Pentagon eyes growing short-range missile threat.Defense Department officials are warning that terrorists soon could strike U.S. cities with short-range missiles.
"The department is worried about asymmetric threats, for example, terrorists with a missile or two on a tramp freighter off our shores," Terry Little, executive director of the Missile Defense Missile defence is an air defence system, weapon program, or technology involved in the detection, tracking, interception and destruction of attacking missiles. Originally conceived as a defence against nuclear-armed ICBMs, its application has broadened to include shorter-ranged Agency, told an Institute for Defense and Government Advancement conference in Washington, D.C.
Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry "Trey" Obering, the agency's chief, speaking at a gathering of defense reporters, said that such missiles are surprisingly easy to use.
In August 2004, "we launched a Scud from an ocean-going platform, and it was not hard," Obering said.
The Scud is a family of inaccurate tactical ballistic missiles that were developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War and exported widely to other countries. One can be transported and launched from a truck or ship, which makes it difficult to target.
Such missiles are continuing to proliferate, Little said. The oldest Scuds have a range of 130 kilometers, but newer tactical missiles reach further. North Korea in February was reported to be developing a Scud capable of reaching targets 1,000 kilometers away. In May, Iran successfully tested a solid-fuel motor for its Shahab-3 missile, which has a range of 2,000 kilometers.
With such weapons, Little said, Iran could threaten much of Western Europe Western Europe
The countries of western Europe, especially those that are allied with the United States and Canada in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (established 1949 and usually known as NATO). . North Korea could do the same for countries as far away as the Philippines.
Equally worrisome is the spread of cruise missiles and unmanned combat aerial vehicles, which are precision-guided and small enough to be launched from ships and aircraft, said Col. Edward L. Mullin, program manager of the Army's cruise missile defense office at Redstone Arsenal Redstone Arsenal, U.S. rocket research and development center, 38,781 acres (15,694 hectares), N Ala., W of Huntsville; est. 1941. One of the state's largest industrial enterprises, it includes the Army Missile Command, responsible for the army's rocket and guided , Ala. A number of factor makes them dangerous, he said, including:
Performance. Unlike traditional ballistic missiles, which are launched from fixed bases and fall under gravity on their targets, cruise versions and UAVs can be precisely guided and approach targets from any direction.
UAVs have a standoff capability that allows operators to control exactly when to strike. Cruise missiles offer fleeting targets. They can fly as low as 50 meters, and at high speeds--more than 500 miles an hour.
Stealth. Cruise missiles and UAVs are small. They offer a small radar cross section Radar cross section (RCS) describes the extent to which an object reflects an incident electromagnetic wave. It is a measure of the strength of the radar signal backscattered from a "target" object for a given incident wave power. and low infrared and acoustic signature For the article with regards audio files, see .
Acoustic signature is used to describe a combination of acoustic emissions of ships and submarines. Contributing factors
The acoustic signature is made up of a number of individual elements. .
Versatility. UAVs can perform a number of missions, including reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, attack and signal jamming. UAVs and cruises missiles can defend themselves with electronic and infrared countermeasures This article is about missile counter measures. For IRCMonitor, see Wikipedia:IRCMonitor.
Infrared countermeasures (IRCM) are devices designed to protect aircraft from infrared homing ("heat seeking") missiles by confusing the missiles' infrared .
Unpredictability. The two weapons can appear anywhere on the battlefield, and the enemy won't know--at least initially--whether the weapons are attacking or just transiting, and who the targets are.
Warheads. They can carry a wide variety of warheads: conventional, chemical, biological, even nuclear, and they can carry smart munitions mu·ni·tion
War materiel, especially weapons and ammunition. Often used in the plural.
tr.v. mu·ni·tioned, mu·ni·tion·ing, mu·ni·tions
To supply with munitions. , submunitions and bulk munitions.
During the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Saddam Hussein's forces fired a number of cruise missiles at U.S. troops, Mullin said. "We were positioned with Patriot missiles," he said. "Unfortunately, when the cruise missiles were fired, we didn't even see them. Needless to say, we were directed to get at that threat rather quickly."
The imperatives in defeating these two threats, Mullin said, are to detect, cue, acquire and kill targets. The Army has been developing and upgrading a number of systems to perform these imperatives.
The Army Air and Missile Command Missile Command is a 1980 arcade game by Atari Inc. that was also licensed to Sega for European release. The plot of Missile Command is simple: the player's six cities are being attacked by an endless hail of ballistic missiles, some of them even splitting like in November was scheduled to begin fielding a new version of the AN/MPQ Sentinel Radar system. The command in 2004 awarded a $13.1 million contract to Thales Raytheon Systems to produce and install more than 20 AN/MPQ Sentinel Radar modernization kits. It was the second contract for such kits in two years.
The Sentinel, first fielded in 1997, is a mobile, ground-based air defense radar that automatically detects, tracks, classifies and reports targets to weapons systems. The kits are intended to provide increased detection and acquisition ranges, improved target classification and greater detection of smaller targets in both clear and cluttered environments.
Meanwhile, the Army's Rapid Equipping Force The Rapid Equipping Force is a U.S. Army unit intended to provide solutions to battlefield problems in a short period of time, typically 90 days or less. External links
Raytheon won a contract in 1998 that is worth up to $300 million to develop the system. The Army plans ultimately to field 12 of them at an estimated cost of $1.6 billion.
"JLENS is quite a beast once you get into it," Mullin said. Each unit would be commanded by a captain and would include 76 vehicles, he said. JLENS takes 72 hours to set up. "We're working to cut those numbers," he said.
Raytheon last year also landed a $127 million contract to lead the team developing a surface-launched advanced medium-range air-to-air missile Noun 1. air-to-air missile - a missile designed to be launched from one airplane at another
missile - a rocket carrying a warhead of conventional or nuclear explosives; may be ballistic or directed by remote control (SLAMRAAM SLAMRAAM Surface Launched Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile ) system for the Army and Marine Corps. Other team members include Norway's Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace, the Boeing Company, Quantum Research International, Madison Research Corporation and the Army Space and Missile Defense Battle Lab.
The contract calls for the construction and testing of five SLAMRAAM prototypes by 2007. Each system will consist of an advanced medium-range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM AMRAAM Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile ) mounted on a high-mobility multi-wheeled vehicle and a new integrated fire control station, netted to the Army's Sentinel and JLENS, plus the Marines' multi-role radar system. The two services are working together to develop a common launcher and command-and-control system for SLAMRAAM and the Marines' complementary low-altitude weapons system.
AMRAA , first fielded in 1991, is an air-to-air missile currently mounted on Air Force and Navy aircraft and those of several allied nations. It has been deployed in Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq.
The SLAMRAAM system is a comparatively cost-effective defense against cruise missiles, Mullin said. "At $650,00 apiece, it beats the PAC-3 in terms of price," he said. Cost estimates for the Patriot advanced capability-3 missile system run as high as $91 million apiece.
The PAC-3, being developed by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control (LM MFC) is a Lockheed Martin business unit based in the Dallas suburb of Grand Prairie, Texas. The unit's offensive and defensive arsenal includes air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, naval rockets and missiles, fire control and sensor , is the latest generation of the Patriot, a long-range, high altitude Conventionally, an altitude above 10,000 meters (33,000 feet). See also altitude. all-weather system that was first deployed a decade and a half ago during Operation Desert Storm Noun 1. Operation Desert Storm - the United States and its allies defeated Iraq in a ground war that lasted 100 hours (1991)
Gulf War, Persian Gulf War - a war fought between Iraq and a coalition led by the United States that freed Kuwait from Iraqi invaders; . It is designed to defeat aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles and cruise missiles. Each PAC-3 launcher can fire 16 missiles at a time, compared to four for a PAC-2.
In September, the Army and the Missile Defense Agency announced that, during a recent flight test at White Sands Missile Range White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), formerly known as the White Sands Proving Grounds, is a rocket range in New Mexico operated by the United States Army. The range covers an area of almost 3,200 mi² (8 287 km²), approximately three times the size of Rhode Island, making it , N.M., the PAC-3 had successfully intercepted and destroyed an incoming tactical ballistic missile.
The agency doesn't expect the PAC-3--or any other single system--to deter the short-range threat, Little said. "No single silver bullet silver bullet - magic bullet is going to solve this problem, he said. "It's so formidable, so complex that you need a system of systems."
MDA's strategy is to develop an integrated, layered system to defend the United States, its deployed forces and friends against ballistic missiles of all ranges.
The first step, Little said, is to field protection against shorter-range threats. At the same time, MDA (1) (Monochrome Display Adapter) The first IBM PC monochrome video display standard for text. Due to its lack of graphics, MDA cards were often replaced with Hercules cards, which provided both text and graphics. See PC display modes and Hercules Graphics. is working to establish a limited defensive capability against North Korea's long-range missiles which Little called "potentially the most threatening of our adversaries"--while continuing to mature the system.
The second step is to evolve a capability to defend the United States against long-range threats from the Middle East. The third is to expand protection to deployed forces and friends around the globe. And finally, the agency plans to increase the depth of protection with additional interceptors, sensors and layers.
Congress, meanwhile, has asked the Pentagon to name an agency to address the cruise missile issue specifically, Little said. Right now, he said, each service is advocating its own solutions. The result, he added, is "duplication, overlap. That's not a good thing."
Eventually, Little said he believes the agency will get the mission. "I'm not sure we really want it. It will dilute our larger mission, but it's a serious problem. Somebody needs to address it."