The proliferation of low-cost missiles that can be used to threaten the United States and its assets necessitates a "layered" approach to missile defense, according to the commander of U.S. Forces Korea.
A former chief of naval operations who once advocated for a wholesale reevaluation of the U.S. government's approach to missile defense while in uniform says he believes the review of ballistic missile defenses ordered by President Trump is "an opportunity that will not be missed."
The Missile Defense Agency said it demonstrated a significant expansion of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System during a Feb. 4 flight test over the Pacific Ocean, pairing the first shipboard use of the latest Lockheed Martin-built Aegis Combat System with Raytheon's new guided-missile interceptor, the Standard Missile-3 Block IIA, to shoot down a land-launched ballistic missile target.
Missile Defense Agency Director Vice Adm. James Syring -- along with a host of other senior Pentagon officials -- is expected to accompany Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to a Feb. 16 closed-to-the-public meeting with the Defense Science Board to discuss classified national security challenges, according to a Federal Register notice. "The objective of the meeting is to obtain, review, and evaluate classified information related to the DSB's mission," the Feb. 6 notice states. "This meeting will focus on the new administration's guidance and directives related to nuclear deterrence, countering anti-access systems with longer range and standoff capabilities, and survivable logistics."
An Air Force advisory panel commissioned to explore options for defending against hypersonic, maneuvering weapons, such as those China and Russia are flight testing, concluded no "silver bullets" are at hand -- or in the development pipeline -- to defeat this new class of threats, arguing the best defense may be a new offense: the U.S. military's own credible, hypersonic weapon.
The National Nuclear Security Administration needs to do a better job tracking the results of its research and development projects, which make "vital contributions to national security," the Government Accountability Office found in a new report. According to the Feb. 3 GAO report, NNSA's research and technology development program helps to address important nuclear proliferation needs, such as finding covert material production and explosions.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein indicated this week he is "absolutely" open to the idea of incorporating more tactical nuclear weapons into the arsenal, after the Defense Science Board recommended the Air Force consider that option as modernization efforts proceed.
Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen Wilson argued the service's effort to modernize its nuclear assets tops the Air Force's other key procurement efforts going into fiscal year 2018 budget discussions, in an appearance before a Senate defense subcommittee Feb. 8.
The Air Force's top uniformed officer praised House lawmakers on Feb. 3 for their focus on improving the Defense Department's space acquisition system and advocated for an "honest discussion" about where buying authority should reside.
Orbital ATK on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's acting director, claiming the agency is seeking "to create its own government-funded technology that will compete -- unfairly and illegally -- with Orbital ATK's privately developed commercial capability."
A group of industry associations has sent a letter to the Pentagon opposing a proposed rule meant to prevent companies from using allowable independent research and development expenses to win contracts.
In an oblique appeal to the Trump administration, the Aerospace Industries Association is touting a "record trade surplus of $90 billion in 2016" and continued support of the U.S. manufacturing sector.
It will cost $400 billion over the next 10 years to operate, maintain and modernize U.S. nuclear forces, an average of $40 billion annually, according to a recent report from the Congressional Budget Office.
Inside Missile Defense is a biweekly report on efforts to defend the U.S. homeland as well as its troops abroad against missile attacks. We track both national and theater missile defense systems as well as arms control issues, counterproliferation efforts, related space activities and much more.