Skip to comments.Report Supports Sea-, Space-Based Missile Defenses
Posted on 08/15/2006 12:56:22 PM PDT by Paul Ross
Report Supports Sea-, Space-Based Missile Defenses
Global Security Newswire, August 4, 2006
The United States should focus on developing sea- and space-based missile defenses rather than expanding ground-based systems beyond the interceptors already deployed in Alaska and California, according to a experts’ report issued last month (see GSN, May 11).
“Near-term options exist for developing viable sea-and space based defense within the next decade resulting in a comprehensive, global layered missile defense system,” says the 202-page report from the Independent Working Group on Missile Defense, the Space Relationship and the 21st century.
“This option would complement the [Ground-based Midcourse Defense] system currently being deployed but afford superior coverage at less cost than expanding the number of GMD sites,” the report says.
The group also recommended the United States re-examine missile defense concepts considered during the Reagan and first Bush administrations, including the space-based Brilliant Pebbles kinetic energy weapon system, according to Inside Missile Defense.
The document addresses work on several sea-based Standard Missile systems. It urges hastening development of the U.S. Standard Missile 3 Block 1 Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system “to provide late-midcourse and boost-phase interception.” That would probably cost “an additional $100 million over current funding,” it says.
The U.S.-Japan Standard Missile 3 Block 2 program also ought to move quickly “to provide interdiction capabilities beyond the SM-3 Block 1,” the report states. “An additional $300 million over three yeas would push initial operating capability forward by more than year.”
Funding for the Standard Missile 2 Block 4 should be increased by “between $50 million and $100 million” to protect the country against a ship-borne Scud ballistic missile launched off a U.S. coast, the group said. Missile defense and homeland security efforts should be incorporated “to protect coastal cities and infrastructure such as key energy-producing and storage complexes.”
During a July 21 event, working group co-Chairman Robert Pfaltzgraff said he was skeptical about the U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s existing ability to prepare missile defense systems of the future. “I think that the structure that we have there has to be radically rethought.”
“The Missile Defense Agency as it stands is unfortunately very much wedded to the concepts of the recent past,” Pfaltzgraff said. “The record of the Missile Defense Agency in innovation is not great, and … to do these kinds of things, we are going to need new blood, new thinking and I do not believe that you can get that within a bureaucracy that has been in existence now for a quite long time. And that’s the Missile Defense Agency unfortunately.”
With regard to the space-based missile defense efforts, the report urges the United States to:
— “Initiate a streamlined development program building on Brilliant Pebbles (and advanced technologies produced since then) for space-based interceptors for boost-, midcourse, and terminal-phase interdiction.”
— “Within three years test a space-based missile defense system. Anticipated cost is $3—5 billion.”
— “Begin operating a space test bed for space-based interceptors that would be integrated into U.S. Strategic Command’s global architecture in three to five years.”
—“Utilizing an event-driven procurement strategy, deploy 1,000 Brilliant Pebbles interceptors with the goal of an initial capability in 2010. Anticipated cost is $16.4 billion” (Inside Missile Defense, Aug. 2).
Global Security Newswire is produced independently for the Nuclear Threat Initiative by National Journal Group, Inc. Global Security Newswire is published Monday thru Friday by 2 pm and is available exclusively on the NTI website, www.nti.org.
Intresting info. Thanks
North Korean Missiles More Accurate Than Earlier Estimated
Space & Missle, August 14, 2006
North Korean missiles may have a greater capability for accuracy than some observers have stated, according to a report in the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper.
Six of seven missiles that North Korea fired on July 5 (July 4 in the United States) impacted within a target zone that had been put off-limits to ships before the tests, the Japanese government found, according to the newspaper.
Rodong and Scud missiles hit the target area in the ocean, indicating that the tests were a success, the paper continued.
That success story contrasts sharply with comments in the United States by some lawmakers, military experts and journalists, who sarcastically dismissed the North Korean missile tests as "six Scuds and a dud."
That last refers to the fact that the one long-range Taepo Dong-2 missile that North Korea launched failed early in its first stage, with the missile destroyed. Some analysts had been concerned prior to the launch that North Korea might be about to launch the missile into or near the United States.
North Korea, aside from violating international curbs on its missile development program, also violated global norms against proliferation when it announced it is producing nuclear weapons.
Some lawmakers and Pentagon leaders have expressed concern that North Korea at some point may downsize those nukes and mount them on a missile that could reach Alaska, the West Coast of the United States, Toronto and Washington.
The newspaper quoted an unnamed Japanese government source as saying that "targeting accuracy of the Rodong and Scud missiles was high to a certain degree, and it proved the missiles are operational."
They landed in a restricted area that North Korea beforehand had closed to ships in the Sea of Japan, a square patch of the sea about 160 kilometers (99.4 miles) on each side, according to the paper.
Each of the missiles traveled some 300 to 400 kilometers (186.4 to 248.5 miles) from a launching site in southeastern North Korea, the report stated.
The missiles all landed within an area with a radius of about 50 kilometers (31.1 miles), according to the government estimate.
As North Korea launched the missiles, U.S. missile defense systems tracked the ballistic paths carefully. It is thought the Missile Defense Agency and the various missile shield components weren't committed to shooting down any North Korean missile unless it threatened the United States or its allies.
During the North Korean missile testing, the United States government was focused on the NASA launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery, a picture-perfect mission to the International Space Station that ended with no damage to the orbiter vehicle.
That was just the second shuttle launch mission since Space Shuttle Columbia was destroyed Feb. 1, 2003, because of damage the orbiter suffered when foam insulation broke off its external fuel tank and punched a hole in the orbiter wing. The crew was lost. NASA since has taken multiple precautionary moves to lessen the danger of any foam breaking loose, and to inspect orbiter vehicles carefully for any damage before reentry.
The Dems would throw a fit if we did space-based missile defense. Let's do it!
Yep, if the commies hadn't taken over years ago, we'd already have a space-based missile defense system.
I dunno. We wouldn't want Putin to get his panties in a wad now would we?
Yep, if the commies hadn't taken over years ago, we'd already have a space-based missile defense system.
As a matter of fact, check out this report from 2003...
SPACE.com -- Missile Defense: The Pentagon Steps Back
Space.com, July 11, 3002
The Pentagon is putting the brakes on plans to launch a cluster of developmental space-based missile interceptors by 2005. A senior Missile Defense Agency (MDA) official told SPACE.com a combination of lagging technology and pressure from Capitol Hill has caused a rethinking of the original schedule. Now the plan is to continue basic research on the interceptors until at least 2008.
We went out with a request for information [to industry] to determine whether or not the technology was essentially here to be able to execute the type of program we had talked about by 2005, said Terry Little, director of the Kinetic Energy Interceptor program at the MDA. We didnt think so.
The space-based interceptors were under consideration by the MDA as a complement to ground based-modes of killing enemy missiles in flight. In theory, the mini satellites would home in and destroy enemy missiles in space by force of impact. But technical problems with miniaturization and weight proved severely limiting, Little said.
If you enter development with major technical issues, youre going to end up in trouble, Little said. Its a rule of nature. Limited funding also presented problems. The Pentagon has requested $14 million for the space interceptor test bed in 2004. You need a lot of satellites and they need to be affordable to buy and launch theyre not there, Little said. Officials from several defense satellite manufacturing companies declined to comment for this story.
Little also said the program was encountering some resistance from Congress. He noted, for example, that during debate on the 2004 Defense Authorization bill, Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) introduced an amendment to kill all funding for space-based weapons.
Bingaman's amendment ultimately failed. But Phil Coyle, an analyst with the Center for Defense Information here, said the fact that it was introduced is a sign that the anti-proliferation movement in the United States still has teeth.
Theres no sense preheating the opposition when the [Pentagon] doesnt have anything to deliver, Coyle, a former chief weapons tester at the Pentagon, said.
Proponents of space-based missile defense were disappointed by the MDAs change of heart on the program. Hank Cooper, who was director of the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization in the early 1990s, said there are fully exploitable technologies left over from the original Star Wars missile defense program that are applicable to a constellation of space-based interceptors.
Much of the technology was developed under a program dubbed Brilliant Pebbles, which was abandoned in 1993. These guys that run the Missile Defense Agency dont have much of a clue about what the technology can accomplish, Cooper said.
Baker Spring, a missile defense analyst with Heritage Foundation, a think tank here, agreed: I find it surprising there couldnt be any [technologies] salvaged from the 1992 timeframe.
Little said there is still strong support for space-based interceptors in some quarters of the White House and that the latest plan could change again in the future.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon is moving ahead with plans to develop a ground-based interceptor that would knock out enemy missiles as they launch. An award of design study contracts for that program, called KE Boost, is due in December.
I know I wouldn't mind. Bloody communist. We should tear up the political promises secretly made in the Strategic Framework Agreement that they used to insist we limit our NMD deployments to really limited...so that they could verify our "limits."
You war monger.
I like that.
I want "Rods From God."
Just like we don't ever use our nuclear arsenal (which is being dismantled as fast as W can order it...) no matter the provocations we have witnessed.
By putting up a real "umbrella" defense, which both of those factions oppose...we take the issue of willpower out of the equation. Even the Rats and RINOs can't object to using interception of manifest threats inbound. This would at least make it less critical as to the spinally and knee-challenged leadership we have now, or the even-more weak likely future "leadership" [ a term that I use advisedly ].
In any event, absent this, we have no real choice but to go on the offense pre-emptively. Now:
E.g., We should simply declare that we have now determined that Ahdmanajad and the Khomeni have been secretly harboring Bin Laden in Iran, and just nuke them and their nuclear infrastructure...as we all know they sure as hell won't give us advance notice of an impending strike once the capability matures.
So, we honestly need to be at least as ruthless as a matter of self-defense.
Give them no warning. No time to come clean. No delay. No excuses. No hand-wringing. No angst. No self-doubts, or second-thoughts. No moral relativism. It's us or them.
Pinging to thread and #12
The progress in this area could have been enormous had certain people not stood in the way. We might have been in a much better position today with more options dealing with Korea and Iran.
Talk is cheap for R&D (albeit clearly W is better than Kerry/Gore et al...but he is no Reagan), which minimal funding gets gutted without any real resolve to oppose by the Administration (from mininukes to Bunker busters). Meanwhile, even the funds to keep weapons operable get gutted, and the President marches ahead unilaterally on dismantling the U.S. arsenal, such as the MX, while Russia keeps its SS-18 first-strike arsenal until 2017...here is one tidbit from just a month and a half ago...
Cold War Relic in Pieces, but Next Generation LoomsI.e., in other words, W has ordered the DOD to discontinue yet another planned maintenance program, putting it still deeper onto the unilateral disarmament track...there will be no replacement for the aging W-80...one of the residual backbones of our deterrent arsenal.
By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 29, 2006; Page A15
The Bush administration is expected to announce today that it has dismantled the last of the most powerful nuclear missile warheads left over from the Cold War.
At the same time, however, a Senate subcommittee has added $10 million to next year's budget to fund a design competition for the second warhead in a new generation of U.S. nuclear weapons.
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has increased by 50 percent the rate at which it is dismantling older weapons in the nuclear stockpile, which has about 5,000 weapons.
..... according to NNSA Deputy Administrator Thomas P. D'Agostino.... said NNSA is planning to put more emphasis on dismantling retired nuclear weapons, a process that in the past decade has provided a steady amount of work for the Pantex facility outside Amarillo, Tex., where weapons are assembled and disassembled. Up to now, the programs to refurbish operational warheads have used up almost all the operating space at the facility. But with that program declining, dismantling of retired weapons can increase.
In another step related to reduction of operational weapons, the subcommittee cut $82 million from the budget because the Defense Department has decided that it will not continue a program that would have extended the life of W-80 nuclear warheads carried by several hundred submarine- and air-launched cruise missiles.
George W. Bush came to office promising to "leave the cold war behind" and "rethink the requirements for nuclear deterrence". Last week, the Pentagon released the results of its Nuclear Posture Review, which seeks to put flesh on the bones of Mr Bush's campaign vision.
.... Over the next 10 years, the US proposes to reduce its strategic nuclear arsenal from the 7,200 warheads it currently deploys to between 1,700 and 2,200. Although the administration plans to enact these cuts unilaterally, it expects Russia to reciprocate.
Meanwhile everything Vladmir Putin does, from his confiscation of private industry and press in Russia, to attempting to either covertly takeover the Ukraine and other Baltic states, or overtly coerce them, to his aiding and abetting Anti-West Rogue (Syria, Iran) and Communist Regimes (Venezuela, China, North-Korea etc.) shows that his stripes are Communist-Red.
I posted previously about this, and the self-decption inherent in the Treaty of Moscow:
What was amusing was the reminders in this article, wherein it describes Putin and the Russians "agreed" to killing the ABM treaty...when in fact it hadn't been in force since the demise of the Soviet Union. A treaty which the Soviets had flagrantly violated anyways with their SA-300 missiles, deploying over 10,000 of them along the periphery for a national missile defense, and the Krasnoyarsk Radar to help provide target tracking and control. And so far, they have also not been following through on the warhead reductions of the stupid Treaty of Moscow.
E.g., the Russian Generals rather brazenly announced three years ago that they are indeed keeping intact their stash of SS-18s until 2017 with over 2,300 warheads thereto just by itself. They also have a hot assembly line going turning out the newly perfected Topol-M which they persistently brag on being the best, most survivable mobile missile ever with MaRV, Stealth and FOBS capability. Immune to our kinetic interceptor technology. Which they got Bush to agree to limit.
Mean while Bush is pushing pell-mell to, in effect, unilaterally disarm the United States ahead of schedule pursuant the Treaty of Moscow. The MX is gone. Half to two-thirds of the Minuteman are gone or going. The Tridents are being cut by a third, or more if he gets his way. The B-1B is cut in half. The B-52 is almost gone. The US is not manufacturing tritium for the warheads which we have, and they are becoming inoperable.
This dangerous deterioration in our strategic deterrent posture (particularly as Putin and company shows his true Communist-Dicatatorship stripes) truly needs to be confronted and debated in the Congress. W and Condileeza Rice appears to not be paying attention. But the Left obviously won't raise the issue, because they want us to unilaterally disarm...and the Republicans won't break party unity, such as it is, over strategic nuclear issues...for fear of losing the one area where the public still has confidence in them...nuclear national security. Informing the public that things are deteriorating could have serious and embarassing political repercussions. So they are stalling hoping that we just get lucky.
But the solid conservatives are going to have to break ranks.
It appears that the Administration...and the U.S....are being played for saps by Pooty-Poot...and the people of the U.S. are being placed gravely at risk as a result...all for a delusory promise that someone's dangerous wishful thinking is not turning into reality.
I stand by everything in that post. Additionally we have shut down all 14 of our DOD plutonium production plants used to manufacture the fresh fissibles for core stockpile of SNM - special nuclear material.
Agreed. But there is an awful lot that "doesn't fit" his war style that he is promoting.
This is bad news.
I'm afraid it is. And there is no upside:
Unless of course, this is really just them trying to safely dismantled out of date weapons to be replaced with BIGGER, and BADDER bombs/missles?
Nope, as I have said, they want to just get down to a small number of launchers, a few hundred, with maybe a maximum number of warheads of 1,500-to-1,700. All the evidence is basically in that the President has swallowed the liberal line that we only need a couple hundred weapons...hook, line, and sinker. And he is just choosing to discount, discredit, and ignore anyone who says that we still have to take Russia/China's coordinated first strike threat seriously. He has no replacements for the dismantled systems anywhere in the budget. And his proposals for dealing with obsolescence appear to be rather dilatory, and his political push for them pretty much so low-key as to be almost non-existent. The Defense Sciences Board, in their 2006 Report: Strategic Strike Skills has said that we are losing the base of scientific personnel to maintain even our modest nuclear arsenal. This base was long and arduously accumulated after hundreds of billions of spending on R&D and manufacturing...and is retiring without any sign of an effort to repair the holes in critical U.S. talent pools.
I find it hard to believe they really want to loose our Nuclear advantage over Russia and China. What could they gain from being held hostage by those two? It doesn't seem to make any policy sense to meet any goal.
They don't think they are, since they listen to the same liberals, from the Nuclear Freeze movement, et al., who think that just a few nuclear bombs makes for a credible deterrent...if not invincible. You would think that the hazard of nuclear proxy war presaged by 9-11 would awaken them to the incredible risk of this strategy.
So what is your proposed goal that Bush is seeking to do by doing this?
He thinks, paradoxically, that he is making us safer. He thinks by being weaker, we are less "provocative." I don't question his sincerity. But his judgment is clearly clouded, and his force doctrine in the NPR [Nuclear Posture Review ] may prove unsound.
He has drunk too deeply of the liberal Kool-Aid.
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