News

hard.copy Update: 07/24/98

ARTICLE CITATIONS GATHERED FROM COMMERCIALLY PUBLISHED JOURNALS AND NEWSLETTERS Lockheed Martin Brings In Big Guns For THAAD Missiles Scrub. Aerospace Daily, Jul 17, 1998, pp 89-92 A special review team is due to report sometime this fall on how Lockheed Martin should proceed with future development and testing of the THAAD system. Congress Could Devise Adjunct Funding Bill To Beef Up NMD. Aerospace Daily, Jul 20, 1998, pp 102-103 In response to the Rumsfeld Commission's report on the seriousness of the ballistic missile threat, the US Congress may help with an adjunct funding bill. According to Rep Curt Weldon (R-PA), this funding will probably not come in the FY99 defense bills that are now being revised in Congress. ABL Cut Would Force Restructure, DoD Says. Aerospace Daily, Jul 21, 1998, p 107 If the recommended Senate cut to the ABL program occurs, Pentagon officials claim it will cause a year slip, a $200m cost increase, and an overall restructure. DoD also said that the cut would "delay essential US combat capability." Senators Voice Concern About Russian Plutonium Surplus. Aerospace Daily, Jul 21, 1998, p 109 Russia's surplus of plutonium has caused serious concern among Senators who recently visited Russia. The Senators reported that Russian companies continue to supply equipment and materials for the design and manufacture of ballistic missiles. Currently, Russia has enough plutonium for well over 5,000 nuclear weapons. Iran Has ICBM Aspirations, Intelligence Officials Say. Aerospace Daily, Jul 22, 1998, p 119 According to senior US intelligence officials, Iran does have aspirations to develop an ICBM, but believe it would be very difficult to do so within five years. These intelligence officials agree in part with the conclusions of the Rumsfeld Commission, but believe that unless someone sells Iran an ICBM, they would not likely develop an ICBM on their own within five years. Panel Sees Accelerated Missile Threat To US. Aviation Week & Space Technology. Joseph C. Anselmo, Jul 20, 1998, p 24 In a report from the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the US, the bipartisan commission warned that rampant proliferation of technology and information sharing among emerging nations is speeding up the ability of US adversaries such as Iran, North Korea and Iraq to develop longer-range missiles. The panel of defense and intelligence experts also called into question the ability of US intelligence agencies to detect emerging threats. The report contradicted a 1995 National Intelligence Estimate that predicted no nation outside of declared nuclear powers would be capable of hitting the US with ballistic missiles before 2011. Speaker Picks Conferees: Authorization Conference Begins. Defense Daily. Sheila Foote, Jul 24, 1998, pp 2-3 House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) on July 22 named the House members who will act as conferees with the Senate on the FY99 Defense Authorization Bill, allowing the House and Senate to go forward yesterday with their first official conference meeting to reconcile differences between the two versions of the bill. Misguided Request. Defense News, Jul 20, 1998, p 32 US State Department request to Congress last week for authority to waive nuclear weapon related sanctions against India and Pakistan is misguided, if predictable. Pres Clinton's White House consistently has shied away from levying economic sanctions on countries violating international arms control agreements, despite US laws demanding such penalties and yowls of complaint from fellow Democrats in the arms control camp. Clinton's China Trip Could Spur Nuke Race In South Asia. Defense News. Dov Zakheim, Jul 20, 1998, p 33 US Pres Bill Clinton's trip to China has at least temporarily diverted attention from the mockery that the Indian and Pakistani nuclear tests made of the nuclear nonproliferation regime. Yet the consequences of that trip could be an acceleration of the subcontinent's nuclear arms race. Weldon Pushes For Action On NMD. Defense News. Lisa Burgess, Jul 20, 1998, p 8 In light of new findings underlining the threat of a ballistic missile attack against the United States, the US government must move quickly to deploy a national missile defense (NMD) system. In 2000, the White House together with BMDO is supposed to decide whether to deploy the system by 2003, but many lawmakers, including Rep. Curt Weldon, want to see the program accelerated. DoD Tells Congress 'Best' MEADS Program To Be Submitted in '00 Budget. Inside Missile Defense. Daniel Dupont, Jul 22, 1998, p 31 DoD has urged congressional authorizers to support full funding for MEADS in the 1999 defense budget, informing lawmakers that the agency won't have a handle on the "best program" to pursue until it submits the FY00 defense budget early next year. Gates Supports Rumsfeld Findings: Sees Parallels To His Panel's Work. Inside Missile Defense. Michael C. Sirak, Jul 22, 1998, pp 2-3 Former Director of Central Intelligence Robert Gates said this week he agrees with the recent findings of the Rumsfeld Commission on the nature of the ballistic missile threat to the US. "Frankly, I found that, in most import respects, [the Rumsfeld findings] either agreed with or paralleled the conclusions of the panel that I headed in evaluating the 1995 National Intelligence Estimate," Gates said in a recent interview. Panel Sees Potential Near-Term Risk To US From Korea, Iran Ballistic Missiles. Inside Missile Defense. Elaine Grossman, Jul 22, 1998, pp 5-15 The Rumsfeld panel, a congressionally mandated panel studying potential missile threats to the US has concluded that North Korea or Iran could field a ballistic missile within five years of a decision to do so, and that the US intelligence community has underestimated this threat in its reports and its national intelligence estimates. Moreover, the panel finds, the potential inability of the US to become aware of a potential threat, especially if fielded on an air or sea platform, brings the "warning time of deployment nearly to zero." Excerpts of Rumsfeld Remarks at July 15 press conference as well as excerpts from the Rumsfeld Commission Report on Ballistic Missile Threat are included with this article. BMDO Chief On Track To Announce NMD Booster Decision By End Of Month. Inside Missile Defense. Michael C. Sirak, Jul 22, 1998, pp 1, 22-23 It seems likely that BMDO Director LtGen Lyles will announce by the end of this month his decision on which booster will be used for the NMD ground-based interceptor. Theater Missile Defense Requirements Document Awaits JROC Approval. Inside Missile Defense. Michael C. Sirak, Jul 22, 1998, pp 1, 30-31 The first capstone requirements document for TMD was recently submitted to the JROC for final approval. The document defines the integrated TMD capabilities necessary to defend a US joint force and its assets from ballistic and cruise missile attack. It also reflects the importance of having interoperable sensors and command and control systems as well as integrated weapons systems. Rumsfeld Panel To Propose Plan For Improving Intel Community. Inside Missile Defense. Michael C. Sirak, Jul 22, 1998, pp 1, 15-17 Donald Rumsfeld, chairman of the panel that examined the ballistic missile threat to the US, told the HNSC July 16 that he and his colleagues are preparing a list of recommendations they hope will make a "constructive contribution" to the US intelligence community. The overall goal would be to improve the community's analytical capabilities. GAO Adds To National Missile Defense Debate With Report On Costs, Risks. Inside Missile Defense. Daniel Dupont, Jul 22, 1998, pp 29-30 The GAO, in a report certain to be cited often by congressional opponents of aggressive missile defense spending, concludes the National Missile Defense program has not appreciably reduced risks despite billions of dollars added to its budget in recent years. NMD Deployment Decision 'Simply Not Available' Before 2000. Inside Missile Defense. Michael C. Sirak, Jul 22, 1998, p 4 According to a senior Clinton administration official, whether one believes in the US intelligence community's estimates on the ballistic missile threat to the US or chooses to believe the more ominous findings of the just-released Rumsfeld Commission report, the current state of technology precludes a National Missile Defense deployment decision before 2000. Countries With An Appetite For Missiles Will Get Them, Rumsfeld Says. Inside Missile Defense. Michael C. Sirak, Jul 22, 1998, p 16 Donald Rumsfeld, chairman of the commission that recently completed an assessment of the ballistic missile threat in the US, believes sophisticated technologies change hands so quickly these days that a country with ballistic missile aspirations will get what it wants, regardless of efforts by others to stop it. Cruise Control. Jane's Defence Weekly. Bryan Bender, Jul 22, 1998, pp 20-22 The proliferation of cruise missile technologies and the increasing availability of complete cruise missile systems at relatively low costs is causing concern, particularly in the USA. The NAIC at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio believes that many countries have developed their own anti-ship or land attack cruise missile systems or are looking to buy systems from other countries. US intelligence officials predict that low cost cruise missiles could be used against US military bases or ships, to impede the oil trade in the Persian Gulf or be used against civilian targets. Navy Launches Tubsats From D4 Sub. Military Space, Jul 20, 1998, pp 1-2 The Russian Navy made space history July 7th in a first-ever launch of a satellite into orbital flight from a Russian submarine. The missile was a detailed conversion of the Russian Navy's R-29M three stage ballistic missile. The third stage of the missile is used to drill the warhead reentry vehicles back down through the atmosphere until air pressure allows for flight control of the warhead. In the space booster version, the converted missile was renamed the Shtil-1. The two nanosatellites, the Tubsat N and Tubsat N1, were mounted inside the standard RV nosecone that replaces the nuclear warhead on these commercial spaceflights. Russian Defense Satellite Crippled. Space News. Alex Bratersky, Jul 20, 1998, p 7 The Cosmos 2350 , an early warning satellite launched April 29 from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to geostationary orbit and part of a Russian defense system called the SPRN, which is responsible for detecting possible ballistic missile strikes, stopped working July 6.