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In-Flight Interceptor Communications System (IFICS)

The In-Flight Interceptor Communications System (IFICS) is a subelement of the Battle Management, Command, Control, and Communications (BMC3) element and would consist of geographically distributed ground stations that provide communications links to the Ground Based Interceptor (GBI) for in-flight target and status information between GBI and the BMC3. Up to seven pairs would be required to support the NMD system. Two IFICS are required per region to mitigate weather interference (e.g., rain). For example, if one IFICS within a region is affected by rain, the second unit may not be and would be able to transmit. The distance between the two IFICS within a region is based on the probability of both units being effected by weather. The location of the IFICS is based upon the analysis of the regions from which a hostile missile could be launched against the United States.

An IFICS site should not require permanent onsite support personnel. Personnel would only be required when the IFICS needs maintenance. The IFICS is a transmitter that would transmit when a GBI would be launched to intercept an incoming ballistic missile. The IFICS would consist of a transmitter/receiver enclosed in a 5.8-meter (19 foot) diameter inflatable radome adjacent to support structures. The entire facility would require an area of 0.4 hectare (1 acre) including the perimeter fence.

The IFICS would not generate any electromagnetic radiation (EMR) except when a GBI would be launched in defense of the United States and during annual system test/training, which does not involve missile firing. During this time, the short pulses of the IFICS would not present any EMR hazards outside the fenced perimeter boundary.

The only air and noise emissions would be associated with the electrical generators required to provide power to the site. These generators would only be required as backup power sources if commercial power to the site failed, or if required to support a mission. At sites where no commercial power is available, or where the reliability of commercial power does not meet NMD system requirements, the generators would operate continuously.

Sites that are not located on existing military installations will be accessed from existing roads by a gated access drive. An area of approximately 0.4 hectare (1 acre) will be secured with a 1.8-meter (6-foot) high perimeter fence surrounding the IFICS support structure, equipment shelter, power generator, and fuel storage area.

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