Archive for the ‘radar’ Category

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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U.S. Equips Israel With Missile Detection System for Over 1,000 Miles

November 10, 2008

JERUSALEM, Israel —  The U.S. is providing Israel with high-powered X-band radar capable of detecting missile launches up to 1,500 miles away — and sensitive enough to detect small- and medium-range missiles being fired from Iran and Syria.
By Reena Ninan
Fox News

The radar will grant Israel about 60-70 seconds more warning time when missiles are launched. The system’s massive range means targets as far away as southern Russia can be monitored.
MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE The Forward-Based X-band Transportable (FBX-T) radar system has been delivered by the United States to Israel to strengthen Israeli defenses against possible missile attacks from Iran.

Above: The Forward-Based X-band Transportable (FBX-T) radar system has also been delivered by the United States to Israel to strengthen Israeli defenses against possible missile attacks from Iran. DoD photo

Every second of warning counts, as Syrian missiles can hit Israel in just four minutes, and Iranian missiles can reach Israel’s borders in just 11 minutes.

Israel will not have direct access to the intelligence the radar collects. American satellites will be used with the radar, and only Americans will have access to the technology and the information.

About 120 American technicians and security guards will be stationed in Israel’s southern Negev Desert to oversee the operation, the first time in the country’s 60-year history that they’ve allowed a foreign military presence to be based here.

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US, Czech Republic agree on missile defense radar

April 3, 2008

BUCHAREST (AFP) – The United States and the Czech Republic said they reached agreement Thursday on the stationing in the Czech Republic of a US missile defense radar strongly opposed by Russia.
Graphic locating Brdy in the Czech Republic, where a US military ... 
Graphic locating Brdy in the Czech Republic, where a US military team is on a four-day mission to inspect a potential site for a radar, as part of its divisive missile defence shield. The United States and the Czech Republic said they reached agreement Thursday on the stationing in the Czech Republic of a US missile defense radar strongly opposed by Russia.(AFP/Graphic)

“This legally-binding agreement calls for the stationing of a US radar in the Czech Republic to track ballistic missiles,” they said in a joint communique.

“The radar will be linked to other US missile defense facilities in Europe and the United States,” the statement said.

The US plan calls for deploying 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a targeting radar in the Czech Republic by 2012 in response to what Washington says is a growing ballistic missile threat from Iran.

Russia has vehemently opposed deployment of the US missile defence systems in the two former Soviet bloc states.

US President George W. Bush and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin were to meet over the weekend in the Black Sea port, in part to discuss US proposals aimed at assuring Moscow that the European leg of the system does not pose a threat to it.

However, Czech officials said any arrangements for inspections of the Czech site by Russian military personnel, as Washington has suggested, would have to be agreed separately between Prague and Moscow.

“That is something which we will speak to the Russians ourselves, not to be dealt by somebody else,” said Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Schwarzenberg concluded their negotiations on the radar on the sidelines of a NATO summit dealing with a range of issues that have aroused Moscow’s ire.

“We plan to sign the agreement in the near future,” the communique said.

NATO leaders put off Ukraine and Georgia’s inclusion in a formal process that paves the way for membership in the alliance. Moscow heatedly opposed NATO membership for the two former Soviet Republics..

But on missile defense, NATO leaders agreed that the proliferation of ballistic missiles pose a threat “and the allies’ security must be indivisible in the face of it,” NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said.

“We recognise the substantial contribution that the planned United States system will provide,” he said.

The leaders tasked NATO to develop options for a comprehensive missile defence architecture that would extend coverage to all allied territory.

A senior US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the United States would explore ways to link the US system with current and future NATO missile defense systems.

Officials have said that will mean developing defences for short and medium range missiles to protect parts of southern Europe that would not be covered by the US system, which is designed primarily to intercept long-range missiles.

Schwarzenberg thanked his US counterparts for coming around to the Czech view that the radar had to be integrated with a NATO-wide system.

“Sleeper Spy”: Chinese Man in U.S. Two Decades Before Activation

April 3, 2008

By Joby Warrick and Carrie Johnson 
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, April 3, 2008; Page A01

Prosecutors called Chi Mak the “perfect sleeper agent,” though he hardly looked the part. For two decades, the bespectacled Chinese-born engineer lived quietly with his wife in a Los Angeles suburb, buying a house and holding a steady job with a U.S. defense contractor, which rewarded him with promotions and a security clearance. Colleagues remembered him as a hard worker who often took paperwork home at night.
Chi Mak was sentenced to 241/2 years to send a message to China. 

Chi Mak was sentenced to 24 1/2 years to send a message to China. (Sketch By Bill Robles For The Associated Press)

Eventually, Mak’s job gave him access to sensitive plans for Navy ships, submarines and weapons. These he secretly copied and sent via courier to China — fulfilling a mission that U.S. officials say he had been planning since the 1970s.

Mak was sentenced last week to 24 1/2 years in prison by a federal judge who described the lengthy term as a warning to China not to “send agents here to steal America’s military secrets.” But it may already be too late: According to U.S. intelligence and Justice Department officials, the Mak case represents only a small facet of an intelligence-gathering operation that has long been in place and is growing in size and sophistication.

The Chinese government, in an enterprise that one senior official likened to an “intellectual vacuum cleaner,” has deployed a diverse network of professional spies, students, scientists and others to systematically collect U.S. know-how, the officials said. Some are trained in modern electronic techniques for snooping on wireless computer transactions. Others, such as Mak, are technical experts who have been in place for years and have blended into their communities.

“Chi Mak acknowledged that he had been placed in the United States more than 20 years earlier, in order to burrow into the defense-industrial establishment to steal secrets,” Joel Brenner, the head of counterintelligence for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said in an interview. “It speaks of deep patience,” he said, and is part of a pattern.

Other recent prosecutions illustrate the scale of the problem. Mak, whose sentence capped an 18-month criminal probe, was the second U.S. citizen in the past two weeks to stand before a federal judge after being found guilty on espionage-related charges.

On Monday, former Defense Department analyst Gregg W. Bergersen pleaded guilty in Alexandria to charges that he gave classified information on U.S. weapons sales….

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US interested in Czech missile defense radar even without interceptors in Poland

April 2, 2008

WASHINGTON – The United States would still be interested in installing a radar in the Czech Republic even if it should fail to reach a deal with Poland on the other main part of its planned European missile defense system.

The director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, Lt. Gen. Henry A. “Trey” Obering, told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday that the radar could serve multiple functions within the global U.S. missile defense system.

The United States and the Czech Republic have said they are nearing a deal on the radar, but talks with Poland about building a site for 10 interceptors have lagged. Poland has been demanding that the United States include military aid as part of any agreement.

Obering said that while the United States still expects to complete the deal with Poland, the radar would be useful even without the interceptors.

“The radar itself is a tremendous capability,” he said, and information gathered from the radar could be used for U.S. and NATO missile defense assets other than the planned European system.

The U.S. plans in the two Eastern European countries have been a source of tension with Russia and are expected to be a major topic in talks between President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin when they meet on Sunday in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

US nearing Czech deal on missile defense

March 31, 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) – A senior U.S. missile defense negotiator says the United States is nearing a deal with the Czech Republic to install a radar on Czech soil.

John Rood, the U.S. State Department’s undersecretary for arms control and international security, says negotiations could be wrapped up within days “with a burst of activity.”

The Czech Republic is also saying that it is ready to sign a deal. Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek is quoted in a Czech newspaper Monday as saying that the last problems in negotiations have been cleared away. He says an announcement could come at NATO‘s summit in Bucharest, Romania that begins Wednesday.

The Czech parliament would have to approve any deal reached by the government.

Bush Cautiously Optimistic On Missile Defense-Radio Interview

March 20, 2008

WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- U.S. President George W. Bush is “cautiously optimistic,” but unsure if the U.S. and Russia can overcome differences over a planned missile-defense system in Eastern Europe.

President Bush waves onstage at the Pentagon, March 19, 2008. ...
President Bush waves onstage at the Pentagon, March 19, 2008.(Jason Reed/Reuters)

Designed to offset the potential threat of attack by Iran or another rogue nation, the proposed ballistic missile defense system includes the installation of 10 interceptors in silos in Poland and early warning radar in the Czech Republic. But the plan has drawn stiff opposition from the Kremlin, which worries the system could be a threat to Russia’s national security.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates were in Moscow this week, but their meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President-elect Dmitry Medvedev, and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov ended without a resolution on missile defense.

“I’m cautiously optimistic,” Bush said in an interview Wednesday with Radio Farda, a U.S.-funded Farsi-language broadcaster. “I don’t know whether we can find common ground. But we are trying to find common ground, and that’s what’s – that’s the first step, is to make the attempt.”

Bush said it would “make life easier” if the U.S. and Russia could iron our their differences. He repeated that the system, which still needs to be approved by Poland and the Czech Republic, would not be aimed at Russia.

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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Rice says Russia suggests greater openness on missile defense

March 15, 2008
By ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer

SANTIAGO, Chile – Russia has signaled a new openness toward a U.S. missile defense program for Eastern Europe, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, seen here, left Santiago ... 
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, seen here, left Santiago late Friday for Washington after wrapping up her short visits to Brazil and Chile(AFP/raul bravo)

The missile defense plan angered Russia, which has seen it as a Western provocation at its doorstep. Moscow‘s interest prompted Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates to make last-minute plans to visit Russia next week.

Rice said she would not go so far as to say that Russia’s opposition to the plan had diminished, but she said the Russians have recently expressed enough interest in certain aspects of the latest U.S. proposal that it was worth setting up a face-to-face meeting.

“In private we’ve had good discussions with the Russians,” Rice said.

Speaking to reporters during a Latin American trip, the top U.S. diplomat declined to say which aspects of the program would be the focus of the Russia talks. Gates and Rice went to Moscow last fall to present several ideas intended to encourage Russian cooperation and make the program easier for the Kremlin to accept.

They got a chilly reception from President Vladimir Putin and senior Russian officials at the time, but lower-level officials have been meeting since then and have apparently made some progress.

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Moscow’s Missile Gambit

March 13, 2008

 By Robert Joseph and J.D. Crouch II
The Washington Post
Thursday, March 13, 2008; Page A17

Six years ago, President Bush announced the U.S. withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and our intention to deploy defenses against emerging threats from countries such as North Korea and Iran. Contrary to prevailing expectations, the sky did not fall. Moscow’s response, delivered in a statement by President Vladimir Putin, expressed disagreement with the U.S. decision but emphasized that U.S. defenses were not a threat to Russia and that Russia would make major reductions in its strategic offensive forces — a striking rebuke to the myth that ending the ABM Treaty would lead to an arms race.
Today, the United States and Russia find themselves in opposition on the issue of deploying 10 missile interceptors and supporting radar to Europe — an act of much less strategic consequence than abandonment of the ABM Treaty. Bush and his national security team have explained the concept, in considerable detail, to Russia’s national security elite. Moscow objects by citing a threat to its own deterrent (an argument it knows has no merit) and the stationing of American forces near its borders (which reminds it of the painful loss of empire) and denies the existence of an Iranian missile threat.
Russia’s stance reflects its increasing assertiveness as a major player on the international scene, helped by the price of its energy exports. Moscow is eager to regain its great-power status and thinks the path to success requires painting the United States as the threat. The United States, as a prominent former Russian official once told us, is the threat Russians love to hate.
With equal determination, the Bush administration has sought to change Russian perspectives. Over five years, the United States has made proposal after proposal to work with Russia’s military and industry on missile defense. We have both been involved in these initiatives, offering modest cooperative activities, such as activation of a joint early-warning center, and projects that would be more technically, and politically, challenging. Each time cooperation has been deflected or rejected. Russia’s offer of the use of its radar in Azerbaijan, for example, came with a string attached — that the United States forgo building an interceptor site in Europe.

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