Agency Director Offers U.S. Missile Defense Outline

WASHINGTON, Oct. 15, 2010 — “To have effec­tive mis­sile defense, you need more than one lay­er,” the direc­tor of the Defense Mis­sile Agency said this week.

Dur­ing the Atlantic Coun­cil mis­sile defense con­fer­ence here Oct. 12, Army Lt. Gen. Patrick J. O’Reil­ly described the “phased, adap­tive approach” pol­i­cy for mis­sile defense in Europe that Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma approved in 2009. 

O’Reil­ly said the three lay­ers of the approach will counter short-range, medi­um- and inter­me­di­ate-range, and inter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­siles. O’Reil­ly then out­lined the four phas­es of the U.S. mis­sile defense pol­i­cy for Europe. 

Phase one, to be imple­ment­ed between now through 2012, he said, calls for cur­rent, proven mis­sile sys­tems and sen­sors to be deployed at sea to pro­tect Europe and deployed U.S. ser­vice­mem­bers and their families. 

Dur­ing phase two, extend­ing from 2012 through 2015, improved sea- and land-based sys­tems now in devel­op­ment and test­ing will increase pro­tec­tion from short- and medi­um-range bal­lis­tic mis­siles, O’Reil­ly said. 

Phase three, run­ning from 2015 through 2018, will estab­lish pro­tec­tion at sea and ashore from inter­me­di­ate-range mis­siles, he said. 

Phase four, extend­ing from 2018 through 2020, will pro­vide ear­ly-inter­cep­tion capa­bil­i­ty against medi­um- and inter­me­di­ate-range mis­siles, he said, with a sec­ondary capa­bil­i­ty to pro­tect against inter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic missiles. 

The phased, adap­tive approach is pri­mar­i­ly designed to increase pro­tec­tion against medi­um-range and inter­me­di­ate-range bal­lis­tic mis­siles trav­el­ing above the earth’s atmos­phere, from ranges of 1,000 kilo­me­ters to 5,500 kilo­me­ters, or about 600 to 3,400 miles, O’Reil­ly said. 

Phase-four capa­bil­i­ty, he said, will allow mil­i­taries to dou­ble the area they can pro­tect, engage more than 50 mis­siles at once, and track hun­dreds of mis­siles at once. 

By phase four, O’Reil­ly said, inter­cept­ing ene­my mis­siles won’t be a one-shot, one-kill requirement. 

“We want to inter­cept those mis­siles as soon as pos­si­ble after they’ve been launched,” he said. “You need a high­er-speed inter­cep­tor and you also need a mobile launch sys­tem that can be in the right place at the right time.” 

That capa­bil­i­ty will be in place by 2012, O’Reil­ly said. 

“It will give you the capa­bil­i­ty to inter­cept medi­um-range bal­lis­tic mis­siles [and] inter­me­di­ate-range bal­lis­tic mis­siles very ear­ly in their flight,” he said. “If you miss with that ear­ly attempt, you have anoth­er oppor­tu­ni­ty to hit with the upper tier. If you miss with that, you have anoth­er oppor­tu­ni­ty to hit with the low­er tier … the more shot oppor­tu­ni­ties, the high­er prob­a­bil­i­ty of intercept.” 

The pri­ma­ry com­po­nents of the approach are sys­tems already in place or in test­ing, O’Reil­ly said, as well as the planned future ver­sions of those systems. 

U.S. sys­tems cen­tral to the phased, adap­tive approach include sen­sors, soft­ware, and launch­er and mis­sile com­po­nents, O’Reil­ly said. Aegis Bal­lis­tic Mis­sile Defense, an exist­ing sea-based sys­tem, is slat­ed for upgrade and expan­sion through phase four. 

Aegis BMD incor­po­rates com­put­ers, radar, and mis­siles to detect, track and destroy short- to inter­me­di­ate-range mis­siles, he explained. Aegis BMD is cur­rent­ly aboard 21 U.S. Navy ships. Its future capa­bil­i­ties include longer range, improved ear­ly-inter­cept capa­bil­i­ty, increased num­ber of ships and mis­siles, and an ashore capability. 

The Army/Navy Trans­portable Radar Sur­veil­lance sys­tem, O’Reil­ly said, is a trans­portable X‑band, high res­o­lu­tion, phased-array radar designed specif­i­cal­ly for bal­lis­tic mis­sile defense. It is capa­ble of track­ing all class­es of bal­lis­tic mis­siles and iden­ti­fy­ing small objects at long distances. 

The radar sys­tem, he added, pro­vides sur­veil­lance, track­ing, dis­crim­i­na­tion and fire con­trol sup­port for the Ter­mi­nal High Alti­tude Area Defense weapon sys­tem. The sys­tem will be aug­ment­ed in phas­es three and four by sen­sor sys­tems now being devel­oped, capa­ble of track­ing and inter­cept­ing ene­my bal­lis­tic mis­siles in boost phase at or near engine burnout. 

The THAAD weapon sys­tem inte­grates launch­ers, inter­cep­tors, radar, fire con­trol and com­mu­ni­ca­tions units, and sys­tem-spe­cif­ic sup­port equip­ment, O’Reil­ly said. 

Flight test­ing of the THAAD sys­tem began in late 2005, he said. To date, the sys­tem has a 100 per­cent mis­sion suc­cess rate in flight test­ing, he not­ed, with 10 suc­cess­ful tests and six–for-six inter­cepts. The sys­tem will be field­ed through phase four. 

The Com­mand, Con­trol, Bat­tle Man­age­ment, and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions pro­gram glob­al­ly links, inte­grates and syn­chro­nizes indi­vid­ual mis­sile defense ele­ments, sys­tems and oper­a­tions, O’Reil­ly explained. It cre­ates a lay­ered mis­sile defense capa­bil­i­ty, he said, that enables response to threats of all ranges in all phas­es of flight. The pro­gram is cur­rent­ly in use and will be updat­ed and enhanced through phase four. 

O’Reil­ly said NATO is devel­op­ing its own sys­tem, known as ALTBMD: The Active Lay­ered The­ater Bal­lis­tic Mis­sile Defense pro­gram. The pro­gram, he said, will upgrade, test and inte­grate NATO’s com­mand and con­trol sys­tems and under­ly­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion net­work to enable effec­tive infor­ma­tion exchanges between var­i­ous NATO and nation­al mis­sile defense sys­tems. It also will pro­vide com­plete cov­er­age against tac­ti­cal bal­lis­tic mis­siles with ranges up to 3,000 kilo­me­ters, or 1,864 miles. 

At NATO’s dis­cre­tion, O’Reil­ly said, U.S. mis­sile defense sys­tems will inte­grate with NATO and allied nations’ sys­tems to strength­en their over­all defense capability. 

“Our NATO allies can deter­mine how they want to con­tribute to [cruise mis­sile and short-range bal­lis­tic mis­sile] defense,” he said. “We have the upper lay­er. They can effec­tive­ly deploy the low­er lay­er for an effec­tive defense.” 

Mis­sile defense will be a major top­ic of dis­cus­sion at the NATO sum­mit set for Nov. 19 and 20 in Lis­bon, Por­tu­gal. NATO Sec­re­tary Gen­er­al Anders Fogh Ras­mussen has declared mis­sile defense a crit­i­cal capa­bil­i­ty that the alliance must acquire. 

At his month­ly press brief­ing in Brus­sels Oct. 11, Ras­mussen pre­sent­ed the agen­da for the for­eign and defense min­is­ters’ meet­ing held there yes­ter­day. The meet­ing was a pre­lim­i­nary ses­sion for the Novem­ber summit. 

NATO should devel­op the capa­bil­i­ty to defend Europe from the threat of mis­sile attack,” Ras­mussen said. “More than 30 coun­tries in the world have, or are acquir­ing, bal­lis­tic mis­siles, some of which can already reach Europe.” 

Giv­en the cat­a­stroph­ic effects a mis­sile strike in Europe could have, Ras­mussen said, NATO can’t afford not to have mis­sile defense. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →