“I am Uneasy About it Frankly”

April 26, 2012

Dear Members and Friends,

Yesterday, the United States House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces that oversees our Nation’s Missile Defense released its legislative direction for Fiscal Year 2013 Strategic Forces Subcommittee Mark and the United States Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces held its annual hearing on ballistic missile defense policies and programs: Hearing Webcast. We have provided the links for your information and education.

The ‘Mark’ put forward by the United States House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces is the lead for authorizing the funding by the House Appropriations Committee. The United States Senate follows the same procedure and then conferences with the House to provide a joint agreement that will be given with the entire defense bill for 2013 to the President of the United States for approval.

Highlights of the House ‘Mark’

– U.S. Homeland Defense

  • Requirement to have the Sea-Based X-Band Radar be able to be deployed within 14 days and for at least 60 days a year.
  • Requirement for a Ground Based Interceptor with the older Kill Vehicle to test against a ICBM Target by the end of 2013.
  • Requirement for a test plan to ensure that there at least three flight tests every two years.
  • Requirement for a plan for the development of a United States East Coast missile defense site to be deployed by 2015.
  • Requirement for a plan to improve discrimination and kill assessment of the GBI by December 31st, 2012.
  • Limit expenditure of funds for the Precision Tracking Space System until a contract is signed for an analysis of alternatives that would include improving homeland missile defense.

– Regional Missile Defense

  • Requirement to acquire two AN/TPY-2 radars by 2013, one that was requested and an additional one that was not requested
  • Requirement for a plan to submit a adaptable improved kill vehicle that can dually be deployed on the next Aegis generation missile and on the Ground Based Interceptors.

– European Missile Defense

  • Require a plan of cost sharing with NATO on all the EPAA Missile Defense assets to include Aegis Ashore Sites and AN/TPY-2.
  • Requirement of NATO to submit a pre-financing request for expenses of the EPAA and will limit the U.S. funding of the EPAA to 25% of the cost until NATO responds.
  • The committee is aware that the Administration decide that the European Phase Adaptive Approach to missile defense should be a U.S. Contribution to NATO as announced at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010. The committee is concerned that when this commitment was made, there was no clear understanding of the cost of the EPAA deployment, the committee notes that there has not yet been a detailed assessment of the cost of the deployment.

One of the interesting interactions from the Senate Hearing yesterday included the testimony of Senator Sessions from Alabama questioning the Administration’s reasoning of the value and investment needed for the SM3-2B future missile forward based in Europe at phase 4 of the EPAA that was stated by Deputy Assistant Secretary Brad Roberts to be in place by 2021 and was specifically being placed there for the defense of the United States Homeland. As the U.S. Homeland in certain scenarios does not have a “look shoot look shoot” capability and requires forward basing of additional interceptors, this becomes more apparent with Iran and the intelligent community assessment that Iran could have capability as early as 2015. Senator Sessions ascertained that the third site in Europe for the protection of the United States that was proposed and planed by the previous Administration would have been deployed with a two stage GBI missile that is capable today as validated by LTG O’Reilly in testimony and by a planed date of 2018 validated by Deputy Assistant Secretary Brad Roberts.

“SM3 Block 2B is not developed, not on a assembly line, not ready to be deployed, not a mature technology, we have gone from a bird in the hand for two in the bush…We have gone from a virtual certainty to a very uncertain situation from a politician who handles the money and knowing what we are looking like, that’s what we do, I am uneasy about it frankly.” – Senator Sessions

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