ALASKA MISSILE DEFENSE EARLY BIRD WEEKLY
By: Ms. Hillary Pesanti, Community Relations Specialist
Command Representative for Missile Defense
Note: Click on any storyline for more information.
APRIL 15, 20002-APRIL 19, 2002
ALASKA SPECIFIC NEWS BREAKS
MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2002
TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 2002
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2002
THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2002
FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2002
ALASKA SPECIFIC NEWS BREAKS #7
CHEMICAL DISCOVERY HALTS ALASKA MISSILE-SITE WORK, Reuters News Service , ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Ground clearing was halted at an Alaska site slated for a new national missile defense system after workers dug up barrels holding what might be the aged remains of dangerous chemicals, the Army said last week. Workers at Fort Greely, a former chemical weapons test site, have found up to 20 of the barrels, which have lids labeled "US CWS," meaning the United States Chemical Warfare Service, an organization disbanded in 1946, the Army said. More barrels may be unearthed at the site, the Army said. Some of the barrels were open, and workers found a frozen, crystallized material inside, the Army said. The discovery, made on Monday by the Army's contractor, Aglaq Corp., was reported on Wednesday, the Army said.
The Bush administration plans to use Fort Greely, about 100 miles (160 km) southeast of Fairbanks, as a site for its ground-based missile defense system. Site work, which included tree-clearing, earth-moving and placement of some construction equipment, has been suspended until officials can determine what is in the barrels, said Chuck Canterbury, an Army spokesman in Anchorage. No illnesses or injuries have been reported among the workers, but protective measures are in place at the site. Environmentalists said the discovery of potential chemical weapons remnants is proof that Fort Greely should be cleaned up before more weapons systems are deployed there. Fort Greely was home to an experimental nuclear reactor from 1962 to 1972. It also was the site where biological and chemical weapons were tested in the 1950s and 1960s.
GREELY CACHE APPEARS FREE OF HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS, Anchorage Daily News, April 13, 2002. Preliminary tests on the contents of a buried cache of rusted 55-gallon drums unearthed this week at Fort Greely military reservation picked up no sign of chemical weapons, a state environmental officer said Friday. The screening by a military hazardous materials team also came up negative for hazardous waste except for indications of high acidity, said Greg Light, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation officer who overseas military cleanups north of the Alaska range. Workers on Wednesday discovered more than 20 drums while excavating a borrow pit for soils to be used in the construction of five test beds for a missile-defense system. Some of the barrels bore the acronym “USCWS” or United States Chemical Warfare Service, an Army agency activated in 1946…. State environmental and Army officials are waiting for more complete sample results due back on Monday, Light said. “They want to know what this is so they can take care of it and get on with their constructions,” he said. “I’m satisfied with their response at this time.” The site, three miles south of Greely’s developed area, has been blocked to all but crews with the 103rd Civil Support Team of the Alaska National Guard. The state will wait on sample results before planning any cleanup, Light said…. State environmental officials said Army officials told them they believe the barrels contain some kind of cleaning agent, perhaps left over from efforts to decontaminate the barrels.
FLUOR ALASKA WINS $250 MILLION CONTRACT, Anchorage Daily News, April 17, 2002. A $250 million contract to build test bed to build test bed facilities was awarded Tuesday to Fluor Alaska, the Army Corps of Engineers announced. The contractor will build test silos and support facilities at Fort Greely, 100 miles southeast of Fairbanks, and upgrade radar at Eareckson Air Station on Shemya Island near the tip of the Aleutian chain. Construction is to begin in June at Fort Greely. The construction season in the area is usually limited to April through October because of cold weather.
Fluor Alaska and its subcontractors are expected to employ several hundred personnel at the high point of construction at Fort Greely. The contract calls for the exterior of four buildings to be completed by October, allowing construction to continue inside the buildings over the winter. Pentagon officials said this week that they hope to have the system working at Fort Greely by October 2004. During the test phase, missiles stored at Fort Greely will be shipped to Kodiak for launches. The Fort Greely facility is the heart of the ground-based missile defense system proposed for the United States. Much of the cost of the defense system will be spent developing and testing missile and radar technology in the Lower 48.
The Missile Defense Agency has applied for a wetlands permit for the defense system work on Shemya. The work proposed included upgrades to the existing Cold War-era early warning radar system, utility extensions, housing and infrastructure improvements, dredging and land-clearing. The agency also would install test equipment related to X-Band Radar, the most powerful tracking and detection device in the world and the heart of the national missile defense system. The Corps of Engineering and Support Center in Huntsville, Alabama awarded the contact. The Corps Alaska District, with headquarters in Anchorage, will supervise construction. “It will disturb 260 acres, with the silos and the structures that will be around it,” John Killoran, Corps spokesman in Anchorage, said of the work at Fort Greely. The Missile Defense Agency may eventually locate live missile interceptors at Fort Greely. The agency has said it will store, not launch, missiles from the silos during the testing phase, unless the nation is attacked.
This article ran in the Kodiak Daily Mirror Monday April 15, 2002 with a notice for the public scoping meeting to be held Tuesday. The Kodiak headline read:
NUKE-TIPPED INTERCEPTORS A POSSIBILITY, April 14, 2002, By Sam Bishop, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. WASHINGTON--An advisory board to the Department of Defense is reviewing whether a national missile defense system ought to be equipped with nuclear-tipped interceptors. Critics of the missile defense system say the review is evidence that the military is not confident about its current "hit-to-kill" approach to stopping incoming missiles. Nuclear-tipped missiles also would violate at least one treaty, an arms control activist said. The Defense Science Board, an independent advisory board, has been asked to review the idea of nuclear-tipped interceptors, said Cheryl Irwin, spokeswoman for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. "We're discussing different alternatives for the shooting down of 'incoming' by our interceptors," Irwin said. "As the president asked back in May and as the secretary of Defense has taken that and carried it through, we are looking at all sorts of technologies. And I think the key word here is 'looking at."' No decisions have been made to develop such weapons, and no programs are doing so, Irwin said. The science board is also looking at "directed energy" and "blast fragmentation" techniques for stopping enemy warheads, Irwin said. The review is part of the department's commitment to explore the most promising and cost-effective ways to defend the country, she said. The Missile Defense Agency may eventually locate live missile interceptors at Fort Greely, 100 miles southeast of Fairbanks.
A contract to build six test silos at the post should be announced next week. The agency has said it will store, not launch, missiles from the silos during the testing phase, unless the nation is attacked. The Washington Post reported the Defense Department's interest in nuclear-tipped interceptors on Thursday, quoting the science board's chairman, William Schneider Jr. Schneider, now a consultant, served as an undersecretary of state in the Reagan administration. He was a member, along with Rumsfeld, of a government commission that in 1998 concluded that ballistic missiles were a growing threat to the United States. The United States deployed nuclear-tipped interceptors in the 1970s around silos in North Dakota. The Post said the Defense Department dismantled those and canceled other nuclear-tipped interceptor development programs. Irwin, however, said she knows of no official policy that would prevent the department from developing such weapons again.
Stephen Young, a senior analyst for the Union of Concerned Scientists, said the department's interest confirms what his group has been saying for several years--that there is no good way to deal with enemy missiles that toss out confusing decoys or multiple bomblets containing biological or chemical weapons. "The nuclear interceptor solves that problem. You just blow them all out of the sky," Young said. To deal with all the potential threats, though, a large explosion would be needed, he said. The radioactive fallout and electromagnetic damage to satellites could be severe. Such effects still would be better than letting the incoming weapons drop into the United States, he said. However, "from our point of view, it's not likely enough a threat to justify the expense," he said. Daryll Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, said that's because anyone intent on delivering a weapon of mass destruction to the United States has far cheaper and more effective means than a missile.
Missile Defense Agency officials have said critics don't have all the information about how the U.S. interceptors can distinguish between warheads and decoys. And other missile defense supporters say the fact that someone could smuggle a nuclear, biological or chemical weapon into the United States doesn't justify ignoring the ballistic missile threat. Beyond such strategic arguments, Kimball said nuclear-tipped interceptors would violate the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which prohibits nuclear weapons in space. Young said he wasn't sure whether nuclear-tipped interceptors would violate that treaty because they wouldn't be stationed in space. However, he said, such interceptors would run counter to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, signed by the United States and about 160 other nations. The treaty says the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom will work to eliminate their nuclear weapons, he said. "If the U.S. is adding new roles for nuclear weapons in this new weapons system, that certainly contradicts the goals of the NNP Treaty," Young said.
NUCLEAR ARMS NOT PART OF PLAN, MISSILE DEFENSE OFFICIAL SAYS, Anchorage Daily News, April 18, 2002. Nuclear-tipped missiles are not part of the plan for the Missile Defense test range to be constructed in Alaska, the head of the Ballistic Missile Defense Agency told the U.S. Senate on Wednesday. Senator Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, said the prospect of missile interceptors bearing nuclear devices “has alarmed my people no end.” The Washington Post reported last week that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had encouraged the chairman of a senior advisory board to begin exploring the nuclear idea as part of an upcoming study of alternative approaches to intercepting enemy missiles. Stevens, at a Senate hearing Wednesday, said Congress hasn’t authorized nuclear-armed interceptors or appropriated any money for them. He asked Lt. Gen. Ronald Kadish, the head of the agency, whether any nuclear-tipped missiles are part of the plan for the pacific test bed.
“No, Senator. We have no part of our program that involves nuclear-tipped interceptors,” Kadish said. “However, people do think about those types of things across a broad range when you’re dealing with missile defense. “I hope whoever thought about it in the secretary of defense’s office is soon in a think tank,” Stevens said, adding that he’d fire the loose lips. “I’m serious,” Stevens added. “We should not have people thinking out loud on the job and speculating as to future possibilities when we’re dealing with the reality of trying to get a missile defense system.”
Pentagon officials have said they hope to have the system working at Fort Greely – 100 miles southeast of Fairbanks --- by October 2004. The military this week awarded a $250 million contract to Fluor Alaska Inc. to build the test bed facilities there. The government is also considering building a missile-defense radar system on Shemya Island. During the test phase, missiles would be stored at Fort Greely and shipped to Kodiak for launches.
The Pentagon experimented with nuclear-armed interceptors in the 1950’s and 1960’s according to the Washington Post. One of the appeals is that a nuclear-armed interceptor could blast a large area in the sky. It wouldn’t have to distinguish the real warhead among a cluster of decoys – one of the challenges in the existing test program. Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-California, said it’s unconscionable for the Defense Department to consider using nuclear-tipped interceptors that might drop radioactive material back to earth. “And if that is the case, I think that that really makes this whole national defense system just a reprehensible effort,” she said. According to Kadish, she has nothing to worry about, at least not at the moment.
“I’d like to make it clear, our primary technology right now that we’re having success with is hit-to-kill, which is pure collision, kinetic energy, the destruction mechanism,” he said. Steve Cleary, an organizer for the Alaska-based Citizens Opposed to Defense Experimentation, said members of his coalition worry that the Pentagon will start off using interceptors with conventional warheads and then quietly “upgrade” to nuclear. “Mostly what we are afraid of I missile defense, as it stands right now, will be a foot in the door,” he said. The Bush administration’s missile defense development programs are projected to cost about $46 billion over the next five years, and Bush’s 2003 budget proposal includes $6.7 billion for the effort. Bush announced last year that he was pulling the United States out of the 1972 ABM Treaty, which bans anti-missile systems. Russia and other countries criticized the move.
MISSILE DEFENSE DISCUSSION TONIGHT, Anchorage Daily News, April 18, 2002. Construction of new facilities in Kodiak that could lead to double launches of target or interceptor missies are among matters up for discussion tonight as officials from the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency hold a public meeting this evening in Anchorage. The scheduled three-hour session at the Egan Convention Center starting at 6 p.m. follows a similar session Tuesday in Kodiak. As in Kodiak, demonstrators are expected to protest the government plans before the meeting gets under way, then join the events inside. The two Alaska meetings, along with a third in Lompoc, California, next week, were forced by a lawsuit brought by environmental and anti-missile defense groups. They had challenged the government’s decision that a full environmental impact statement wasn’t necessary before test facilities were constructed at Kodiak and elsewhere around the Pacific. The lawsuit was settled last month when the Defense Department agreed to conduct a full environmental review of new missile defense tests and equipment at the Kodiak Launch Complex, Vandenberg Air Force Base, the government’s ballistic missile test site at Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, and its Kauai test facility in Hawaii.
Fort Greely in the Interior and Eareckson Air Station on Shemya Island in the Aleutians, where construction for test facilities is already under contract, are not part of the current environmental study. Army Lt. Col. Rick Lehner, spokesman for the Missile Defense Agency, said the current string of meetings is designed to determine the scope of the environmental study, not necessarily the precise issues. As such, the first part of the public meeting tonight will be a presentation of the government’s overall missile defense program, making it an ideal primer for interested Alaskans, Lehner said. The entire Pacific Basin from Alaska south to California and southwest to the tropics of the Marshall Islands is the “test bed” for missile defense – a huge scale effort to replicate actual conditions of a small-scale attack on the United States. On a theoretical level, military planners and scientists are considering a wide range of defensive weapons from ray-gun beams to nuclear-tipped interceptors that could stop an attack from the time of launch to near the point of impact.
But the actual planned tests involving Alaska re far more limited. Defense officials want to try to knock out warheads in mid-course by direct hits from missiles – collisions that take place at high altitudes over the ocean. The Army envisions launching both target and interceptor missiles from the Kodiak Launch Center, a state-owned facility originally built to launch commercial communications satellites into polar orbits. While the commercial industry has collapsed, the Department of defense is becoming a major client at the site. At the meeting Tuesday, “most of the questions we got were really about what the future would hold for Kodiak and how that relates to the launch process,” Lehner said. “I think some people were concerned that this was originally going to be a commercial facility, and all of a sudden the military was taking over, but that’s not the case. The more DoD uses it, the better it is for commercial users.
The State site will get the benefit of new range safety and tracking equipment, Lehner said. But some Kodiak residents came away from the meeting dissatisfied. Stacy Studebaker, spokeswoman for the Kodiak Rocket Launch Information Group, one of the plaintiffs in the environmental lawsuit against the government, said Lehner and others from the Pentagon tried to “orchestrate” the meeting and prevent a wide ranging discussion and a complete airing of issues. “They were trying to shuttle us off to another room to write our comments down on a piece of paper, rather than have a meaningful dialogue,” Studebaker said. Lehner said the time for intensive public reaction would be when the draft environmental statement is completed in the fall and is made the subject of hearings. Among the concerns in Kodiak are the safety of missile launches, and what would happen to the rich fisheries if a launch must be aborted and the rocket destroyed shortly after liftoff, scattering unburned fuel and other materials. Studebaker said she’d like to see the Army agree to a citizen’s advisory council that would provide oversight for the tests, similar to the oil shipping panels in Prince William Sound and Cook Inlet.
PENTAGON UNVEILS COMMAND CHANGES, Washington Post, April 18, 2002. Responding to the unprecedented terrorist attack on the nation last September, the Pentagon Wednesday unveiled a new organizational structure that creates for the first time a command charged with defending the contiguous United States. Defense officials have discussed the plan to establish the Northern Command frequently in recent months, but some of the details, such as the location of its headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base, outside Colorado Springs, Colorado had not been divulged. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld hailed the reorganization as “undoubtedly the most significant reform of our nation’s military command structure” in more than 50 years. Before last September’s attacks, he said, the U.S. military was almost entirely focused on countering distant threats, not on defending the homeland. “The Pentagon’s job had been to look out, not to look at internal threats, but to look outside,” he told reporters at the Pentagon. “So our radars were pointed out, our eyes were looking out, and the people looking here were the state and local law enforcement officials, the FBI, the various first responders.”
In addition to supporting civilian authorities, the Northern Command will have responsibility for defending the airspace and coasts of the United States. But it has not been determined which forces, if any, will be assigned to it on a permanent basis, said Pentagon officials who briefed reporters on details of the planned changes. The new command also is assigned responsibility for coordinating military relations with Canada and Mexico. Until now, the neighbors had not been assigned to any single U.S. military headquarters. As reported previously, Air Force Gen. Ralph Eberhart, the chief of the U.S. Space Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, has been chosen to head the Northern Command.
MISSILE DEFENCE CONSTRUCTION TO START IN ALASKA, Deutsche Presse-Agentur Construction on a rudimentary missile defence site will begin soon in Alaska, with the testing site to be operational by October 2004. . . . The Army's Corps of Engineers issued a 250-million-dollar contract late Tuesday for construction of a missile interceptor test bed at Fort Greely, Alaska, and a smaller installation on Shemya Island at the tip of the Aleutian island chain. . . . The two facilities are designed to allow the Pentagon's Missile Defence Agency to conduct sophisticated tests of a ground-based interceptor missile. . . . Initial construction on the exterior of four buildings at Fort Greely is to be completed by October, allowing interior construction to continue through the winter.
MDA CONSIDERING BUILDING X-BAND RADAR, Aerospace Daily The MDA is considering whether it should build an X-band radar, and, if so, where to put it, according to MDA’s director, Air Force Lt. Gen. Ronald Kadish. The only X-band radar now used by MDA is a prototype on the Kwajalein Atoll. . . . It is not considered powerful enough to collect all the information the Ground-based Midcourse (GMD) program . . .will need to track targets. MDA is evaluating several possible sites for a new X-band radar, including Shemya Island in Alaska, the Hawaiian Islands area, and a sea-based platform. . . . For now, in place of a new X-band radar, the less capable Cobra Dane radar at Shemya Island will be used for the Pacific test bed MDA is building.
GLOBAL NEWS BREAKS #7
PENTAGON OPTIMISTIC ABOUT MISSILE SHIELD, New York Times, April 15, 2002. Buoyed by four successful missile defense tests in a row, senior Pentagon officials . . . say, they have much greater confidence that their main antimissile technology, known as hit-to-kill, has turned a developmental corner. They say they are on track to open a working ballistic missile defense site . . . at Fort Greely, Alaska, by October 2004. It is becoming increasingly clear and we are becoming increasingly confident that we will be able to make hit-to-kill work reliably enough to be effective," Lt. Gen. Ronald T. Kadish of the Air Force, who leads the Pentagon's MDA, said in an interview. The administration is preparing to withdraw in June from the 1972 ABM Treaty, which prohibits development of missile defense systems. . . General Kadish said the MDA intended to take immediate advantage of the treaty's withdrawal by . . . using ship-based radar to track the interceptor and target missiles, part of the Pentagon's efforts to adapt Aegis cruisers to shoot down ballistic missiles. The Pentagon had planned a similar test last fall but postponed it when lawyers concluded that using ship-based radar violated the treaty. "The treaty withdrawal will mean an awful lot to us," General Kadish said. . . .The administration plans to start work this summer on a small missile defense base at Fort Greely, near Fairbanks, that would house five missile interceptors. Though initially intended for testing, the site could be used to defend the United States against a missile attack, the Pentagon says. "Once you have that built, then there's an inherent capability there for whatever use the country might need of it at the time," General Kadish said. . . . the Pentagon is also pouring billions of dollars into an array of alternatives, trying to create what Mr. Bush has called a "layered" system capable of shooting down missiles at different stages of flight. That system is outlined in a secret Pentagon document, the Nuclear Posture Review, which calls for building a "near-term emergency" missile defense system between 2003 and 2008. . . . General Kadish said the Pentagon had no plans to build nuclear-tipped interceptors, which were used in an old antimissile system, Safeguard, which was dismantled in the mid-1970's. "Sometimes brute force can be useful," he added. "We don't rule out anything long term."
SPACE BASED SURVIVORS, Defense Daily, Defense Watch], April 15, 2002. Either the Space Based Laser or the kinetic kill boost vehicle program will survive, but probably not both, says Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. “At this point, we are not certain which of these programs will work best,” he says. “But, we think that pursuing both will help us reach our goal faster – success in one will inform the other.” However, as the programs progress, he adds, “it is very likely that one of these programs will not survive.” He points to the Navy Area program as an example of a program reaching a dead end. “When it becomes clear we have reached a dead end we must be willing to cut a program, take what we have gained, and redirect our energy and efforts in more potentially productive directions.
DEFENSE ACQUISITION PROGRAMS INCREASE BY $133 BILLION, Aerospace Daily, April 15, 2002. The Defense Department’s major defense acquisition programs logged a net cost increase of about $133 billion, or 18 percent, for the last reporting period, according to the Pentagon.. . . . Programs experiencing large cost growth unrelated to increased quantities [include] . . . The SBIRS High system, with an increase of 66.6 percent. While cost increases are not new to major defense acquisition programs, E. C. “Pete” Aldridge, Jr. the undersecretary of defense for acquisition technology, and logistics, has made a point of promising action against over budget programs. Last year, he canceled the Navy Area Missile Defense program after its large cost increase placed it in violation of the Nunn-McCurdy Act. The Navy Area cancellation should send “a clear message” that the Pentagon is serious about keeping cost growth under control, he said. . . . The Pentagon previously has confirmed that the SBIRS High program is undergoing Nunn-McCurdy certification. . . . The Selected Acquisition Report (SAR) included a number of programs being reported on for the first time, including the ballistic missile defense system . . .which includes costs for the Ground Based Midcourse system, the Airborne Laser, Navy Theater Wide, and SBIRS Low, is reported to have developmental costs of approximately $47 billion. Because the program has not entered production, the SAR does not provide acquisition costs for the system.
CEBROWSKI: JOINT PHILOSOPHY FOSTERS NETWORK CENTRIC WARFARE, Defense Daily, April 12, 2002. The Pentagon may need to change the way it approaches "jointness" in military operations to embrace what has become a new theory of war: network centricity, according to retired Vice Adm. Arthur Cebrowski, director of DoD's Office of Force Transformation. . . . Our methodology has been [based on asking] why don't we have convergence of effort, interoperability of systems and interoperability of operations so that we can be joint? Maybe that is backwards," Cebrowski [said]. "Maybe what we need to do is to be joint. . . . The concept of network centric warfare involves maximizing the combat power of weapon systems through a networked communications architecture. The idea stresses information dominance, enabled by the intelligent use of information technology to link sensors, weapons and platforms to a fully integrated and joint command and control center, he said.
NUCLEAR TEMPTATION IN JAPAN, International Herald Tribune, [opinion, Robyn Lim, professor of international relations, Nanzan University], April 15, 2002. A leading Japanese opposition politician, Ozawa Ichiro, said recently that Beijing's bullying could provoke Japan into producing thousands of nuclear warheads. . . . This results from an increasing sense of insecurity. China is a rising great power with an assertive, authoritarian government. That makes Japan nervous. In particular, Chinese and North Korean missiles targeted on Japan are starting to destabilize the region. Japan knows that China can build missiles faster than the United States can build missile defenses to protect Japan and American bases here. . . . The main reason that Japan is feeling less secure is the worry that holes might appear in the American nuclear umbrella. In the Cold War, "extended deterrence" worked because Japan and the Soviet Union believed that in a crisis the United States would indeed risk New York for Tokyo. That was because Japan's security was a vital U.S. interest. Without bases in Japan, America could not bring nuclear and maritime power to bear on the Soviet Far East. . . . Today, U.S. and Japanese strategic interests are not quite as congruent as they used to be. America's strategic options have widened. Now Washington has the option of playing off Japan against China to maintain a balance of power in East Asia. This is a tactic long recommended by Henry Kissinger.
TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 2002
MOSCOW ABM SYSTEM, Moscow Times, April 16, 2002. A retired Space Forces general said Monday that the Soviet-built anti-ballistic missile defense system around Moscow has become obsolete and cannot efficiently serve its purpose, Interfax reported. Retired Lieutenant-General Anatoly Sokolov, who previously served as a top commander with the nation's Space Forces, said the A-135 system, the only such system in the world, should be scrapped, Interfax reported. "It makes no sense to maintain a dying system, as the existing anti-missile defense is unable to provide efficient protection of the area, let alone the entire country," Sokolov said.
BOARD SAYS MISSILE DEFENSE WOULD CONSIDER NUCLEAR-TIP INTERCEPTORS, The Associated Press, April 14, 2002. A Department of Defense advisory board is reviewing whether a national missile defense system should be equipped with nuclear-tipped interceptors. The Defense Science Board, an independent advisory board, has been asked to review the idea of nuclear-tipped interceptors, said Cheryl Irwin, spokeswoman for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. "We're discussing different alternatives for the shooting down of 'incoming' by our interceptors," Irwin told the Washington, D.C. bureau of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. "As the president asked back in May and as the secretary of Defense has taken that and carried it through, we are looking at all sorts of technologies. And I think the key word here is 'looking at."' No decisions have been made to develop such weapons, and no programs are doing so, Irwin said. Critics of the missile defense system say the review is evidence that the military is not confident about its current "hit-to-kill" approach to stopping incoming missiles. Nuclear-tipped missiles also would violate at least one treaty, an arms control activist said. The science board is also looking at "directed energy" and "blast fragmentation" techniques for stopping enemy warheads, Irwin said.
The review is part of the department's commitment to explore the most promising and cost-effective ways to defend the country, she said. The Missile Defense Agency may eventually locate live missile interceptors at Fort Greely, 100 miles southeast of Fairbanks. A contract to build six test silos at the post may be announced this week. The agency has said it will store, not launch, missiles from the silos during the testing phase, unless the nation is attacked. The science board's chairman, William Schneider Jr., now a consultant, served as an undersecretary of state in the Reagan administration. He was a member, along with Rumsfeld, of a government commission that in 1998 concluded that ballistic missiles were a growing threat to the United States. The United States deployed nuclear-tipped interceptors in the 1970s around silos in North Dakota. Irwin said she knows of no official policy that would prevent the department from developing such weapons again. Stephen Young, a senior analyst for the Union of Concerned Scientists, said the department's interest confirms what his group has been saying for several years - that there is no good way to deal with enemy missiles that toss out confusing decoys or multiple bomblets containing biological or chemical weapons. "The nuclear interceptor solves that problem. You just blow them all out of the sky," Young said. To deal with all the potential threats, though, a large explosion would be needed, he said. The radioactive fallout and electromagnetic damage to satellites could be severe. Such effects still would be better than letting the incoming weapons drop into the United States, he said.
However, "from our point of view, it's not likely enough a threat to justify the expense," he said. Daryll Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, said that's because anyone intent on delivering a weapon of mass destruction to the United States has far cheaper and more effective means than a missile. Missile Defense Agency officials have said critics do not have all the information about how the U.S. interceptors can distinguish between warheads and decoys. Other missile defense supporters say the possibility that someone could smuggle a nuclear, biological or chemical weapon into the United States does not justify ignoring the ballistic missile threat. Beyond such strategic arguments, Kimball said, nuclear-tipped interceptors would violate the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which prohibits nuclear weapons in space. Young said he was not sure whether nuclear-tipped interceptors would violate that treaty because they would not be stationed in space. However, he said, such interceptors would run counter to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, signed by the United States and about 160 other nations. The treaty says the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom will work to eliminate their nuclear weapons, he said. "If the U.S. is adding new roles for nuclear weapons in this new weapons system, that certainly contradicts the goals of the NNP Treaty," Young said.
OFF TO THE ARMS RACE, The San Francisco Chronicle, Editorial, April 16, 2002. The United States is quietly preparing to withdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Treaty that prohibits the development of missile defense systems. By the fall of 2004, Pentagon officials expect to open the first missile shield site in Alaska. Critics of the Star Wars program are rightly disturbed by our nation's unilateral withdrawal from a treaty that successfully slowed the Cold War arms race between the Soviet Union and the United States and prevented both superpowers from militarizing outer space. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, however, has long championed an offensive space-based military, which defensive missile defense technology will make feasible. By abrogating the ABM treaty, the United States risks igniting a space-based arms race, as well as damaging its international credibility. Protests from Russia, China and the European Union have been largely ignored. On April 5, an international conference on disarmament, held in Beijing, called upon the international community to act immediately to prevent weapons from being used in outer space. Officials and experts from 20 countries criticized the United States for violating a 1967 treaty that prohibits the militarization of outer space and for withdrawing from the ABM treaty. So far, our country has spent an estimated $60 billion on developing anti-missile technology. Yet last March, the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress, confirmed allegations that poorly-designed scientific analyses accounted for some of the technological successes claimed by Pentagon officials. This year, the Pentagon will spend an additional $8 billion on Star Wars. Yet, as the world has sadly learned, neither a missile shield nor space-based weapons can protect civilians from a suicide bomber or a plane turned into a weapon of mass destruction.
The last of the so-called Greenpeace 17 -- activists and journalists arrested in California last summer during a protest against the "Star Wars" missile defence system - walked out of court free yesterday as the presiding judge decided that none of them deserved to go to jail. The last six defendants who appeared in federal court in Los Angeles, including the British freelance photographer Steve Morgan and his Spanish video colleague Jorge Torres, were either set free unconditionally or given probationary sentences of up to three years. Two others were let go last Friday, the remaining nine were set free in an earlier batch of sentencing hearings in January. Mr Morgan, 43, was given one year's probation. Mr Torres, who is seeking US citizenship, made a special plea with the judge not to compromise his chances of becoming an American. He was sentenced only to time served for the six days all the defendants spent behind bars immediately after their arrest last July. Their two cases had raised eyebrows because the two men argued they were not part of the protest at all, merely journalists. The prosecution saw them as protesters….
MDA TO UNVEIL SBIRS LOW RESTRUCTURE, NAME TRW PRIME CONTRACTOR, Inside the Pentagon, April 17, 2002. The Missile Defense Agency is expected soon to announce plans to restructure the Space Based Infrared System Low program and consolidate competitors working on the space-based missile tracking system under TRW's leadership, according to industry and defense officials. A TRW-Raytheon team and Spectrum Astro-Northrop Grumman team have been competing in a risk-reduction phase since last year. MDA's new approach will realign TRW's chief prime contractor competitor, Spectrum Astro, under its purview as subcontractor on the multibillion-dollar effort, according to defense and industry sources. The agency is expected to continue competition between Northrop Grumman and Raytheon for the mission data processor, one source said. The value of the new contracting arrangement was unknown at press time, and a TRW spokesman declined to comment on the effort. The deal is expected to be very lucrative for TRW, though. While requirements for the system are not firm, notional architectures have included between 18 and 24 satellites in low-Earth orbit that are capable of identifying and tracking intercontinental ballistic missiles in their midcourse. SBIRS Low would also be able to collect technical intelligence and space surveillance and discriminate between decoys and warheads…. If the SBIRS Low team is successful, the system would be the only one capable of continuously tracking a missile in midcourse, as it travels through space to a target….
The Pentagon has completed the restructure of the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Low program, bringing the competing contractors together on one team headed by TRW, industry and DoD officials said. The SBIRS Low plan presented by Air Force Lt. Gen. Ronald Kadish, director of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), and approved by DoD acquisition chief Pete Aldridge makes TRW the lead of the program with Spectrum Astro and Northrop Grumman as subcontractors, officials said. Kadish is expected to provide more detail on the restructuring at a hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee defense panel this morning, officials said. A TRW- Raytheon team had been competing against a Spectrum Astro-Northrop Grumman- Lockheed Martin - Boeing team for SBIRS Low. Northrop Grumman, due to its purchase of the electronics and information systems business unit of Aerojet, also was participating to a lesser extent on the TRW-Raytheon team. The restructuring plan keeps some competition in place among the contractors, officials said. Under the plan, the payload and mission data processor components of the system would be competed, officials said. That competition would likely be between Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, they added…. The Pentagon, with the release of its FY '03 budget, slipped the SBIRS Low program two years, leaving the fate of the program uncertain. The system was planned to add 20 to 30 satellites in low earth orbit to provide mid-course missile tracking. SBIRS Low and Lockheed Martin's SBIRS High, which is also under review, came under intense criticism during the congressional markup of the FY '02 defense budget. Lawmakers revealed that both efforts were suffering significant cost overruns, schedule slips and technical challenges. The contractors have tried to rebut those allegations for the past several months. Aldridge said he wanted to be sure when he reported to Congress on the restructured SBIRS Low program, he would be able to deliver the system on cost and schedule. He is expected to notify Congress early next month on the future of SBIRS High.
SBIRS HIGH FACES CRITICAL REVIEW, Space News, April 16, 2002. The next generation U.S. missile warning satellite program faces a critical milestone April 26 when it comes up for certification for continued funding amid massive cost growth and schedule delays that have made it a candidate for termination. The Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) High missile warning system will be reviewed by the Pentagon’s acquisition czar as required by a law known as the Nunn-McCurdy provision. Under that 1982 provision, Pentagon programs whose costs grow by 25 percent or more must be certified for continuation based on several criteria. The certification criteria include the lack of a credible alternative and changes that enable program managers to contain costs. If SBIRS High is not certified by Edward "Pete" Aldridge, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, the program’s funding would be cut off. Aldridge is slated to be briefed on the program April 26 and make a decision in early May, according to Pentagon and industry officials.
The Senate Armed Services Committee, in its upcoming markup of the FY '03 Defense Authorization Bill, will try to trim close to $1 billion from the ballistic missile defense program and include language to limit development, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said yesterday. SASC Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.), who tried to cut close to $1 billion from missile defense last year, will take similar action this year, Kyl said at a breakfast sponsored by the National Defense University Foundation. While the cuts and restrictive language likely will be included in the SASC version of the bill, there will be somewhat of an opportunity to make changes when the bill comes before the full Senate, Kyl noted. Kyl, a key proponent of missile defense in the Senate, sits on the
Senate Appropriations Committee defense panel, which last year was more supportive of the program than SASC. The U.S. withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty with Russia, which goes into effect mid-June, will be a key driver in Senate Democrats moves to cut missile defense in the bill, Kyl noted. "We've not yet had a debate on the president's decision to withdraw from the treaty--my message today is get ready for that
debate," Kyl said. This debate, he predicted, will take place in Congress at the same time the key defense panels are marking up their versions of the FY '03 spending bills. And, the "advocates of the status quo" who are opposed to U.S. withdrawal will argue that Congress must officially weigh in on any withdrawal decision and that they were not given that opportunity to do so, he said. In addition, there will be arguments regarding the
cost of missile defenses, he said. "The debate on the treaty withdrawal will manifest itself in how to proceed with missile defense," Kyl said. However, Kyl said outside pressure and support for the President Bush could influence the outcome of the SASC bill. For example, last year Levin agreed to restore the missile defense funds after the events of Sept. 11 so that he would not appear to be out of step with the administration, Kyl said. "The American people strongly support the president and strongly support missile defense," Kyl said.
THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2002
TRW REJECTS NORTHROP'S HIGHER BID, HOLDS OUT FOR AN EVEN SWEETER DEAL, Wall Street Journal, April 18, 2002. TRW Inc. rejected Northrop Grumman Corp.'s sweetened $6.68 billion hostile bid but put itself up for sale, betting that fast growth in its defense businesses and an anticipated recovery in its automotive and aerospace operations will attract a bevy of buyers eager to pay an even higher price. The TRW board's decision to entertain higher offers comes at a crucial time in the two-month-old takeover battle between the two defense companies. With TRW shareholders scheduled to hold an important vote on Northrop's bid Monday, both companies made fresh pitches to win the support of investors while filing court actions against each other over the timing of the meeting. Still, the move could open the door for Northrop to negotiate a friendly acquisition that would expand the defense giant's operations into the lucrative areas of military satellites and missile defense. Northrop executives expressed "cautious optimism" about the possibility of reviewing TRW's internal financial records to see if the company is worth more than Northrop's current $53-a-share bid in stock. Indeed, Northrop executives immediately tried to start that process, asking TRW to provide the terms of a confidentiality agreement. TRW officials said the company's board decided in a late Tuesday meeting to review all strategic options because of numerous "expressions of interest" from potential buyers. But Wall Street investment bankers and industry executives suggested that suitors more likely would seek to buy TRW's military or aerospace businesses, not the entire company. Indeed, no rival bidder stepped forward after Northrop made its initial overture for TRW in February. Plus, defense-industry executives have cited TRW's lagging auto-parts business and its potential related asbestos liabilities as deterrents. "We've got a very good position in areas like missile defense, telecommunications, connectivity -- all the transformation buzz words that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is using," said TRW's acting chairman, Phil Odeen. "We've had a number of inquiries from companies that said they'd be interested in a possible transaction." Even as it opens the door to bidders, TRW said it will continue with its own restructuring plan to sell the aerospace-parts business, which has about $1.1 billion in annual revenue, and split itself into two separate companies -- one defense, one auto -- by year end….
TAIWAN TO PROPOSE BUYING PATRIOT III MISSILES FROM U.S., Agence France Presse, April 18, 2002. Taiwan is to seek to buy Patriot III missiles from the United States to boost its defense capability amid military threats from China, the United Daily News reported Thursday. Military authorities in Taiwan and the US had reached a consensus for a request from Taipei to buy the weaponry produced by US-based Raytheon Company, it said. The new missiles would be deployed in central and southern Taiwan, the paper said…. Taiwan is striving to beef up its missile capability in a bid to fend off threats from China, which reportedly has at least 300 ballistic missiles stationed along its southeast coast targeting the island….
U.S. MILITARY COMMANDER WARNS OF CROSS-STRAIT ARMS RACE, Agence France Presse, April 18, 2002. China's growing weaponry targeting Taiwan will eventually force the US to consider boosting the island's missile defences, the top US Asia-Pacific military commander said Thursday. "China is continuing to deploy, and in fact has accelerated its deployment of missiles which range Taiwan -- these missiles can cause a great deal of destruction," said Admiral Dennis Blair, commander in chief of the US Pacific Command. Blair…said if unchecked there would come a time when the Chinese arsenal was powerful enough to breach Taiwan's defences. "At that time I'm sure there will be consideration of missile defences," he said…. For now, said Blair, China's capabilities cannot yet make a decisive military difference. But if Beijing presses ahead with new deployments, it will only fuel an arms race. "We will have the same basic military situation at a higher and higher level of armament," he said. China is thought to have at least 300 ballistic missiles trained on Taiwan along its southeast coast, and the island's defence ministry estimates the number could reach 800 by 2006….
TELEMETRY GLITCH DELAYS PAC-3 MULTIPLE SHOT TEST, Defense Daily, April 16, 2002. The Army and Missile Defense Agency (MDA) postponed a multiple engagement flight test of the Lockheed Martin Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) missile over the weekend due to a telemetry problem, according to an MDA spokeswoman. The test [postponement] was due to “a telemetry problem, which I think is a range problem,” said Alicia Garges, a spokeswoman for MDA. Garges said she was unsure when the problem was identified and when the decision was made to postpone the test. The test may be rescheduled for later this month, she noted. During the test scenario, a PAC-3 is slated to fly against a Storm II target. The Storm II booster is a surplus Minuteman II second stage booster and the reentry vehicle is a surplus Pershing II reentry vehicle. Integration of the booster and reentry vehicle and development of new hardware and software was performed by Orbital Sciences. Also, during the test a second PAC-3 is to fly against a modified Raytheon Patriot missile simulating a short-range theater ballistic missile, Garges said. Last month, the Army and MDA reported a successful PAC-3 test. In that multiple engagement test at White Sands missile range…a PAC-3 hit a Hera target provided by L-3 Communications. At the same time a Raytheon PAC-2 intercepted a Raytheon MQM-107 subscale drone aircraft.
SATELLITE CONTRACT AWARDED TO TRW, Los Angeles Times, April 19, 2002. TRW Inc. said Thursday that its space and electronics unit in Redondo Beach has been picked to oversee development of a satellite-based ballistic missile tracking system that is expected to cost at least $6 billion over the next decade. TRW was named the prime contractor for the Pentagon's Space Based Infrared System Low program, with responsibility to build a constellation of satellites that would be able to track enemy intercontinental ballistic missiles. TRW said it signed an initial contract worth $665 million with the Pentagon's MDA. The agency has forwarded a budget request of $3.63 billion to Congress for the program for FY03 through FY07. The system, which could include up to 24 satellites, is expected to eventually cost more than $6 billion. The program is a key component of the nation's missile defense effort, and the latest decision reinforces the region's continuing dominance in the research and development of missile defense technologies. TRW officials said it had not decided on the roles for the subcontractors, although Raytheon and Northrop will continue to compete on developing infrared sensors for satellites.
NEW SBIRS LOW PROGRAM SLATED TO BOOST INITIAL SATELLITES IN 2006, Defense Daily, April 19, 2002. The restructured Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Low program aims to launch up to two satellites in the 2006-07 timeframe as the first step in establishing an initial block of the ballistic missile early warning capability, Missile Defense Agency (MDA) officials reported yesterday. MDA intends to use the flight hardware developed so far in the program for the first satellite, a Raytheon-built payload, slated for that first 2006 launch. The Pentagon yesterday awarded a $665 million contract to TRW for SBIRS Low research and development. The restructured SBIRS Low plan places TRW in the lead of an industry team with Spectrum Astro and Northrop Grumman and Raytheon as subcontractors (Defense Daily, April 17). Northrop Grumman and Raytheon will continue to compete to provide the SBIRS Low payloads as the program progresses. A "capabilities-based" restructured program allows MDA to get an initial satellite capability on orbit for testing to determine how a SBIRS infrared capability performs and then transition those lessons learned into the future satellite development, [an MDA] official noted. And, as the program is tied into the overall ballistic missile defense architecture plan, MDA will make decisions on the correct mix of space-based and ground-based sensors, the official noted. "One of the benefits of what we are doing with this structure is we are bringing the best ideas from all the contractors now into this combined team," the MDA official said.
ANTI-MISSILE INTERCEPTORS WON'T CARRY NUCLEAR EXPLOSIVES, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, April 18, 2002. Defense Department has no plans to arm anti-missile interceptors with nuclear explosives, the head of the Missile Defense Agency told senators Wednesday. Two senators on the panel-- Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Ted Stevens (R-AK)--objected to the idea, saying using nuclear explosives in anti-missile systems would be unacceptable. The Missile Defense Agency plans to build silos for missile interceptors at Fort Greely, 100 miles south of Fairbanks. It is also considering building a missile defense radar system at Shemya in the Aleutians.
SENATE APPROPRIATORS TOLD THAT ANTI-MISSILE DOLLARS WILL PAY OFF, CQ Monitor News, April 17, 2002. The head of the Pentagon’s MDA assured Senate appropriators Wednesday that the national anti-missile system is taking shape on schedule. And he pressed the case for an $8.3 billion appropriation in FY03, the same amount appropriated in FY02. Congress is expected to hit that mark. . . . . Senators posed few tough questions to Lt. Gen. Ronald T. Kadish during a hearing before the Appropriations Defense Subcommittee. Among Republicans, Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-NM), voiced the most concerns . . . asking how he could justify to his constituents that no system is in place despite the $73.5 billion that has been spent on missile defense since 1985. Kadish argued that significant amounts of time and money were necessary for such an unprecedented program. "We can argue about whether we should have gotten there earlier," he said. "But the investment is paying off." Democrats have long been skeptical of missile defense, but those concerns were muted Wednesday. Chairman Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI) opened the hearing by expressing strong support for missile defense. . . . Many Democrats are not sure how to attack missile defense this year as legislators prepare to consider the defense authorization and appropriations bills.