Sweet Home Alabama

August 21, 2006

This past week, the State of the Union address for missile defense came out of Huntsville, Alabama at the Ninth Annual Space and Missile Defense Conference-home to the largest support infrastructure for developing and deploying missile defense in our country. Missile Defense leaders such as Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, General Kevin P. Chilton, Air Force Space Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Lt. General Larry J. Dodgen Commanding General of United States Army Space and Missile Defense Command, Lt. General Trey Obering, Director of the Missile Defense Agency, Rear Admiral Alan B. Hicks Commander and Program Director for Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense, and many other acting United States decision makers briefed on the current status of missile defense. MDAA was present at the conference to be educated and participate in a Huntsville MDAA Breakfast of Champions.

Highlights of the pertinent information gathered from these briefings are as follows:

  • Threat

Proliferation of short-and medium-range missiles exponentially growing annually which inevitably leads to increased vulnerability of continental Europe, Japan and South Korea. Hezbollah missile attacks of 4,288 missiles fired into Israel through August 13, 2006 displaying a tactic of multiple launches (salvo) instead of single missile firings and a relatively low success rate of 23% of the missiles hitting potential targets. Both of these results have an effect on future missile defense as our systems should not be designed for single missile firings and we should deploy systems that focus our limited defensive missiles on those offensive missiles that are successfully targeted rather then every missile launched.

  • Missile Defense Deployment of Interceptors

At the end of 2006, the United States will have: 10-13 Ground Based Interceptors (GBI) in Alaska and California for long-range ballistic missiles. 9-14 Sea Based Interceptors (SM-3) for short to medium range ballistic missiles. Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) batteries for short to medium range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles. Patriot Advanced Capability 2 (PAC-2) batteries for short range ballistic and cruise missiles.

  • Future Development

Concurrent test and operation of the missile defense system. Development to keep missile defense fully operational while performing realistic operational testing. Third site in Central Europe: Needed for protection of the European population and continent from Medium, Intermediate and Long Range Missile Threats from the Middle East. Needed for the protection of the United States population from a Long Range missile threat from the Middle East. Third Site would include 10 Ground Based Interceptors, one ground based radar and up to two transportable forward-deployed radars. If started in 2007, missile defense site would begin operations by the end of 2011; the cost is estimated at approximately $1.7 billion. Boost Phase Capability. Kinetic Energy Interceptor and Airborne Laser. Intercept Tests in 2008 for both of these boost-phase systems. Space Development. National debate needed on future missile defense capability in space. Future Homeland and National Security Synergy. Merging of Cruise Missile and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles defense development into the Missile Defense Agency. Merging of technology necessary to counter short-range rockets, artillery and mortars into the Missile Defense Agency. The future of Missile Defense, its capability, reliability, research and future development depends on the breadth and strength of the community and surrounding areas of Huntsville, Alabama. “22 Missile Defense intercepts since 2001″

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