Archive for the ‘missile’ Category

Russia To Launch 13 Ballistic Missiles

November 29, 2008

Russia will further test its ballistic capabilities through launching an increased number of missiles over the next year, an official says.

“We are planning to carry out 13 launches in 2009,” Nikolai Solovtsov, commander of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces (SMF), said Friday.

The test-fires, which compared to 2008 are almost double in number, include “five test launches of new missiles” and “three launches to confirm the extension of missiles’ service lives” according to the commander Solovtsov.

Among the missiles to be test-fired is the cutting-edge RS-24 intercontinental ballistic missiles fitted with multiple independently-targetable re-entry vehicle (MIRV) warheads.

MIRV warheads enable the hardware hit a various number of targets while empowering it with the capability to shear through multiple layers of armor.

The missile is said to guarantee the strike capability of the Russian missile triad for almost 50 years.

Moscow’s missile might is receiving undivided attention amid Washington’s plans to deploy 10 missile interceptors in Poland and a radar system the Czech Republic near the Russian borders.

HN/MMN
Turkish Press

Minuteman3launch.jpg
A U.S. ICBM is launched from California

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SKorea receives first Patriot missiles

November 28, 2008

The South Korean air force said Friday it had taken delivery of a first shipment of US-made Patriot missiles, designed to protect against any attack by North Korea.

They were bought second-hand from Germany and will replace the current ageing Nike air defence missiles, the air force said in a statement.

A Patriot missile launcher in Seoul. The South Korean air force ... 
A Patriot missile launcher in Seoul. The South Korean air force said Friday it had taken delivery of a first shipment of US-made Patriot missiles, designed to protect against any attack by North Korea(AFP/File/Jung Yeon-Je)

The first shipment arrived in the country in August but has been undergoing a series of performance tests before Seoul officially took delivery.

The air force plans to spend a total of 1.05 trillion won (710 million dollars) to deploy two battalions of Patriot missiles within two years.

The air force did not say how many Patriots it had taken delivery of. South Korea previously announced plans to buy a total of 48 second-hand PAC-2 Patriots.

The announcement came amid worsening ties between the two Koreas. In protest at what it calls Seoul’s confrontational policy, North Korea has announced strict curbs on cross-border movements from December 1.

The US and its allies regard the North’s missile development as a major threat to regional security, on top of its nuclear ambitions.

–AFP

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Czech Senate Approves U.S. Missile Defense Shield

November 27, 2008

The upper chamber of the Czech parliament on Thursday approved a deal with Washington to accept a U.S. missile defense installation.

The Associated Press

The deal still needs approval by the lower chamber, where the vote is expected to be close because the governing coalition has too few seats to guarantee passage. That vote is not expected before the end of the year.

The proposed U.S. missile defense system calls for a tracking radar in the Czech Republic and 10 interceptor missiles in Poland as part of a shield designed to protect the region from possible attacks from Iran.

The Senate approved both treaties involved in the deal — the main bilateral treaty allowing the United States to build a radar base near Prague and the second, “complementary,” treaty that deals with the legal status of U.S. soldiers to be deployed at the base.

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http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,458395,00.html

Russia test-fires intercontinental missile: military

November 26, 2008

Russia on Wednesday test-fired for the third time its new RS-24 intercontinental ballistic missile aimed at overcoming air defence systems, the military said.

“The test-firing of the RS-24 was carried out on Wednesday from the Plesetsk cosmodrome” in the Arkhangelsk region of northern Russia, the Interfax news agency reported.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev walks past an RS-12M ballistic ... 
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev walks past an RS-12M ballistic missile. Russia has test-fired for the third time its new RS-24 intercontinental ballistic missile aimed at overcoming air defence systems.(AFP/RIA Novosti/File/Dmitry Astakhov)

Military spokesman Alexei Zolotukhin told the agency that “the missile… was launched from a mobile launcher. This is the third test firing of the RS-24 in the last two years.”

Russia in May 2007 first test-fired the RS-24, which the military has said is designed to overcome air-defence systems such as the controversial US missile shield planned for deployment in eastern Europe.

–AFP

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

Japan-U.S. missile defense test fails

November 20, 2008

A Japanese warship failed to shoot down a ballistic missile target in a joint test with U.S. forces Wednesday because of a glitch in the final stage of an interceptor made by Raytheon Co, a U.S. military official said.

The kinetic warhead’s infrared “seeker” lost track in the last few seconds of the $55 million test, about 100 miles above Hawaiian waters, said U.S. Rear Admiral Brad Hicks, program director of the Aegis sea-based leg of an emerging U.S. anti-missile shield.

By Jim Wolf, Reuters

A missile is launched from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ... 
A missile is launched from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ship Chokai in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii November 20, 2008.(Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force/Handout/Reuters)

“This was a failure,” he said in a teleconference with reporters. It brought the tally of Aegis intercepts to 16 in 20 tries.

The problem “hopefully was related just to a single interceptor,” not to a systemic issue with the Standard Missile-3 Block 1A, the same missile used in February to blow apart a crippled U.S. spy satellite, Hicks said.

Military officials from both countries said in a joint statement there was no immediate explanation for the botched intercept of a medium-range missile mimicking a potential North Korean threat. The test was paid for by Japan, Hicks said.

John Patterson, a spokesman at Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Arizona, said the company would not comment pending the results of an engineering analysis of what may have gone wrong.
The test involved the Chokai, the second Japanese Kongo-class ship to be outfitted by the United States for missile defense, and a dummy missile fired from a range on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.


Above: Chokai

North Korea‘s test-firing of a ballistic missile over Japan in August 1998 spurred Tokyo to become the most active U.S. ally in building a layered shield against missiles that could be tipped with chemical, biological or nuclear warheads.

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sile;_ylt=AtR6dVwzdhOKirAsXFcgsFSs0NUE

Russia Already Bullying Barack

November 19, 2008

Barack Obama campaigned on the promise of “change,” but one change the president-elect may be planning on – not deploying a US missile defense in Eastern Europe – would be a big mistake.

Indeed, it’s exactly the type of about-face that nations like Russia, Iran and North Korea hope for from the incoming administration.

Worse, it will likely be seen abroad as knuckling to Russian bullying.

Two weeks ago, just a day after the US elections, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev made a virulently anti-American speech – his first major address since taking office this spring and arguably the first foreign “test” of the president-elect.

Amid other ranting, Medvedev demanded that the United States back off on its planned missile-defense bases in Poland and the Czech Republic.

If the deployment goes ahead, Medvedev warned, Moscow will place short-range missiles in Kaliningrad – a Russian enclave nestled between NATO members Poland and Lithuania.

A few days after the Medvedev speech, a senior Obama aide came out after a phone call between the president-elect and Polish President Lech Kaczynski saying that Obama had “made no commitment on” missile defense.

Ugh. That’s not a certain retreat by Washington in the face of Moscow’s threats, but it’s a very troubling start for the Obama team on a key national-security issue.

Going wobbly caused heartburn in Warsaw and Prague, where both governments went to the mat to get approval for the missile-defense deal – and glee in Moscow, Tehran and Pyongyang. What rogue doesn’t love a whiff of wobbliness?

And the stakes rose just days later, when The Wall Street Journal reported that Russia is now in talks to deploy missiles in Belarus, which could be bore-sighted on targets across Europe.

(Belarus’ motive? It’s probably looking for Russian help on energy supplies and financial credits – or, if Europe wants to bribe it to reject the missiles, for an easing of EU economic sanctions imposed over human-rights issues.)

The next step in this ongoing lesson for the president-elect came Friday – when French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for a halt to European missile defense until more talks can be held.

Sarkozy’s words, at a European Union-Russia summit, were a clear sop to fellow attendee Medvedev – at the expense of the United States and the president-elect. (Shamefully, the EU is re-engaging Russia despite Moscow’s failure to meet the EU six-point peace plan for Georgia.)

But the issue isn’t just bullying – there’s the policy, too. This system is designed to defend against the Iranian missile and nuclear threat – which is growing fast.

By Peter Brookes
The New York Post

Testing O's spine in Europe.
Medvedev: Testing O’s spine in Europe.

Just last week, Tehran tested a two-stage, solid-fuel ballistic missile – whose 1,200-mile range would let it hit all of the Middle East and parts of southeastern Europe.

If reports of the Iranian test are true, this would be Tehran’s first successful test of a multistage rocket – which would put it on track for launching missiles to ever-increasing ranges, including intercontinental distances. The test also showed advances in Iran’s basic rocketry science, moving beyond liquid fuels to a more reliable solid-fuel rocket motor.

This is an images released  Wednesday Nov. 12, 2008 taken at ...
This is an images released Wednesday Nov. 12, 2008 taken at an undisclosed location in Iran, showing a missile test fire by Iranian armed forces. Iran has successfully test-fired a new generation of long range surface-to-surface missile using solid fuel, making them more accurate than its predecessors, the defense minister announced Wednesday. Mostafa Mohammed Najjar said on state television that the Sajjil was a high-speed missile manufactured at the Iranian Aerospace department of the Defense Ministry. He said it had a range of about 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers).(AP Photo/Fars News Agency, Vahid Reza Alaei)

The last thing we need is to look “soft” on Iran’s nuclear and missile programs.

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http://www.nypost.com/seven/11182008/postopinion/opedcolumnists/
missile_defense__bullying_barack_139253.htm

Belarus Says It Will Accept Russian Missiles Targeted on Europe

November 14, 2008

The Belarusian government is in discussion with Russia on deploying missiles in Belarus that could strike targets in Europe, the country’s president said.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko told The Wall Street Journal he would like to see closer relationships with Western countries but he sympathizes with Russia on two points — the Georgian conflict and U.S. plans to build a missile shield in Europe.

UPI

Lukashenko said he supports Russia’s plans to place Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave between Lithuania and Poland, to target the U.S. missile system.

Russia opposes the U.S. plan to deploy missiles and a radar system in Poland and the Czech Republic, saying the plan threatens Russia’s national security. The United States says the shield is needed to protect Europe against attacks from rouge states.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (R) and his Belorussian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko visit the Brest Fortress World War II memorial (225 miles) southwest of Minsk, Belarus, on June 22, 2008. This day in 1941, the garrison of the 19-century built fortress in the town of Brest was one of the first Red Army troops to confront the Nazi Germany's Army attack on the Soviet Union in World War II. It held the line for over a month. (UPI Photo/Anatoli Zhdanov)
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (R) and his Belorussian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko visit the Brest Fortress World War II memorial (225 miles) southwest of Minsk, Belarus, on June 22, 2008. This day in 1941, the garrison of the 19-century built fortress in the town of Brest was one of the first Red Army troops to confront the Nazi Germany’s Army attack on the Soviet Union in World War II. It held the line for over a month. (UPI Photo/Anatoli Zhdanov)

Russia also had proposed putting Iskander missiles in Belarus, Lukashenko said. If no deal is reached, Belarus would consider deploying missiles itself, he said.

“Even if Russia does not offer these promising missiles, we will purchase them ourselves,” Lukashenko told the Journal. “Right now we do not have the funds, but it is part of our plans — I am giving away a secret here — to have such weapons.”

Pakistan leader meets with Rice on missile strikes

November 13, 2008

Pakistan’s president pressed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Wednesday to halt cross-border U.S. missile strikes targeting militants in his country’s volatile tribal regions, the Pakistani foreign minister said.

“These drone attacks are unproductive, and they are contributing to alienation as opposed to winning people over,” Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in an interview after briefing reporters on the 20-minute meeting between Rice and President Asif Ali Zardari.

By JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press Writer

United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice laughs while ...
United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice laughs while mingling with diplomats on the floor of the General Assembly hall at United Nations Headquarters in New York, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008. The occasion was the gathering of world leaders attending a two-day U.N. conference to promote a global dialogue about religions, cultures and common values. President Bush is speaking on Thursday.(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The U.S. military is believed to have carried out at least 18 missile attacks on suspected militant targets close to the border in Pakistan since August. The missiles are believed to be fired from unmanned planes launched in Afghanistan, where some 32,000 U.S. troops are fighting a resurgent Taliban insurgency.

The strikes also should be halted to avoid the inadvertent deaths of civilians, Qureshi said. “In fact, what is required is more sharing of intelligence information. What is required is building Pakistan’s capacity to deal with insurgency,” he said.

State Department officials declined to comment on the meeting.

President-elect Barack Obama‘s incoming administration presents a fresh opportunity for Pakistan to emphasize more dialogue and development, Qureshi said.

US Department of Defense (DOD) image of a Predator surveillance ...
Pakistani President Zardari has repeatedly objected to U.S. use of drones like this.  DoD photo

“We’ll be discussing with them a more comprehensive strategy. Because Pakistan is of the view that military means is not the be-all and the end-all,” he said.

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pakistan_us_1

Facing An Obama Apparently Ready To Talk, Iran Now Backs Out?

November 13, 2008

Since 2006, Iran’s leaders have called for direct, unconditional talks with the United States to resolve international concerns over their nuclear program. But as an American administration open to such negotiations prepares to take power, Iran’s political and military leaders are sounding suddenly wary of President-elect Barack Obama.

“People who put on a mask of friendship, but with the objective of betrayal, and who enter from the angle of negotiations without preconditions, are more dangerous,” Hossein Taeb, deputy commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, said Wednesday, according to the semiofficial Mehr News Agency.

By Thomas Erdbrink
The Washington Post
Page 1
November 13, 2008

Iran tests a missile that its defense minister said has a range of 1,200 miles, meaning it could reach Israel.

Iran tests a missile that its defense minister said has a range of 1,200 miles, meaning it could reach Israel. (By Vahid Reza Alaei — Fars News Agency Via Associated Press)

“The power holders in the new American government are trying to regain their lost influence with a tactical change in their foreign diplomacy. They are shifting from a hard conflict to a soft attack,” Taeb said.

For Iran’s leaders, the only state of affairs worse than poor relations with the United States may be improved relations. The Shiite Muslim clerics who rule the country came to power after ousting Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, a U.S.-backed autocrat, in their 1979 Islamic revolution. Opposition to the United States, long vilified as the “great Satan” here in Friday sermons, remains one of the main pillars of Iranian politics.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent Obama a congratulatory letter last week, but by Wednesday his welcoming tone had dissipated. “It doesn’t make any difference for us who comes and who goes,” he said in a speech in the northern town of Sari. “It’s their actions which are studied by the Iranian and world nations.”

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the Natanz uranium ... 
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility. The six powers trying to scale back the nuclear ambitions of Iran, which is accused of trying to build an atomic bomb, will meet in Paris on Thursday, French officials have said.(AFP/File/Atta Kenare)

On Wednesday, Iran test-fired a two-stage, solid-fuel rocket, Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammed Najjar announced on state television. He said the missile had a range of 1,200 miles — meaning that it could reach Israel and U.S. targets in the Middle East.

In Washington, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said that he could not “independently confirm media reports indicating an Iranian missile launch,” but added that “Iran’s missile program is a concern that poses a threat to its neighbors in the region and beyond.”

In recent interviews, advisers to Ahmadinejad said the new U.S. administration would have to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq, show respect for Iran’s system of rule by a supreme religious leader, and withdraw its objections to Iran’s nuclear program before it can enter into….

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/AR2008111203075.html