Archive for the ‘SM-3’ Category

Only in America: Boundless Technology; Brilliant Youth

February 22, 2008

“Never have so many owed so much to so few.”
–Winston Churchill

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
Friday, February 22, 2008

Wednesday, USS Lake Erie’s sailors launched an SM-3 Missile that streaked into space to hit an errant U.S. spy satellite exactly as planned: right amidships of the 1,000 pound toxic hydrazine fuel tank.

The satellite was at about 133 miles in altitude and traveling at 17,000 miles per hour or 24 times the speed of sound.

In the twinkling of an eye, America demonstrated new, or at least unknown and unproven, technology and capability. The United States, for the first time, exploded a satellite in shallow space or just before reentry using tactical systems: ships and missiles and men trained to fight “in the air” were reaching into space: for the first time ever.

My Vietnam-born bride said, “Only in America.” Then she said, “The sailors did it.”

As she so often does, my wife Lien was making a huge statement with the fewest of words. She, in one breath, extolled the wonders of American technology as well as the devotion, care and brilliance of our American people: especially our often maligned American youth.

The next day, Serbian youths ransacked the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade and several other Embassies that violated their ideas about what was right and wrong about Kosovo.

I don’t recall America’s youth rioting to this extent for a while.

Sailors love, cherish, care for and maintain their ships and often high-tech and high-cost equipment with the greatest precision and detail. They are devoted, driven and professional.  They are both hard working and delightful.

If you have troubled kids or a dim view of American youth: visit a U.S. Navy ship.

I’ll extend this line of thinking to U.S. Army soldiers, U.S. Marines and U.S. Air Force airmen. I’m no Ollie North but I’ve been around the U.S. military and around the globe.

I have one unshakable conclusion: our young Americans are serving superbly.

We are a nation at war.

The war is a war of ideas.  We oppose no nation, no people and no religion.  Yet the people with other ideas are armed and dangerous: they use improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and women and children and the mentally infirm with bombs wrapped around them. 

We are using about one percent of our population to fight, with arms, the war against terror.

“Never have so many owed so much to so few.”

That one percent is sacrificing life and limbs, and I mean arms and legs are lost every day, for You.

I am reminded every day of Sir Winston Churchill: “Never have so many owed so much to so few.”

I am moved by the wonders of the U.S. Navy reaching into space and the dichotomies of this nation.

Some geniuses at the Pentagon, as they prepared to blast a satellite to smithereens and then watch the chucks or, as military analyst John Pikes calls them, “gravel,” of the space debris reenter the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up; said: “We need a toxic debris clean up team!”

But of course.

America needs a “Toxic Space Debris Clean Up Team.”

Never mind that junk in the form of meteors have been hitting the Earth for centuries and that satellites and their parts have been crashing to Earth since the 1950s without incident.

America needs a “Toxic Space Debris Clean Up Team.”

Funny, I don’t recall China’s “Toxic Space Debris Clean Up Team” when they blew up a satellite last year.  Do you?

They have 1.3 Billion people.  We Americans have a 0.3 Billion.  That is about 300 Million.

We stand, in terms of history and population, in China’s margin.

My wife submitted this commentary. “Only in America.”

So, with haz-mat suits at the ready, a quick response team stood on alert Thursday, the day after the satellite was destroyed, to head anyplace on Earth that the pieces of a lame satellite shot down by the U.S. Navy might fall.

And for the ultimate dichotomy: inside the “Toxic Space-Only Rocket Fuel Mop Up Kit” do you know what you’ll find?

Kitty litter.

Only in America.

Next time you have a cat stuck in a tree or sewer or a hunk of burning space debris smoldering on your lawn, dial 911.

Only in America.

American has ambulances almost everywhere.  In India, they pack you into the back seat of a taxi and hope for the best.

My friends in the world community will forgive me for this.  Others will castigate me.  But I believe in the wonder and wonders of America.

I live in a land of Boundless Technology and Brilliant Youth.

It might not always be so.

But for now, as my wife says, “Only in America.”

After Missile Hit Satellite, Debris Not a Problem

February 21, 2008

WASHINGTON – Debris from an obliterated U.S. spy satellite is being tracked over the Pacific and Atlantic oceans but appears to be too small to cause any damage on Earth, a senior military officer said Thursday, just hours after a Navy missile scored a direct hit on the failing satellite.

Marine Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and an expert on military space technologies, told a Pentagon news conference that officials have a “high degree of confidence” that the missile launched from a Navy cruiser Wednesday night hit exactly where intended.
This US Department of Defense handout photograph shows Vice ... 
This US Department of Defense handout photograph shows Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General James E. Cartwright from the US Marine Corps informing the US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates of the successful missile intercept from the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center.(AFP/DOD)

He estimated there was an 80-90 percent chance that the missile struck the most important target on the satellite — its fuel tank, containing 1,000 pounds of hydrazine, which Pentagon officials say could have posed a health hazard to humans if it had landed in a populated area.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080221/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/dead_satellite;_ylt=
AuNDPmlDA81kdyLnoG2M5IKs0NUE

Graphic of operation to destroy US spy satellite. A US missile ...

U.S. Navy Missile Destroys Dangerous Satellite

February 21, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
February 21, 2008

The United States Navy launched a missile that destroyed a dangerous satellite last night, high over the Pacific Ocean.

One missile; one hit.

Pentagon sources told Peace and Freedom that China requested all data on the event “almost immediately; within a few hours.”

The satellite, USA 193, was passing over the Pacific Ocean at about 17,000 miles per hour and at an altitude of about 130 miles.  It was hit by an SM-3 Missile launched by sailors aboard USS Lake Erie.

A Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) is launched from a guided-missile ...
A Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) is launched from a guided-missile cruiser in an image courtesy of the U.S. Navy. A missile from a U.S. Navy warship hit a defunct U.S. spy satellite 133 nautical miles (247 km) above the Earth in an attempt to blow apart its tank of toxic fuel, the Pentagon said on Wednesday. REUTERS/U.S. Navy/Handout 
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From missile launch to satellite destruction the mission time elapsed was only about three minutes.

The Navy announced that various sensors detected a “large explosion.”  Sensor analysts believe the fuel tank of the satellite had been hit as intended because they witnessed that “large explosion” but the Navy said computer analysis to confirm those first impressions would take about 24 hours.

The satellite’s fuel tank contained about 1,000 pounds of toxic hydrazine rocket fuel.

The Bush Administration said the mission was solely to destroy that dangerous hydrazine fuel.  President Bush made the decision to schedule the mission.  Secretary of Defense Robert Gates made the launch decision based upon information provided to him by military advisors last night.
The U.S. Navy may make its first attempt to shoot down an errant ... 

The mission was carried out, a spokesman said, because of the danger posed if some of that hydrazine survived reentry and landed on earth.  The hydrazine could have harmed humans and animals on earth.

“Nearly all of the debris will burn up on re-entry within 24-48 hours and the remaining debris should re-enter within 40 days,” a military spokesman said. 

Military analyst John Pike said the satellite, immediately after the missile hit, would be mostly “gravel.”
.
“A network of land, air, sea and space-based sensors confirms that the U.S. military intercepted a nonfunctioning National Reconnaissance Office satellite, which was in its final orbits before entering the Earth’s atmosphere,” a Pentagon statement said.

Those same sensors will be used to monitor debris as it enters the earth’s atmosphere.

The SM-3 missile alone cost nearly $10 million, and officials estimated that the total cost of the project was at least $30 million.  The satellite cost about one billion dollars but it failed in 2006 just after it was launched into space.

“But if you kill something dangerous heading for people on earth; what is the right amount to spend?” a military officer asked rhetorically.

Related:

From the Washington Post:
Navy Missile Hits Satellite

From Associated Press Military Writer Robert Burns:
Navy Missile Destroys Dying Satellite

Peace and Freedom Note: People that know me have seen me follow Navy missile evolution for about 30 years.  In 1991, when Saddam Hussein launched SCUD ballistic missiles, we detected and tracked those from U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf.  Subsequently, we were involved in the initial concept development for Navy ballistic missile defense.  Last night’s missile destruction of a dangerous satellite was one more step in the development of missile defense, first envisioned by President Ronald Reagan.

On March 23, 1983, President Reagan announced from the Oval Office, “I’ve reached a decision which offers a new hope for our children in the 21st century.” He explained his vision — and his defense budget’s inclusion — of the first funds to go toward this nation’s missile defense effort.
    
Liberals, and most of the media, derided the president’s project as “star wars.” Since 1983, America’s Missile Defense effort has become a multinational, multi-system effort: it has reached into space and it has come down to earth and the sea.

An undated image of Earth as seen from space. The U.S. Navy ...

Navy Missile Hits Satellite

February 21, 2008

 By Marc Kaufman and Josh White  
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, February 21, 2008; Page A01

A missile fired from a Navy cruiser in the Pacific Ocean hit an out-of-control spy satellite falling toward Earth last night, Pentagon officials said.

They said that a single SM-3 missile fired from the USS Lake Erie hit the satellite at 10:26 p.m. Eastern time. The missile struck the dead satellite about 150 miles above Earth as it traveled in orbit at more than 17,000 mph.

Military officials had hoped to rupture the satellite’s fuel tank to prevent 1,000 pounds of hydrazine from crashing to Earth, a situation they depicted as potentially hazardous for people on the ground. It was unclear last night whether the missile hit was able to break up the fuel tank, but Pentagon officials said they hope to determine that within 24 hours.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/20/AR2008022000240.html?hpid=topnews 

Weather may delay satellite shot

February 20, 2008
By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

WASHINGTON – High seas in the north Pacific may force the Navy to wait another day before launching a heat-seeking missile on a mission to shoot down a wayward U.S. spy satellite, the Pentagon said Wednesday.

Weather conditions are one of many factors that U.S. military officers are taking into account as they decide whether to proceed with the mission Wednesday or to put it off, according to a senior military officer who briefed reporters at the Pentagon on condition that he not be identified.

The officer said the assumption had been that the mission would go forward Wednesday night, unless conditions are determined to be unfavorable. Earlier in the day, bad weather in the north Pacific was causing rough seas, which may be a problem for the USS Lake Erie, a cruiser armed with two SM-3 missiles.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080220/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/dead_satellite;_
ylt=Av4KHfX7G.Kv3W1KpT1mvy.s0NUE

AP Military Writer: Navy Satellite Shot is Controversial

February 20, 2008

By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

WASHINGTON – A Navy heat-seeking missile is getting its first real-world use in an attempt to demolish a crippled U.S. spy satellite before the orbiting craft falls back to Earth.

The targeting of the satellite — which could come Wednesday night — is not the mission for which this piece of the Pentagon‘s missile defense network was intended, however.

The attempted shootdown, already approved by President Bush out of concern about toxic fuel on board the satellite, is seen by some as blurring the lines between defending against a weapon like a long-range missile and targeting satellites in orbit.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080220/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/dead_satellite;_
ylt=AohZcl5TtpIBfJbBDTQGwJ.s0NUE

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.

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)

Japan: “Significant” Missile Defense Success

December 18, 2007

HONOLULU (AP) – Japan is now the first U.S. ally to shoot down a mid-range ballistic missile in a test from a ship at sea. Japan’s top government spokesman says this is very significant for Japanese national security. He says the government plans to continue bolstering its missile defense systems by installing necessary equipment and conducting tests. Tokyo has invested heavily in missile defense since North Korea test-fired a long-range missile over northern Japan nearly 10 years ago. It has installed missile tracking technology on several navy ships and has plans to equip three additional vessels with interceptors. The U.S. Missile Defense Agency calls the test “a major milestone” in U.S.-Japanese relations.
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)