Posts Tagged ‘Missile Defense Agency’

AirBorne Laser ABL Test Success

December 8, 2008
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The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) successfully operated the Airborne Laser’s (ABL) complete weapon system for the first time in late November by projecting a beam from the Northrop Grumman Corporation-built  high-energy laser through the precision beam steering system.


During the ground test conducted by MDA and a Boeing-led industry team, a beam from the megawatt-class laser traveled the length of the aircraft at 670 million miles per hour, racing from the aft section that houses the laser, through the beam control / fire control (BC/FC) system, and out through the nose-mounted turret for the first time.

“The ground test proves that the ABL integrated weapon system works as planned,” said Dan Wildt, vice president of Directed Energy Systems for the Northrop Grumman Space Technology sector. “This impressive achievement validates the safe operation of the high-energy laser in conjunction with all other components of the revolutionary directed energy ABL aircraft.”

For the ground test, crews operating from onboard the aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., completed a planned engagement sequence by firing the high-energy laser through the entire system. The beam then exited the aircraft and was captured by the Range Simulator Diagnostic System, which provides simulated targets as well as a “dump” and diagnostics for the laser beam.

Northrop Grumman, under contract to The Boeing Company, the ABL prime contractor, designed and built the high-energy Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser, the most powerful laser ever developed for an airborne environment.

The BC/FC system, provided by Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), not only ensures that the laser is accurately aligned and pointed at the target, but also performs fire control engagement sequencing, adjusts the beam for atmospheric compensation, and helps control jitter.

The ABL aircraft consists of a modified Boeing 747-400F whose back half holds the high-energy laser. Before being installed, the high-energy laser completed rigorous ground testing in a laboratory at Edwards AFB. The front half of the aircraft contains the battle management system, provided by Boeing, and the beam control/fire control system.

Missile Defense Program Endangered

November 24, 2008

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The Missile Defense Agency’s budget is due for a “severe scrubbing” by the next Congress, House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee Chairwoman Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) promised last week.

Read the full report at Inside Defense (paid subscription required)

Obama and Missile Defense

November 13, 2008
Aviation Calendar 2009

Aviation Calendar 2009

Our military Aviation Calendar 2009 features 13 images of US and allied military aircraft in action. Buy the Aviation Calendar 2009 exclusively at the PatriArt Gallery for only $ 19.99. Worldwide delivery available.

U.S. Vice President-elect Joe Biden was wrong when he said, “It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy.” Well, it was more like six hours, notes Daniel Goure in his UPI editorial.

The day after the election, as other world leaders were sending the U.S. president-elect congratulatory messages, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev apparently thought that a hostile theme was more appropriate. In his first state of the union address, Medvedev threatened to deploy short-range missiles against Poland if a missile defense system, the so-called Third Site, were deployed in that Eastern European country. The Russian president went on to list other hostile steps his country might take, including electronically jamming the missile defense.

Read Goure’s full editorial at UPI

Czech, US agree on conditions to site radar

August 29, 2008

The Czech Republic and the United States have reached agreement on the conditions to set up a controversial US anti-missile base in the country, a defence ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.”All major issues have been solved,” spokesman Andrej Cirtek told AFP, adding that the centre-right Czech government could be expected to discuss the proposed Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) in September.

A key follow-up agreement had been held up by a wrangle between Prague and Washington over the tax treatment of the proposed US radar. Read the entire article

U.S. and Poland Set Missile Deal

August 21, 2008
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On August 20, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Poland’s Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski signed in Warsaw the Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Poland Concerning the Deployment of Ground-Based Ballistic Missile Defense Interceptors in the Territory of the Republic of Poland. This legally-binding agreement calls for the establishment and operation of a U.S. ballistic missile defense (BMD) interceptor facility in Poland.

This BMD interceptor site would provide a defensive capability to protect Europe and the United States against longer-range ballistic missiles launched from the Middle East, and will be linked to other U.S. missile defense facilities in Europe and the United States.

Upon ratification by the Polish Parliament and entry into force, the ballistic missile defense agreement will allow the United States to construct, maintain, and operate a facility encompassing ten ground-based BMD interceptors. The United States and Poland will negotiate a separate agreement to address the status of U.S. military forces to be deployed to the territory of Poland.

U.S. and Polish military forces will cooperate in providing physical security for the missile defense interceptor facility. The United States will provide the Polish Government with situational awareness into operations and training at the interceptor facility, which includes receiving real-time information of ballistic missiles tracked by the missile defense radar to be located in the Czech Republic, intercept information, and the status of the U.S. missile defense system in Europe.

(Compiled from a US State Department release)

Ground Based Midcourse Missile Defense System Tested

July 19, 2008

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Boeing and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency have successfully completed a Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system test that demonstrated the most complex integration to date of sensors required to support a missile intercept. While previous tests typically involved a single target-tracking sensor, this test used four: the Aegis Long Range Surveillance and Track system in the Pacific; the AN/TPY-2 radar in Juneau, Alaska; the Upgraded Early Warning Radar at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., and the Sea-Based X-Band Radar (SBX) in the Pacific. During the test, the sensors detected, tracked and assessed a long-range ballistic missile target launched from the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska. The sensors provided target information via ground and satellite links to GMD’s dual-node, distributed fire control system, located at Fort Greely, Alaska, and in Colorado Springs, Colo. The fire control system combined the sensor data, generated accurate targeting coordinates and simulated a target shootdown with a virtual ground-based interceptor. “This successful test verified that four sensors separated by thousands of miles can detect, track and provide precise trajectory information to help defend against a long-range ballistic missile attack,” said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems. “The test builds on the momentum of the GMD program, which achieved intercepts with operationally configured interceptors in each of the past two years.” “This test demonstrated GMD’s network-centric ability to use data gathered from multiple, global sensors to give us a clearer picture of an incoming threat and greatly increase our ability to intercept that threat,” said Greg Hyslop, vice president and program director for GMD. “The sensor integration required for this test greatly reduces risk for our next intercept test, which will be the most challenging ever.”