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Inside Missile Defense - February 13, 2019
  • MDA readying sole-source Lockheed contract for Saudi Arabia THAAD deal

    The Missile Defense Agency is readying a potential $15 billion contract with Lockheed Martin to buy Terminal High Altitude Area Defense systems for Saudi Arabia, a deal in the works for years that would in a single package outfit the desert kingdom with seven batteries -- equivalent to the Army's current THAAD ballistic missile defense capabilities for the entire globe.

    486 words

  • Officials: Russian, Chinese organizational shifts signify greater space focus

    A defense intelligence official told reporters this week that the biggest threat to U.S. space superiority is likely not a single adversary capability, but rather actions in recent years by Russia and China to better organize and integrate space capabilities within their militaries -- actions that could help the Pentagon as it makes a case to create a new Space Force.

    660 words

  • AMDR tracks ballistic missile target in capstone developmental test

    The Air and Missile Defense Radar successfully tracked a ballistic missile target during a recent test in Hawaii, capping nearly two years of air and ballistic missile developmental tests during a milestone event for the $5.8 billion SPY-6 sensor, as the program is also called, built by Raytheon.

    441 words

  • DOT&E: Pentagon mandating additional follow-on SM-3 Block IB flight tests

    The Pentagon's acquisition executive agreed to allow the Missile Defense Agency and Raytheon to transition the Standard Missile-3 Block IB into production more than a year ago only after mandating continued flight tests in order to ally concerns about the reliability of the interceptor in the wake of several developmental flight-test failures.

    417 words

  • MDA's New Testing Chief

    The Missile Defense Agency is getting a new director for test, according to a Pentagon announcement. Army Maj. Gen. Douglas Gabram, commanding general of the service's Aviation and Missile Command headquartered at Redstone Arsenal, AL, has been assigned to become MDA's next director for test. In the same announcement, the Defense Department said Brig. Gen. Kenneth Royar, deputy commanding general (Support) for the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), would take Gabram's place as head of Army Aviation and Missile Command.

    89 words

  • Army announces plan to acquire Iron Dome

    The Army last week officially announced plans to produce "a limited number" of Iron Dome air-defense systems, a move first reported by Inside Defense last month.

    366 words

  • DOD eyeing potential new interceptor, lasers to defeat hypersonic threats

    The Defense Department is considering a new guided-missile interceptor program to defeat hypersonic boost glide threats as part of a range of potential new-start programs that also include a possible high-powered laser or adapting existing ballistic missile interceptors to deal with the new-class of ultra-fast threats that China and Russia are expected to field in the 2020s.

    390 words

  • Trump: U.S. to suspend INF Treaty obligations with intent to withdraw

    President Trump confirmed Feb. 1 the United States would suspend its obligations under the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty due to Russia's alleged violations, allowing the Pentagon to move forward with "military response options."

    563 words

  • USAF notches second ICBM test success after last summer's failure

    The U.S. military's nuclear strategic deterrence fleet executed a "reliable" operational flight test last night over the Pacific Ocean when an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA, and flew its intended course, a second consecutive developmental test-launch success since a failure last summer.

    413 words

  • Air Force looking for research on bioeffects of directed-energy applications

    The Air Force Research Laboratory is calling for industry insight into the bioeffects of directed-energy applications, according to a Feb. 12 request for information published on Federal Business Opportunities.

    260 words

  • Pentagon prepping for mid-March budget rollout

    The Pentagon expects to submit its fiscal year 2020 budget to Congress in March, more than a month later than previously planned because of delays driven by the longest federal shutdown in U.S. history, according to two government officials.

    513 words

  • Pentagon planning a mammoth FY-20 war budget to avoid spending cap

    The Defense Department is preparing to ask Congress for an increase of more than $100 billion in its controversial warfighting account to skirt a mandatory budget cap, but some government officials are worried it will only further the account's appearance as a slush fund.

    738 words

  • DOT&E points to shortfalls in evaluating emerging technologies

    From advanced software to autonomous systems to directed energy weapons, the Defense Department lacks the adequate tools, ranges and skills to fully vet many emerging technologies Pentagon leaders say are crucial to renewed great power competition, according to DOD's head of operational testing.

    1231 words

  • House 'emerging threats' chairman sets sights on Pentagon's AI policies

    The new chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee tasked with examining future threats and capabilities wants to see the Pentagon develop policies for using artificial intelligence and come forth with a plan for IT modernization, he told Inside Defense in a recent interview.

    778 words

  • Inhofe: Trump should pick new SECDEF; says Shanahan lacks 'humility'

    Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK) said this week he has talked with President Trump about nominating a new defense secretary to succeed Jim Mattis, voicing concern that acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan lacks the "humility" of his predecessor and is unable to muster the full force of his office because of his "temporary" status.

    607 words

  • Key DOD space situational awareness upgrade project fails operational test

    The Pentagon's top weapons tester has deemed a key upgrade of the Joint Space Operations Center (JspOC) Mission System (JMS) is not operationally effective or suitable for its space situational awareness mission, a setback for the Air Force program which aims, among other things, to provide real-time alerts of hostile actions against U.S. satellites.

    558 words

  • DOT&E: DOD must invest threat-representative space test infrastructure

    The Defense Department and intelligence community have not adequately resourced or utilized space testing infrastructure that would support more operationally representative threat simulation, according to a new report from the Pentagon's top weapons tester.

    361 words

  • DOD IG to review Air Force certification of SpaceX launchers

    The Defense Department inspector general's office announced this week it will kickoff an audit this month of the Air Force's certification of SpaceX's Falcon launch vehicles.

    160 words

  • Army readying for IM-SHORAD production

    The Army is preparing to shift to the production phase of the Initial Maneuver-Short-Range Air Defense system, the service's interim platform for ground-based air and missile defense.

    248 words

  • Service secretaries sign joint memo on modular open systems standards

    The Air Force, Army and Navy secretaries recently signed a new memorandum that would require them to adopt common standards for cross-domain information-sharing on future systems.

    204 words