The Defense Department on Oct. 24 put marquee missile interceptor and radar programs to the test over the Pacific Ocean in the "largest, most complex" live-fire test to date, recording a number of intercepts but also the failure of an SM-3 Block 1A interceptor -- a centerpiece of the Obama administration's missile-defense architecture that was declared operational last year.
An anti-missile capability intended to intercept future long-range Iranian weapons might need to be designed with modified launching systems and a liquid propellant, but whether these features will be required remains undecided.
Rebuffed by Congress and the Defense Department, Army officials say they are beginning a study to help decide which investments in the Medium Extended Air Defense System might play a role in the service's air and missile defense strategy.
The Air Force is taking part in a major missile defense exercise with Israel this month that is geared toward improving the combined capabilities of the two countries.
The Army's latest "Air and Missile Defense Strategy" defines the "networked mission command" concept as "a single, common air and missile defense command and control system operating via an open modular architecture integrated into Army mission command and Joint engagement architectures. This capability will reside at all AMD mission command nodes and will include common interfaces for sensors and weapons. It will provide AMD forces the ability to integrate air and missile defense engagement and force operations and present decision-makers at all levels with tools that help them manage the aerial fight."
The Army's move to add the counter-rocket, artillery and mortar intercept mission to its air and missile defense portfolio and to separate countering unmanned aircraft systems from cruise missile defense is due to the service's increased understanding of these threats, according to a yet-unpublished 2012 Army AMD strategy.
Pentagon missile defense efforts and the Navy's Littoral
Combat Ship are among the most wasteful of federal programs, according to a
recent report released by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK).321 words
With some lawmakers alarmed over what they believe is murky planning by the Army for modernizing the Patriot air and missile defense system, the G-8 force development director recently shed some light on what the service deems important for the effort.
The original plan for upgrading the Navy's fleet of Aegis-equipped cruisers and destroyers was overly ambitious, resulting in a revision in recent years in order to minimize risk to the fleet, according to a service official.
An Army test of Raytheon's Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor system showed the weapon is capable of detecting and tracking a wide variety of threats and communicating information to commands in real time, according to Raytheon's JLENS program manager.
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, the manufacturer of the
upper-stage engines for the Air Force's Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle
program, has completed early hot-fire testing for a modernized RL10 engine
configuration and expects to have that model fully certified by early next
The Air Force has decided to delay the launch of its third
Orbital Test Vehicle mission into mid-November to give Air Force Space Command
and its launch provider, United Launch Alliance, more time to analyze a flawed
but ultimately successful launch from earlier this month.841 words
The Navy recently briefed the Air Force on a common ballistic
missile concept that may be used on the Ohio-class replacement ballistic
missile submarine, which could help reduce cost, according to the service's
strategic systems director.403 words
The entrance of private firms into the space-launch market
has changed the calculus for developing new launch technologies, particularly
the Reusable Booster System, according to a study released last week by the
National Academy of Sciences.645 words
Uncertainty surrounding U.S. defense-spending levels in
fiscal year 2013 and beyond is preventing the Pentagon from making key
decisions about long-term strategy and investments, according to Defense
Secretary Leon Panetta.690 words