cuts in that program. Those cuts should be reversed.

Read the rest:
http://washingtontimes.com/article/20070805/
COMMENTARY/108050016/1012/commentary