“Any Sensor, Any Weapon”

March 25, 2010

Dear Members and Friends,

At an appropriate setting, the Ronald Reagan Conference Building and International Trade Center in Washington D.C., our nation’s most prominent leaders in the field of missile defense from the government, military and defense industry came together with non-government personnel including engineers, civilians, politicians, appointees and our armed forces for three days this week.

Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn addressed the conference at its opening by endorsing strong bipartisan support on missile defense and increasing the missile defense budget from last year by 700 million to 9.9 billion for 2011. Further, Mr. Lynn announced the growing quantitative and qualitative ballistic missile threat and reinforced the six policies put forward by the President on missile defense.

1. Defend homeland
2. Defend regions
3. New capabilities deployed must be tested
4. New capabilities must be fiscally affordable
5. Missile defense must be flexible to adapt to the threat
6. Lead expanded international partnership

Mr. Lynn incorporated the missile defense “landmark” polices with our country’s Quadrennial Defense Review released on February 1st in three important ways:

–  Effective missile defense strengthens regional deterrence and against those seeking nuclear weapons.
– Provides a secure environment against those nation states such as Iran and North Korea.
– A capability against potential adversaries with ballistic missiles that would use them to deny access to our forces.

General James E. “Hoss” Cartwright, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, moved the discussion to talk of “how fast can we produce missile defense” and a balance of offense with defense as deterrence today is not all offense. He stated that “deterrence can no longer be nuclear deterrence.” Deterrence is for missile defense; how many rounds, how long to sustain them and what type of offenses are in the mixture. We can no longer view missile defense in isolation. “What used to be extended deterrence now has to be shared deterrence.” General Cartwright closed his remarks by creating a vision beyond just missile defense to that of an open architecture able to assemble other solutions to integrate and defend against air and cruise as well as missile defense. “Assimilate any sensor, any weapon to the advantage.”

Dr. James Miller, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and Lt. General Pat O’Reilly unveiled and reinforced the time line as well as the deployments of the President’s Phased Adaptive Approach (PAA) in Europe which is consistent with President Obama’s September 17th statement of four phases.

Phase 1, 2011
– Deploy existing systems against short and medium range threat
– Sea Based Aegis Missile Defense combined with other systems to protect southern Europe
– Deployment of forward based sensor in Europe

Phase 2, 2015
– Deployment of enhanced sensors and SM3 Block 1B interceptors on sea and land against   short and medium ranges
– Deployment of Aegis Ashore land based site in Romania
– Deployment of 4.0.1 battle management for Aegis Ships

Phase 3, 2018
– Deployment of second Aegis Ashore land based site in Poland against Medium and intermediate ranges
– Deployment of SM3 block IIA interceptor both on land and sea.
– Deployment of 5.0 battle management for Aegis Ships

Phase 4, 2020
– Deployment of SM3 Block IIB for early assent phase intercepts against long range ICBMS
– Deployment made available to NATO Europe

The most noticeable shift to our nation’s missile defense policy to come out of this conference is the sheer determination of the administration, military and Congress to take down a capabilities driven acquisition process for MDA that over the past nine years has gotten the nation where it is today with missile defense, reverting back to the normal Joint Capable Integration Development System (JCDIS) Pentagon acquisition in defining requirements in a laborious process that takes 400 days for approval and on average ten years to develop and finally deploy against ten year old threat requirements that almost certainly changed. Programs such as the F-22 and the DDG-1000 are real life examples of that process. With the future of an untamed world ahead of us and the dynamics of change with the evolving threat as well as the unstoppable proliferation and development of new ballistic and cruise missile technologies this is a serious risk that our nation is taking. Today there are 5,900 ballistic missiles that threaten national security, forward based troops and allies. We cannot afford to be wrong as they become more numerous and technically advanced tomorrow.

We at MDAA endorse and recognize the global, national and bi-partisan support for missile defense that the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff highlighted in his introductory remarks that are parallel with the overall encompassing support of the six main BMDR polices and look to the PAA to be one of many sincere implementations in direct support of those six policies.

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