Posted by Rick Rozoff
U.S. Department of Defense
March 18, 2015
Missile Agency Director: Budget Request Supports Development
By Claudette Roulo
WASHINGTON: The Missile Defense Agency’s fiscal year 2016 budget request continues the development of defenses for the nation, deployed forces and allies and international partners against increasingly capable ballistic missile threats, the agency’s director told Congress today.
Navy Vice Adm. James D. Syring told members of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee that the $8.127 billion request will also continue his agency’s support of the needs of warfighters and combatant commanders.
The agency’s budget request maintains its commitment to operate and sustain national defenses, he said, including the planned deployment of ground-based interceptors: 40 to Fort Greely, Alaska, and four to Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, for a total of 44 by the end of 2017.
Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle
In June, the CE-II Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle successfully intercepted an intermediate-range ballistic missile target. The demonstration proved that earlier vibration problems affecting the system’s inertial measurement unit have been overcome, Syring said.
The EKV is the heart of the ground-based midcourse defense, or GMD, interceptor program, which uses land-based missiles to intercept ballistic missiles before they reenter the atmosphere. Tracking begins in the boost phase, and uses data from numerous long-range sensors — including satellites, early-warning radars and the sea-based X-band radar.
“Our budget request this year will support test requirements as we continue to enhance our stockpile reliability program and undertake component aging testing,” Syring said.
The $1.76 billion request for GMD is an increase of $613 million from fiscal 15, but it supports an expanded deployment of interceptors, flight testing, research and development and software and system upgrades.
Testing for 2016 includes a nonintercept flight test to evaluate alternate thrusters intended to divert the vehicle as it refines the target flight path, he said, as well as to support algorithm development for better target discrimination.
“In the following year, we will attempt to intercept an [intercontinental ballistic missile] target for the first time,” Syring said.
“We will also continue development for the redesigned kill vehicle … for improved reliability, availability, performance and producibility,” he added.
According to the agency’s fiscal year 2015 budget overview, the redesigned kill vehicle will be built with a modular, open architecture and designed with common interfaces and standards to make upgrades easier and broaden the vendor and supplier base.
“The first flight test of the [redesigned kill vehicle] is planned in 2018, with an intercept test in 2019 and initial deployment then in 2020,” the admiral said.
Long-range Discrimination Radar
Technical trade studies are complete for the long-range discrimination radar, Syring said. The radar will be used for midcourse tracking and will provide persistent coverage and improved target discrimination.
Requirements have been defined and acquisition planning and pre-construction activities are starting, he said, noting, “We anticipate contract award for the development, deployment and the initial operation of the LRDR before the end of [fiscal] 2015.”
“Our [fiscal 2016] budget continues the development and deployment of short-, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles,” the admiral said.
“Phases 2 and 3 of the European Phased Adaptive Approach are on schedule, and we will expand the Phase 1 protection of our European NATO allies against attacks from Middle East,” he continued.
Phases 2 and 3 of the EPAA include the deployment of Standard Missile-3 Block IB’s on ships and at Aegis Ashore sites in Romania in 2015 and in Poland in 2018 and, also in 2018, the deployment of SM-3 Block IIA missiles.
“We plan to procure 209 SM-3 [Block] IB’s by the end of 2016 and will be requesting multiyear procurement authorization,” he told the subcommittee.
“In support of EPAA Phase 3 … [the agency] is codeveloping the SM-3 [Block] IIA missile with the government of Japan, and upgrading the Aegis [ballistic missile defense] weapons system to increase the defended area and the probability of defeating larger and more complex threats,” Syring said.
“We also plan to deliver 48 additional [Terminal High Altitude Area Defense] interceptors to the Army, for a total of 155 delivered by 2016 to support the THAAD battery deployment, based on warfighter demand and operational need,” the admiral added.
Research and Investment
Advanced technology research and development is critical to addressing gaps in the ballistic missile defense system, he said.
“It is vital we continue to provide the warfighters the most advanced, cost-effective and reliable weapons systems they need to do their jobs,” Syring said.
These investments will help the agency deploy a future ballistic missile defense architecture that is more capable of “discriminating and killing reentry vehicles with a high degree of confidence,” the admiral said.
MDA’s budget request balances investment in national and regional missile defense capabilities while pursuing advanced technology to outpace the emerging threat, he said.
“MDA will continue to aggressively pursue cost-reduction measures through competition, partnering and cooperation, as we deliver the best missile defense capabilities to protect our nation, our deployed forces, and our friends and allies at the lowest cost to the American taxpayer,” Syring said.