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Inside Missile Defense - November 21, 2018
  • Commission: MDA must transition missile defense systems to services

    The defense secretary should make good on long-standing plans for the Missile Defense Agency to transfer acquisition responsibility for mature missile defense programs to the relevant military services that operate the system, an independent defense commission recommends.

    748 words

  • CSBA: Reduce forward base defense cost with lasers, microwaves

    Reliance on the Army's Patriot system to defend a forward U.S. base against a one-minute, missile-salvo attack from China or Russia would cost nearly one quarter of a billion dollars, a sum that requires the Pentagon to consider new operational concepts and a new generation of "cost-effective" defenses to harden U.S. positions against such attacks.

    678 words

  • Shanahan says cost of Space Force could be in the 'single-digit' billions

    Deputy Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan said Nov. 15 the Pentagon estimates the cost to establish a new and separate Space Force could be less than $5 billion, despite earlier predictions from the Air Force that it could cost $13 billion over five years.

    283 words

  • Northrop plans to participate in LTAMDS radar 'sense-off'

    Northrop Grumman, the U.S. radar-building powerhouse dropped last month by the Army from its Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor program, will jump back in the multibillion-dollar competition to build a Patriot radar replacement by participating in a radar "sense-off" event next year, setting up at least a three-way contest next spring.

    523 words

  • Proliferation Security Initiative

    Christopher Ashley Ford, assistant secretary of state for international security and nonproliferation, gave a speech last week at the Heritage Foundation where he spoke about U.S. counterproliferation efforts. He highlighted the Proliferation Security Initiative, touting its "informal and flexible framework" as a "strength rather than a weakness" that has helped PSI "remain effective over time while avoiding the bureaucratic ossification, lowest-common-denominator consensus decision-making, and sterile formalities of so many international organizations and multilateral fora."

    85 words

  • Smith eyes plan to trade boosts in conventional capability for nuke cuts

    Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), expected to become the next chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said Nov. 14 he is considering negotiations with GOP defense hawks that could increase defense spending on conventional capabilities in exchange for cuts to the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

    414 words

  • Nuke programs could face renewed scrutiny in Democrat-controlled House

    As the Air Force's multibillion-dollar nuclear modernization programs forge ahead, Democrats are expected to use their new majority in the House to renew the debate over which types of nuclear weapons the United States should own and how to fund their upgrades.

    1158 words

  • Independent commission: NDS requires dramatic spending increase

    The Defense Department's base budget requires sustained real growth of at least 3 to 5 percent annually over the next five years to execute the Trump administration's National Defense Strategy, according to an independent bipartisan commission. The finding implies military spending, excluding war costs, should reach between $691 billion and $746 billion by fiscal year 2023.

    870 words

  • DOD tech chief signals funding increases for military's laser scaling programs

    The Pentagon's chief technologist says the Defense Department will increase funding for laser scaling programs in its forthcoming budget request, as he believes directed-energy weapons are just a few years from being useful in battle.

    534 words

  • USAF projects swapping ICBM base Hueys for MH-139s will take eight years

    Intercontinental ballistic missile bases in Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming will receive new MH-139 helicopters from fiscal year 2021 through FY-27, as the Air Force looks for ways to mature the fleet faster.

    849 words

  • DOD contemplating low-cost hypersonic weapon for new strategy

    Pentagon policymakers are envisioning a potential future in which the U.S. military possesses stockpiles of relatively low-cost, hypersonic boost-glide weapons that can be used to hold high-priority adversary targets at risk, giving Washington a new cost-imposing tool in the great power competition against Russia and China.

    539 words

  • Berger: U.S. 'slow' to understand China's military strategy

    The United States was “slow” to understand China’s military strategy, according to the top Marine Corps general in charge of the service’s combat development command.

    666 words

  • DOD will produce operational, quantum-enabled systems within five years

    The Pentagon's technology chief predicts the Defense Department within the next five years will produce operational systems backed by quantum timing devices, as the U.S. military looks to reduce its reliance on GPS.

    412 words

  • Pentagon's first-ever audit fails to find 'hidden pots of gold'

    Though the Defense Department failed to receive a "clean" opinion from auditors who examined more than $2.7 trillion in DOD assets, Pentagon officials say the historic undertaking has provided valuable information that will improve military readiness and cybersecurity.

    830 words

  • Pentagon to hear from military services on proposed budget cuts

    The Pentagon is preparing a smaller budget following the wishes of the White House, but senior officials -- as well as GOP defense hawks -- hope to convince President Trump to approve additional spending, despite his administration's new taste for fiscal restraint.

    938 words

  • Inhofe backs $733B defense budget, despite White House call for $700B

    Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK) on Nov. 14 came out in favor of a $733 billion total defense topline, putting him at odds with the White House, which has directed the Pentagon to plan for a $700 billion topline.

    472 words

  • Dems reset Congress as GOP defense hawks face uphill push on spending

    Democrats reclaimed a majority in the House earlier this month, ousting GOP committee chairmen from perches of influence and tightening the pressure on defense hawks who must now contend with a White House seeking new fiscal restraint and progressive-minded lawmakers ready to cut defense spending.

    704 words