News

Hard.Copy - 20 February 1998

ARTICLE CITATIONS GATHERED FROM COMMERCIALLY PUBLISHED JOURNALS AND NEWSLETTERS.

BMDO Foresees Window Before Iran Fields MRBM Capability. 
Aerospace Daily, Feb 18, 1998, pp 243-244
Unlike North Korea's near-simultaneous testing and fielding of the
No-dong missile, BMDO thinks it is more likely that some time will pass
after testing before Iran fields a limited MRBM capability, according to
DepDefSec John Hamre. 

PAC-3 Hit-To-Kill Missiles Won't Be Sent To Gulf, BMDO Says. 
Aerospace Daily, Feb 19, 1998, p 252
BMDO denied published reports that plans are being made to send Patriot
Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) hit-to-kill missiles to the Persian Gulf,
but it did say that several other configurations of the system are
deployed in the region. "There are no PAC-3 Configuration-3 hit-to-kill
missiles available," according to BMDO spokesman LtCol. Rick Lehner.
"Those missiles do not even enter low rate initial production until the
end of this year." 

Industry Outlook: Dynamite With A Laser Beam. 
Aviation Week & Space Technology, Paul Proctor, Feb 16, 1998, p 13
USAF has ordered its first Boeing 747-400 freighter to be used in the
Airborne Laser Program. The next program milestone will be the test
firing at full power of a full-scale, flight-weight laser module in
April. Paul Shennum, Boeing ABL program manager, said the laser will be
operationally efficient even if atmospheric turbulence level is 2-4
times the condition for which it is being designed. 

Newsbreaks: Boeing Has Determined That A National Missile Defense....
Aviation Week & Space Technology, Feb 16, 1998, p 18
Boeing has determined that a NMD system using antimissile interceptors
based at Grand Forks, ND, could not defend the entire US. The company
says it has devised an alternative plan that would involve moving the
interceptors to a new, undisclosed location, which would allow "every
square inch" of all states to be defended. Boeing's separate option of
moving the interceptors would provide full coverage of all areas of the
US from a single site, said John B. Peller, Boeing's NMD Program
director. It's questionable whether the ABM Treaty would permit the US
to designate a new interceptor site. 

Air Force To Evaluate Other Uses For Airborne Laser. 
Defense Daily, Greg Caires, Feb 19, 1998, pp 4-5
Over the next several months the Air Force will evaluate whether its
Airborne Laser (ABL) system can perform missions other than intercepting
theater ballistic missiles during their boost phase. Under consideration
is whether the ABL can: suppress enemy air defenses; defeat cruise
missiles; provide regional commanders with additional battle space
surveillance data; or protect itself and other high-value aircraft. 

Experimental Missile-Tracking Satellite Gets New Task. 
Defense News, Warren Ferster, Feb 16, 1998, p 20
The Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX) satellite is being used to detect
and track Earth-orbiting objects, some of which might be beyond the
viewing range of existing ground-based sensors. If successful, the $6m,
two-to-four year demonstration project, or experiment, could validate
space surveillance as a secondary mission for the Air Force's planned,
24-satellite Space Based Infrared System-Low constellation. 

...No, It's A Flight From Reality. 
Defense Week, Angelo M. Codevilla, Feb 17, 1998, p 15
This article is a rebuttal of the argument made by Loren Thompson's
article that the Airborne Laser, ABL, is one of the most promising
near-term defenses against ballistic missile attack. 

Airborne Laser: Makes Sense For Missile Defense.... 
Defense Week, Loren B. Thompson, Feb 17, 1998, p 14
One of the most promising US antimissile programs is the Airborne Laser,
ABL. Scheduled to begin flying in 2002, it will be the only US missile
defense system able to destroy enemy missiles in seconds as they lift
off--in the so-called boost phase. The great advantage of the ABL is
that any biological, chemical or nuclear debris falls right back onto
enemy territory. 

DoD Offers $100 Million Plan To Counter New Missile Threats From Iran.
Inside Missile Defense, George Cahlink, Feb 18, 1998, pp 1, 16
In a Feb 5 letter to Rep Weldon (R-PA), John Hamre, deputy defense
secretary, wrote that a detailed analysis by BMDO of theater missile
defense (TMD) programs has proven that current TMD efforts are properly
designed to counter emerging MRBM threats from Iran. However, Hamre
states, the analysis found areas in which lower-tier system
interoperability could be improved-- until more robust upper tier
systems are available-- to counter the threat. Weldon has repeatedly
raised concerns about emerging missile threats to the US and its allies
and has chided DoD for not devoting enough resources to missile defense.

Navy's Missile Defense Budgets To Be Influenced By New BMDO Master Plan.
Inside Missile Defense, Thomas Duffy, Feb 18, 1998, pp 1, 18-19
When senior Navy budget officials put the finishing touches on their
six-year budget plan covering FY2000-FY2005 sometime this fall, they are
expected to draw from a new cruise and ballistic missile defense master
plan now being written by BMDO to steer the Navy's dollar share for
missile defense weapons and command and control systems. The master plan
is expected to be published within the next six to eight weeks and will
become a yearly blueprint for OSD to review the services' missile
defense budgets. 

New Standard Missile Being Developed For Navy Cruise Missile Defense.
Inside Missile Defense, Thomas Duffy, Feb 18, 1998, p 6
The Navy's theater air defense office is developing a new variant of the
venerable Standard Missile, called Standard Missile-5, for use against
land attack cruise missiles. According to an industry source, SM-5 is
not a block upgrade, but a new version of the missile that has evolved
over the years into the Navy's most versatile air defense weapon. 

Army Shoots Down Proposal To Tap THAAD, PAC-3 Funds To Pay For MEADS.
Inside Missile Defense, Daniel G. Dupont, Feb 18, 1998, pp 3-4
A plan crafted by the Air Defense Center to save the Medium Extended Air
Defense System by taking about $600m from three programs-- THAAD,
Patriot PAC-3, and Stinger upgrades-- to fund MEADS which currently has
no money programmed beyond FY99, was rejected by Army leadership. 

DoD Decides To Deploy Patriot PAC-3 Missiles To Persian Gulf Area.
Inside Missile Defense, Daniel G. Dupont, Feb 18, 1998, pp 1, 11-12
The Defense Department has decided to deploy Patriot PAC-3 missiles in
the Persian Gulf region "just in case" they are needed. Also under
consideration is the deployment of the THAAD ground-based radar, which
is essentially a prototype system, but is considered close to
deployment-ready. The THAAD radar would be deployed to work in tandem
with Patriot fire units and other assets. 

BMDO Releases Draft Environmental Impact Statement For Eglin TMD Tests.
Inside Missile Defense, Thomas Duffy, Feb 18, 1998, p 3
BMDO released a draft environmental impact statement on Feb 6 that lays
out the potential impact to Florida's ecosystem if ballistic missile
tests are conducted over the Gulf of Mexico. 

Commercial Satellites Are Vital Aid To Military. 
Jane's Defence Weekly, Barbara Starr, Feb 18, 1998, p 10
Satellites and space services from commercial entities are now seen as
crucial back-up to military space operations supporting US forces in
major regional contingencies. This was one of the key initial findings
in the recently concluded second round of a space wargame conducted by
the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC). Representatives
from commercial space enterprises - Orbital Imaging Corporation and
COMSAT - sat in on the game, which ran from 29 January to 5 February at
the Army Space Command (Forward) at Colorado Springs. 

SS-27 Figures Are Planned. 
Jane's Defence Weekly, Nikolai Novichkov, Feb 18, 1998, p 5
Russia's Ministry of Defense is planning to produce "several hundred"
SS-27 Topol-M mobile and fixed-based ICBMs before 2010. A production
rate of about 30 missiles per year would be required to achieve this
plan. According to Yuri Masliukov, chairman of the State Duma Committee
for Economic Policy, Topol-M production will reach 10 to 15 missiles per
year by 2005. 

Assuming The Offensive: The Laser Threat On The 21st Century
Battlefield. 
Jane's Intelligence Review, Sebastian Gorka and Richard
Sullivan, Feb 01, 1998, p 42-45
While most of the article focuses on the use of lasers as antipersonnel
weaponry, other applications include their use for blinding
electrooptics. 

Minuteman Third Stage Destroyed By Orbital Debris. 
Space News, James E. Oberg, Feb 16, 1998, pp 3, 44
A small piece of unidentified orbital debris destroyed the expended
third stage of a modified Minuteman 2 intercontinental ballistic missile
during a January test flight over the Marshall Islands, according to
BMDO spokesman LtCol Rick Lehner. Some analysts were not ready to
conclude that space junk was the problem.