News Briefings

DoD News Briefing


Wednesday, January 20, 1999 - 11:20 a.m. (EST)
Presenter: Lt. Gen. Lester L. Lyles, Director, BMDO

Lt. Gen. Lyles: Thank you, Mr. Secretary and Gen. Shelton.

For those who do not know me, I'm Lt. Gen. Les Lyles. I'm the director of the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization. What I would like to do this morning is very briefly give you a little bit more background [on] details about the decisions announced by the Secretary. I'll walk through a couple of charts talking about national missile defense and also theater missile defense and then open the floor to any questions you might have.

First, let me state that we are obviously very, very serious here in the administration and the Pentagon about missile defense, both in terms of the threat to the homeland and the threat to our theater forces and our allies. So the decisions announced by the Secretary are ones that we think are exactly the kind of things that we need to do.

What I'd like to do at the start is national missile defense, to give you a quick background and talk to some of the key specific areas that we're trying to do, and then I'll move on to theater missile defense. In a couple of cases I'll illustrate with charts what the architecture is, what the major elements of the programs are, and again, open the floor to any questions you might have.

Let me start with national missile defense. Our mission, as stated by Secretary Cohen, is to develop, to demonstrate, and deploy if directed, an initial land-based national missile defense system to defend against limited strategic missile attacks that's capable of evolving to counter future threats and also has some residual capabilities for countering an accidental or unauthorized launch from one of the current nuclear powers.

That's the general guidance and the mission for our national missile defense program, and that's what we've been trying to do.

As the Secretary mentioned in the program that we have just announced, and will be going over to the Hill with the formal budget, we've added $6.6 billion to our national missile defense program between fiscal years '99 and '05. That will allow us to complete the initial development and deployment capabilities for national missile defense and actually supports a deployment option by the year 2005.

Let me describe basically the elements for the program. We've always stated within the national missile defense program that a decision to deploy is based essentially on four basic things. One, whether or not we have a valid threat; two, whether or not we have the right amount of dollars budgeted for deployment; three, whether the issue with the treaty has been addressed; and four, are we technically ready, is the technology ready in order to make such a decision and to support a deployment.

As announced by Secretary Cohen, we've acknowledged and affirmed that the threat is real, and it's become more certain and growing in the near future.

We've also acknowledged that we need to start dialogue and discussions with the Russians about the treaty, and activity is already underway to address that.

And as the Secretary mentioned, we've now put money into the budget, the $6.6 billion, in order to support deployment activity.

That essentially leaves one major thing, and that is: are we technologically ready to be able to deploy such a system? Let me describe the basic elements of our national missile defense program, and then I'll talk to you a little bit about the concept of operations, and then the actual schedule, the major scheduled activities that we have envisioned for the program.

Starting with the chart to my left, to your right, our limited national missile defense system has several different elements to it. It has space sensors, building off of the current defense support program for providing early warning, an announcement that somebody has launched something against us or our territories or our allies. It has a battle management command and control capability in the upper right-hand corner, literally the glue to bring together all the command and control elements associated with national missile defense and tied in with the warning and surveillance activities we currently have today for our strategic forces embodied at Cheyenne Mountain.

In the lower left-hand side we have, as part of the architecture and the elements, X-band radars to provide precise discrimination of what is an actual threat reentry vehicle that may be headed towards the United States, so we can determine exactly what we need to counter in our engagement opportunities. We have up front early warning radars which actually operate prior to the X-band radars to provide fine initial discrimination of the attack scenario and where the likely attack might be and give us an early indication of where we need to point our forces and actually engage our interceptor.

Then, finally, we have the interceptor itself. We call it the weapon system. It's comprised of a booster and an exoatmospheric kill vehicle, a kill vehicle on top, to do the actual engagement with the threat reentry vehicle.

Give me the next chart, please.

In a traditional engagement concept of operations, all of those elements come into play in order to be able to have a successful engagement and negate a threat against the United States. We have the early warning provided by the space sensors. We have the initial determination of threat location and commitment, initial commitment of our interceptors by the up front early warning radars. We have the fine discrimination so we can pick out specifically what is the reentry vehicle provided by the X-band radars. We have communications that are provided from the ground to the missile, the interceptor missile, to give a precise location of where the threat is going to be. Then, of course, we have the weapon itself, the actual interceptor that's designed to specifically go after the RV and with hit-to-kill technology, hit-to-kill lethality, kinetic energy, impact the actual RV and literally destroy it. That's our basic concept of operations for national missile defense.

The challenge with all of this, the basic element, the concept of operation, is to make sure it all works together as an integrated system and that it can exactly do what the mission tells us we need to do. So the critical schedules and critical tests we've embodied for the program are very, very germane as to whether or not we can answer that fourth question I mentioned to you, and that is, are we technologically ready in order to deploy a capability?

Let me show you a schedule chart, a detailed, significant events chart for the program. We do not have that? Okay. Let me just talk to it then. I'm sorry.

We, as stated by the Secretary, are scheduled to have a deployment readiness review in the year 2000, in the summer of 2000. We've always stated with our original national missile defense program that we would be ready to make a decision on deployment by the summer of the year 2000. If we were to stick with the original 3+3 program of trying to field the capability by 2003, we would have to make that decision in the summer of 2000 well before we really understood what the maturity of the technology was.

By the summer of 2000 we would not have tested the actual booster for our kill vehicle and the interceptor. The kill vehicle itself, the exoatmospheric kill vehicle, will not be tested until a couple of years later, the final configuration. We're using surrogates of that initially, and surrogates of the booster initially in order to understand whether or not we have an integrated capability for being able to do the national missile defense mission.

As the Secretary stated, we want to have a phased program that allows us to make key decisions that are based on those significant and critical integrated flight tests, and two of the most critical tests are the new booster and the test of the exoatmospheric kill vehicle. The tests are phased now for those two events to take place in early fiscal year '01 for the first booster, and early fiscal year '03 for the final configuration of the exoatmospheric kill vehicle. If we stick to what we think is smart to do and not rush to failure, when we do our final decisions based on those two events, it gives us the capability to field the system by 2005, and that's the date we've now established for our initial operational capability.

As stated by Secretary Cohen, however, we preserve the option and we will look to see if we have the right technology, the right technological maturity, to make an earlier deployment point for national missile defense. Our program is currently structured and funded to allow us to do that for those first couple of years of development activity.

Let me move on very quickly to theater missile defense, and then I'll open the floor to any questions you might have.

We have been working on our theater missile defense programs for several years, particularly in earnest after DESERT STORM. We have remained committed to and have reinforced in every way we could, both through our analyses and independent analyses, the need for having multi-tier, multi-platform capability for theater missile defense -- to be able to do it robustly and effectively as mandated by Congress, and as mandated by the warfighters.

We need to have lower-tier systems, we need to have upper-tier systems, and we need to have multi-platforms on the land and from the sea, and also from air, and we need to make sure that all of these systems work together and can be interoperable. That's formed the heart of our program for theater missile defense. We have not deviated from that at all with some of the decisions made by Secretary Cohen.

What has changed over the last year, however, is the growing urgency of making sure that we have an upper-tier capability to counter the growing medium- range threat -- the threat that's embodied by systems like the North Korean No Dong, like the Iranian Shihab III, like the Ghari system used by the Pakistanis. We need to make sure that we have the capability to negate those threats, and hence our emphasis on making sure that we don't lose the critical upper-tier capability.

We have steadfastly maintained what we call a family of systems on the chart on the right-hand side for theater missile defense emphasizes the entire family, both lower-tier, upper-tier, battle management command and control, and the very critical boost phase capability provided for by the airborne laser. Let me just quickly walk you around the chart.

For the lower-tier systems, building up the legacy from DESERT STORM we have the Patriot Advanced Capability III that should be fielded by the first part of fiscal year '01. We have the Navy Area Program which is the lower-tier program from sea-based platforms, which should be fielded by 2003. And for the upper-tier systems we have our Theater High Altitude Area Defense Program, the THAAD program that we've been working on to try to seriously address the medium-range threat, and I'll touch on some of the comments relative to that in just a second. Then we have the sea-based component of the upper-tier provided by the Navy Theater Wide, Navy upper-tier program.

We also have, obviously, the space sensors that provide the same early surveillance and warning we have for national missile defense. We depend on those same space sensors for our theater missile defense. We have the critical glue that holds all this together in terms of interoperability, battle management command and control. Then as I stated earlier for the airborne platform, and what we call boost phase engagement, we have the Airborne Laser program which is a program not funded by my organization, BMDO. It is funded by and run specifically by the United States Air Force, but it is a critical part of our overall missile defense architecture. So it is really part of the heart and soul of everything we're trying to do in theater missile defense.

The last program mentioned on that I will touch on just a little bit at the very end. The Secretary did make a comment about what we're doing about the MEADS program, the Medium Extended Air Defense System, a cooperative program we've been working with the Germans and the Italians. As you know, or stated by the Secretary, we had to make some tough decisions relative to all the other priorities as to whether or not we're going to fully fund MEADS. We decided that we needed to focus initially on technologies that are relevant to the maneuver force protection that MEADS would have provided, and our next year's or next three years' activities will embody $150 million focusing specifically on those technology efforts associated with that capability.

Next chart, please.

That comprises the family of systems that we're working on for theater missile defense. Just to give you a sort of notional architecture, a sort of cartoon, if you will, of the bubbles of protection that we're trying to provide, this is really the heart and soul of multi-tiered, multi-platform engagement. It's this kind of multi-tier capability that we need to ensure that we can effectively negate the threat -- whether it's short-range, medium-range, or long-range theater systems.

Let me just very quickly tell you what we're doing specifically for the program. For our lower-tier systems as announced by the Secretary, we are not deviating at all relative to our schedule for those programs. We've ensured that they are funded properly to make sure that we can field them and field them on schedule. So for the PAC III program, the Patriot Advanced Capability III program, and Navy Area, we're funding those so we can fill them in the dates that I mentioned to you a little bit earlier.

For the MEADS program, however, because it is a lower-tier system, as I just stated and the Secretary explained, we have decided to refocus that effort, and we will be focusing on the key technologies associated with maneuver force protection built for us primarily around existing missile systems, and that could be the PAC III or some other existing system that we currently have in the inventory.

The kinds of technologies we'll focus on with this $150 million include a mobile, developing a mobile, 360-degree fire control radar, the kind of system we don't have today for our theater missile system, and a mobile launcher, particularly to engage or give us the ability to maneuver with the maneuver forces. We'll also make sure that we have the right kind of capability to address advanced targets, advanced threats like cruise missile threats that the MEADS program was intended to originally address.

That's what we're doing for the lower-tier system. For the upper-tier system, as I stated earlier, we are very concerned about the growing medium-range threat. We also know, and are obviously concerned about, our past record, particularly with the THAAD program. We want to make sure that we have the right kind of capability. More importantly, we want to make sure that we have an upper-tier system that can give us the capability to significantly negate the threat.

As a result of that, we're going to continue flight testing the THAAD program, as mentioned by the Secretary. This will give us critical information relative to hit-to-kill technology, the critical end game kind of technology information that we have not gained to date with our missile testing. And it will give us an opportunity to try to get the problem solved for THAAD and to field it as quickly as we possibly can.

The [THAAD] counterpart, [is] the sea-based platform, the Navy Theater Wide or Navy upper-tier. We have put money into the program to assure that Navy upper-tier is fully funded, and it is a fully funded program with an actual first unit equipage date. The date we originally targeted for was 2010. However, we put additional money in our program to allow us the opportunity of accelerating Navy efforts here and bring it back to, we hope, as early as 2007.

We've also created what I consider to be a very smart strategy in terms of competitive leverage. We have established an upper-tier program element, essentially a pot of money starting in 2002 that will allow us to evaluate the flight tests for the THAAD program, evaluate the flight tests for the Navy Theater Wide program, and depending on which program is the most successful, be able to allocate the bulk of the money from that upper-tier program element to that successful program to allow us to accelerate it as quickly as we possibly can. The objective is not to kill any one program at all. We will maintain whatever program does not get fully funded in this approach so that we still can bring it into the inventory sometime in the future. What it will allow us to do is to reward success and to make sure we give an opportunity and have an opportunity to field an upper-tier system as rapidly as we possibly can to address the growing medium-range threat. I think that's a smart strategy. It provides us the leverage, and for the first time it gives us a sort of competitive advantage to deal with some of the problems we've dealt with to date.

In summary, for all of the programs, both national missile defense and theater missile defense, the Department of Defense is committed to increasing the resources for missile defense in general. I think what the Secretary's mentioned and I've mentioned states that very, very accurately. We are addressing the existing threat and we're addressing emerging missile threats. We're also posturing to do everything we can to get the earliest missile defense deployment while minimizing the risks, the very tough technological risks that we know are inherent in this specific mission.

With that, let me close, and I'll see if there are any questions.

Q: Gen. Lyles, you say essentially you've got everything figured out except the technology. What gives you any confidence that all of this is going to work as advertised? Why should we believe it's not just pie in the sky?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: First, all of the analyses show that these systems should work the way that they are intended to. I hate to use the rubric "rocket science", but it is "rocket science" and we know how to do that, and know how to do it very well within this country and within our industry.

The problems we've had to date, particularly on the THAAD program, and I'll use it as the primary example, have not been what I consider to be classic technology. We're not trying to invent something from scratch. We're hoping that something can materialize. It's basic engineering. It's systems engineering. Now that's a tough thing to do and we've made mistakes -- we and the contractors -- but I am confident from my experience, and all the experts who have looked at it, that we know how to do this, we have the right talent in this country to do it, we just need to make sure that we do it correctly, and we don't try to rush things and omit things in trying to get the job accomplished. We can do it better by doing it properly.

Q: Just a few months ago the Pentagon was telling Congress that if it got an extra billion dollars, it wouldn't have anything to spend it on because the technology wasn't advanced. Now we find that you can't just spend another billion, but six billion. What's changed over the last couple of months?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: I think you've taken out of context that statement. We were talking about whether or not you could rush the schedules with additional money. In fact, as the Secretary mentioned and I just mentioned, we want to avoid the rush to failure sort of approach. We want to do things properly, get the right amount of testing in, understand exactly the technological maturity for the various programs, and, yes, that coupled with deployment does take additional money, as we've just outlined. What we don't want to do and what we don't want to state is that you can make things go quicker by just applying money to it, because that's exactly the kind of approach that's failed on us in the past.

Q: General, excuse me for being a little skeptical, but I've been around here a long time. I was here for SDI where we spent $35, $40 billion to develop but not deploy. Then came 3+3 and there didn't seem to be any worry about rushing to failure there. There was a concern that the Republicans wanted to deploy and the administration didn't want to deploy. Now we've got 3+5 plan. Why should the American people spend another dime on missile defense if there's no decision to deploy it? Why should they even think about spending another dime if you're not really serious about building hardware?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: Let me take those three points in order, if you don't mind. From the SDIO perspective, SDIO was basically a technology program, so I think it's unfairly pictured as one that was leading to an actual deployment. Lots of money spent, specifically on addressing the threats from the Soviet Union and specifically on space-based kinds of capabilities. We're not doing that any longer, at least not focusing on that as our primary thing we're trying to do. This is different. We've learned from and taken advantage of some of the technology from SDIO, but this is not the Star Wars SDIO program that we're trying to do.

3+3 was high risk. I'm on record, Dr. Kaminski, the predecessor Acquisition and Technology Under Secretary, Dr. Gansler, the current Secretary, I think the Secretary of Defense, all of us are on record as stating that 3+3 was extremely high risk, and we did state that and make it very, very clear.

We now have established a program that I think makes sense in terms of technological pace and maturity. It is still high risk because we're doing things that we don't do for normal programs in the Department of Defense. You will find no programs at all that have the limited amount of testing and the aggressive schedule that we've embarked upon here even with this revised program, but we are doing this because of the urgency of the need and because we've realized we need to accomplish it.

I specifically have not used the rubric 3+5 because we think this is a national missile defense program. We're not painting it with any sort of title like that.

Q: A quick followup. Are you purchasing any equipment at all that could be used with an NMD system? Any long lead time items?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: The program is structured so that we complete the development activities and in the year 2000 we will make a formal deployment decision, and the budget mentioned by the Secretary, the $6.6 billion, will allow us to deploy, purchase equipment, long lead equipment, and deploy and meet the date that I described to you.

Q: You're not now buying any long lead time equipment?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: We have not completed the development. I think that's consistent with our original program. We have not completed development and we will make that decision in the summer of the year 2000.

Q: If the decision in the summer of 2000 is not to deploy, will you still be spending that $6.6 billion? And how far off are you from the next decision?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: That money is essentially to support deployment activities... In addition... The $6.6 is to support deployment. We already have money in the budget today for national missile defense. The total ends up being about $10.5 billion over the FYDP, between '99 and '05. And so that money is there to support the deployment activity. If we make a decision that is not appropriate to try to quickly get something out in the field because of the technological readiness or lack thereof, the money is there to support continuing the testing, continuing the development, and meeting the deployment activities by 2005.

Q: It wouldn't cost less if you weren't rushing to 2005?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: No, it would not.

Q: If the critical tests don't come until after the summer of 2000, what actually is going to be decided in the summer of 2000?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: We will have surrogate boosters that we're using, we've actually used them in two very successful earlier tests over the last year and a half for the program. We'll have surrogate kill vehicles on top. We have the actual battle management command and control, both software and hardware. We will have some surrogate radars and some actual radars. So we are testing the system end to end against how it all works and needs to work together.

Q: The decision just made, when they sit around the table in the summer of 2000, what are they actually going to decide?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: We will have conducted, hopefully very successfully, four intercept tests, end-to-end intercept tests, and we will understand that everything can work together, and we will have an opportunity to decide then whether to procure a long lead item, whether to decide to try to field a system earlier, depending on the technological maturity, or whether to continue the testing and wait another year until we have actually tested some of the actual components, production components.

Q: How much has the Pentagon spent on THAAD so far?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: Roughly about $4 billion, I think, is what has been spent on THAAD previously.

Q: Since Boeing was awarded the LSI contract, has there been anything that's cropped up technologically to give you more concern to look over the program? Any issues there? Or is this something that happened independent of the work that's being done since that award?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: Nothing has cropped up to cause me concerns in terms of the technology or the development activity associated with having Boeing as our prime contractor. We're obviously working through programmatic issues and contractual issues. Those are sort of standard. But nothing in a technological realm has arisen.

Q: Sir, if I could just clarify one thing. The decision that you make in the summer of 2000 really will just be a preliminary decision and you won't ...[cough]... earlier about the tests in 2001 and 2003, that's when you will make the final decision.

Lt. Gen. Lyles: I think the Secretary made it very clear, and let me just restate, that we will look at the program in the year 2000 to look at technological maturity and readiness, and that will give us an opportunity if we think we are there, if we think we have answered all the critical technical questions, to be able to accelerate that deployment a little bit.

Q: General, back to current threats. The Taepo Dong changes a lot of things. The Taepo Dong test, and the successful test -- Japan is threatened, all U.S. bases in that area are threatened, even possibly Hawaii is threatened. Sir, isn't it true right now that there is not a defensive missile system that can take on the ICBM Taepo Dongs from North Korea?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: The answer to that question is yes, and that's really the heart of what the Secretary was stating. We are affirming that the threat is there today. We're affirming that it's growing, and it certainly will be there. I don't think it's there today to hit some of the places you just mentioned, but certainly it could be within the next couple of years, and the need for getting this program started is an affirmation of the reality of that particular threat.

Q: Is the threat getting there ahead of the defense, is what I'm asking.

Lt. Gen. Lyles: The answer is we do not have the ability to counter those today, and that's why we are developing this system and very urgently pressing on with it.

Q: To follow on that question, though. If you in fact wind up sticking to the, say the 2005 deployment dates; you look at the work of the Rumsfeld Commission, what's gone on in North Korea, doesn't that in fact leave a gap in which there is no defense and a system like theirs could become mature enough to strike the United States?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: I think one of the key things we've always stated with the original 3+3 program, and one of the things that this review in the year 2000 will give us an opportunity to do is to look again, not just again at the technological readiness, but also look again at the threat. Those are the kind of things that will have to be evaluated to determine what we do about an actual deployment date.

Q: The monies will be there in the budget, though.

Q: General, I wonder if you'd look around the corner. We've been down this road before in pursuit of a limited defense, and then the decision by a series of Presidents and Secretaries of Defense was the best defense is a good offense, so we never did deploy a limited defense system, even though we went through what you just went through in various configurations.

The question is this. Do you see the possibility that the past could be prologue? In other words, that we will pursue these various missile defenses and then decide as we have before that the best defense is a good offense, and we'll try and negotiate a treaty? Or has the world changed where the American people, in your view, will not any longer tolerate, as they have tolerated for 30 years, being naked to a limited missile attack?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: Your question is more policy related, and one of the things we wanted to do is to give an opportunity if something came up like that for our policy people to comment. Let me ask Dr. Ted Warner if he wants to address that. [Laughter]

Dr. Warner: We continue to rely on deterrence certainly as our central focus vis-a-vis Russia and China. As these rogue nations acquire these capabilities there is increasing belief, I think, throughout the country that we ought to complement deterrence with limited national missile defense of the type that Gen. Lyles has just described. We will see as we proceed whether there is some fundamental change in that opinion as it's been emerging, but as I see that opinion emerging in the Congress, emerging in this administration, the belief is that as we move into the 21st Century, particularly when we face weapons of mass destruction and missile delivery systems in the hands of rogue stations under which the circumstances with which these missile attacks might come at the United States are quite different than those we have faced vis-a-vis Russia and China.

I believe that we are unlikely to turn back to the point where we will rely only on deterrence. I think over time we will rely on a combination of deterrence by threat of retaliation and this limited type of national missile defense, and that's precisely the kind of program that we've outlined.

Q: Can I follow that up just briefly? The Secretary mentioned earlier about the issue of the ABM Treaty. Clearly the reason that the administration is so wedded to the ABM Treaty is because it believes that it will facilitate strategic arms reduction.

Considering the fact that you're negotiating against a deadline, what are the possibilities, and that the Russians are probably going to oppose any changes, they could basically hold hostage any strategic reductions to changes that we need with the ABM to do this. How is the ABM Treaty going to affect the schedule and the need for changes within the schedule?

Dr. Warner: We believe the schedule is based on the things that Les just went through as the sensible way to acquire this what we believe is going to be a needed capability of the 21st Century. We seek to sustain with regard to Russia a strategic nuclear relationship that is based on strategic nuclear deterrence, that will make possible sustaining strategic stability, avoiding a large scale arms race, and will allow us to continue to implement the reductions of START II if we can get it ratified, and move on to even further reductions under START III.

We believe that the ABM Treaty has been amended in the past. We believe that the type of system we are proposing does not fundamentally challenge the strategic nuclear stalemate between Russia and the United States, and will not challenge it, and we intend to engage the Russians on this matter to seek to amend the treaty in a way that will sustain it as a cornerstone of our relationship, but at the same time will in fact allow us to proceed.

As the Secretary said, we have every intention to proceed in the last analysis if that decision is ultimately made.

Q: Do you honestly believe the Russians could afford a strategic offensive arms race today?

Dr. Warner: In the very immediate present they certainly could not, but we're looking out well past 2000, into 2005 and beyond. There is little doubt that their current state is quite miserable in that regard.

Q: Dr. Warner, for a rogue state, it's the only way I can think to phrase it, for a rogue state who would be listening to you at the moment, what is the deterrence? What is your deterrence message for this gap between now and the time when some sort of a missile defense is in place?

Dr. Warner: Clearly we have made Saddam Hussein aware and we have made the leadership of North Korea aware that we will prosecute a war to a victorious conclusion, and that any use by them of these types of weapons will lead to a devastating response. So we make clear to them that they face the most grievous consequences should they in fact engage in aggression against our regional allies and most certainly we would have the same belief should they bring a force directly to bear against the United States.

Q: Gen. Lyles, the high risk character of the '03 deployment date's been known for awhile, that the old '00 decision was made before they used the booster. You've known about that, you've talked about it. The riskiness of that side of the equation hasn't changed. The only thing I've heard you talk about that's changed is the assessment of a threat, and that's gone up.

So, help me here. The threat's gotten worse. The risk hasn't gotten any worse, but nevertheless, you've decided to slide the date out a couple of years to reduce the...

Lt. Gen. Lyles: I think one thing that has changed literally over the last year, even though we started to see indications of this two years ago or a year and a half ago, is the reality of how difficult this job is, and that's embodied by the THAAD program. That has changed. The reality of how tough it is to try to do missile defense and how tough it is to try to get hit-to-kill technology, how tough it is to prosecute successfully a flight test and then be able to recover if you have an anomaly. We've learned some major lessons from the THAAD program, and I think the statement made by the Secretary to quote one of the independent studies, the issue of "rushing to failure." We want to make sure that we don't do that, specifically in the national missile defense program. We cannot afford to fail. And the reason we're taking a deliberate step, as mentioned by several people, is to make sure we have the opportunity of being successful.

Q:...the competitive leverage you discussed, a little bit on the dollars that would be available in 2002. Is the competitive leverage strategy driven by the fact that Lockheed just hasn't delivered on THAAD and you need some incentive there?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: Two things. One, until the formal budget goes to the Hill I'm not going to talk about specific dollars in the out years. So in a couple of weeks when the budget goes to the Hill, we can come back and describe specifically how much dollars are in '02, '03, '04, and '05 that support this upper-tier strategy. So I reserve the right to come back and talk to you more about that.

What we're trying to do is to make sure we do have a sort of competitive opportunity, if you will. It's not necessarily just because of the problems with the THAAD program and the specific contractor there. We don't really even have the other program to the point of maturity that we have with the THAAD program. So we're essentially giving word to everybody that we need to be successful, that we need to do good systems engineering, good quality management, good management in general of bringing these programs together.

As the Secretary mentioned, we're not just going to look at flight test performance. We're going to look at costs, schedule performance, and other aspects to make a decision as to how we leverage or allocate these dollars. We're putting all the contractors on notice that we're serious about not only the performance technologically, but cost performance and everything else, too.

Q: Can I ask you on NMD, it's gone up apparently a couple of billion dollars from $11 to $13. Can you address why that is?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: That is an incorrect statement, and I'm more than willing to sit down with you and the others who have reported that. What got reported was the difference between the program that was on the books a couple of years ago and where we are today including putting development, deployment, MilCon -- military construction dollars, bringing everything together. The new number, the one advertised, is the one that's correct with all the things that are on the plate that need to address a deployed national missile defense system. The previous dollars were just research and development.

Q: What's the number now?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: It comes up being about $11 billion.

Q: What do we get for that?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: You will get a deployed national missile defense system to meet the threat.

Q: Does that include the $4 billion already spent on THAAD?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: THAAD is not a national missile defense program, so that number I gave you was just for national missile defense. THAAD is a whole separate program in the theater region.

Q: MEADS was a centerpiece R&D program with the allies. How do you anticipate they'll respond to the kind of take it or leave it proposal to build it based on the U.S. system? And if they drop out, will the U.S. program look the same in any event?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: I'm hoping it does not get conveyed as a "take it or leave it" because that's not the intent that we have. I am personally going over to talk to the Europeans in the next couple of weeks; Dr. Gansler will be going over shortly after that. We will describe to them exactly the kind of decisions we had to make given both affordability and priority, describe to them what it is we think we should do with the $150 million, and I'm hoping we can convince them to join with us in addressing that.

What we're trying to do is specifically address requirements and needs that support the maneuver force protection, and that's essentially what MEADS was intended to do. So there's an opportunity for them to join with us to address those requirements and hopefully help to bring those into fruition as quickly as we possibly can so that we can get closer to meeting the requirements that the MEADS was intended to address. So I will be talking to them personally about exactly that.

Q: Gen. Lyles, what would it cost you to do 3+3 if Congress mandated it? And secondly, you said a glimmer of hope that the 3+5 might be 3+5 minus, so it would be maybe earlier than 2005.

Lt. Gen. Lyles: I don't think I used the words "glimmer of hope." I just stated...

Q: No, you held it out as something for the NMD advocates. What would the earliest be that you're now projecting?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: Again, we are laying in a program, a sensible program, as we just described, that leads to those key decisions after key tests. With that you end up with a 2005 IOC. We will, once again, review the program and our deployment decision date in the summer of 2000 to see if the technology is ready to do anything earlier than that.

Q: What would the earliest be that it could be done as you assess it now? If everything goes well.

Lt. Gen. Lyles: I don't even want to envision that because we don't know exactly where the technological maturity will be at that particular point.

Q: And the cost of 3+3, if you have to do 3+3? If Congress says you will do 3+3?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: Essentially the numbers will be roughly the same, when you put deployment dollars in. We put them in to support a 2005 date; you may have to readjust the years in which some of the dollars are spent. I don't think you will see any substantial difference in terms of total dollars.

Q: General, on the threat. You say you're going to review it in '00 as far as this whole review. The Secretary used the word "soon" to describe when it would be coming. You referenced the Rumsfeld report, the developments in North Korea. In, I think it was 1995 there was a controversial national intelligence estimate that as I recall said that it would be something like 2010 before an ICBM could, a new ICBM could strike the U.S. homeland. Today, what is your estimate of how soon an ICBM, a new one, could strike the U.S.?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: I think the Secretary stated, and I mentioned, and perhaps it wasn't clear. We are affirming that the threat is real today, and that it is growing, and it certainly will have the kinds of capabilities that we're concerned about within the next couple of years. That's essentially what we are affirming with our program.

Q: The next couple of years versus the 2010...

Lt. Gen. Lyles: The 2000 date for looking at the threat -- we always look at threats relative to any sort of program -- we have to see where it is, how it's changed, etc. So that has not changed at all. But we are affirming that the threat is real and that it is growing.

Q: Two quick details here. The $150 for MEADS, the $150 million, that's cut from what? And also the decision in 2000 -- you're reviewing the threat, you're reviewing whether or not to deploy NMD, and you're reviewing which of the TMD systems will get priority? Or am I scrambling it all up?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: You're scrambling it just a little bit. Let me talk about MEADS first.

We're going from zero to $150 million. As many of you know, we had no money in our budget for beyond the year, fiscal year '99 for MEADS. We were trying to make a tough decision as to whether or not we should fully fund MEADS and put money in the out year budget for the entire program. Based on, again, the priorities and affordability, we've gone from zero to $150 million over the next three years, so that's what we've done relative to our refocus for MEADS.

Q: That's less than you were anticipating?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: It's certainly less than if we had a fully funded program to do everything that was originally envisioned. But again, we had nothing in the budget in the out years for MEADS previously. We now have $150 million to address those key technologies and requirements.

Q: And the decisions in 2000 are? To review the threat? Yes and no on...

Lt. Gen. Lyles: The key decision, and let me make this clear because I've obviously confused some of you with this. The key decision will be on the technological readiness. My statement about looking at the threat, that's something we do for all programs all the time. So yes, we will again look at the threat. But as the Secretary stated, we are affirming today that the threat is real and growing, so that's not an issue. But we will always look at the threat to see has it changed, is it coming from a different source, etc.? That's part of anything we do for any program.

Q: (inaudible)

Lt. Gen. Lyles: National Missile Defense.

Q: And what about, and you will...

Lt. Gen. Lyles: The TMD programs are proceeding exactly the way I just described it.

Q: But you will decide to give one or the other priority.

Lt. Gen. Lyles: Only for the upper-tier programs. After the next couple of years of testing, we will determine which program is demonstrating the most success, and then we will, based on that, look at the possibility of reallocating the total dollars to jump start the most successful program, reward success, if I can use that term, and try to field the capability in the upper-tier as quickly as we possibly can. Our goal is no later than 2007.

Q: Do you need changes in the ABM Treaty to do this system right now?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: To do national missile defense?

Q:...the system right now.

Lt. Gen. Lyles: The answer is yes, and that's one of the reasons why, as the Secretary mentioned, discussions will be underway with the Russians relative to changes.

Q: What will have to be changed?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: I don't want to get into the specifics of that right now. Again, it's a policy related issue. We know exactly the kinds of things and the right people are engaged throughout the Department and other agencies to start the dialogue.

Q: How will those changes affect the schedule?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: Was the question do we need a change to deploy the system or to continue to develop the system?

Q: To deploy the system.

Q: General, what is the latest intelligence estimate as to how soon, the soonest that a rogue state, let's say North Korea, could land a nuclear missile on any part of the United States?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: I will defer that question. I'd like to get back with you, because I don't know what the latest intelligence estimate is.

Q: The estimate must have changed, right?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: It has changed, at least for a couple of the agencies, but I do not know what that actual date is.

Q: Can you give any sort of guess?

Lt. Gen. Lyles: We are affirming that the threat is real, it's growing, and we think will be here in the next couple of years. I don't know what the actual intelligence estimate specific date is.

Q: Does Dr. Warner have an estimate?

Dr. Warner: I don't. I think the thing to say is we clearly see that the threat is emerging, we think it will certainly be with us by the early years of the next century, but the exact date we'd have to look into.

Q: Dr. Warner, what's the preliminary response from the Russians in regards to amending the ABM Treaty?

Dr. Warner: We have only begun on that road. There is not yet a significant engagement on that. It lies ahead in the coming weeks.

Press: Thank you.