Obama Admin Smears Missile Defense
10:53 AM, Sep 17, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
These changes in the threat as well as our capabilities and technologies underscore the need for an adaptable architecture. This architecture is responsive to the current threat, but could also incorporate relevant technologies quickly and cost-effectively to respond to evolving threats. Accordingly, the Department of Defense has developed a four-phased, adaptive approach for missile defense in Europe. While further advances of technology or future changes in the threat could modify the details or timing of later phases, current plans call for the following:
Â· Phase One (in the 2011 timeframe) - Deploy current and proven missile defense systems available in the next two years, including the sea-based Aegis Weapon System, the SM-3 interceptor (Block IA), and sensors such as the forward-based Army Navy/Transportable Radar Surveillance system (AN/TPY-2), to address regional ballistic missile threats to Europe and our deployed personnel and their families;
Â· Phase Two (in the 2015 timeframe) - After appropriate testing, deploy a more capable version of the SM-3 interceptor (Block IB) in both sea- and land-based configurations, and more advanced sensors, to expand the defended area against short- and medium-range missile threats;
Â· Phase Three (in the 2018 timeframe) - After development and testing are complete, deploy the more advanced SM-3 Block IIA variant currently under development, to counter short-, medium-, and intermediate-range missile threats; and
Â· Phase Four (in the 2020 timeframe) - After development and testing are complete, deploy the SM-3 Block IIB to help better cope with medium- and intermediate-range missiles and the potential future ICBM threat to the United States.
Throughout all four phases, the United States also will be testing and updating a range of approaches for improving our sensors for missile defense. The new distributed interceptor and sensor architecture also does not require a single, large, fixed European radar that was to be located in the Czech Republic; this approach also uses different interceptor technology than the previous program, removing the need for a single field of 10 ground-based interceptors in Poland. Therefore, the Secretary of Defense recommended that the United States no longer plan to move forward with that architecture.
The Czech Republic and Poland, as close, strategic and steadfast Allies of the United States, will be central to our continued consultations with NATO Allies on our defense against the growing ballistic missile threat.
The phased, adaptive approach for missile defense in Europe:
Â· Sustains U.S. homeland defense against long-range ballistic missile threats. The deployment of an advanced version of the SM-3 interceptor in Phase Four of the approach would augment existing ground-based interceptors located in Alaska and California, which provide for the defense of the homeland against a potential ICBM threat.
Â· Speeds protection of U.S. deployed forces, civilian personnel, and their accompanying families against the near-term missile threat from Iran. We would deploy current and proven technology by roughly 2011 - about six or seven years earlier than the previous plan - to help defend the regions in Europe most vulnerable to the Iranian short- and medium-range ballistic missile threat.
Â· Ensures and enhances the protection of the territory and populations of all NATO Allies, in concert with their missile defense capabilities, against the current and growing ballistic missile threat. Starting in 2011, the phased, adaptive approach would systematically increase the defended area as the threat is expected to grow. In the 2018 timeframe, all of Europe could be protected by our collective missile defense architecture.
Â· Deploys proven capabilities and technologies to meet current threats. SM-3 (Block 1A) interceptors are deployed on Aegis ships today, and more advanced versions are in various stages of development. Over the past four years, we have conducted a number of tests of the SM-3 IA, and it was the interceptor used in the successful engagement of a decaying satellite in February 2008. Testing in 2008 showed that sensors we plan to field bring significant capabilities to the architecture, and additional, planned research and development over the next few years offers the potential for more diverse and more capable sensors.
Â· Provides flexibility to upgrade and adjust the architecture, and to do so in a cost-effective manner, as the threat evolves. Because of the lower per-interceptor costs and mobility of key elements of the architecture, we will be better postured to adapt this set of defenses to any changes in threat.