Latest updates[?]: Those who suffered property damage as a result of last October's rogue JLENS blimp rampage will have to sue in order to get any compensation. A US Army investigation decided that “no government employees, agencies or entities were responsible or negligent” in the incident and thus would not be paying out. Disgruntled residents of Maryland and Pennsylvania will instead have to either sue the Army in federal court or pursue a state lawsuit against Raytheon. The service received 35 property damage claims after the surveillance balloon broke free of its moorings while dragging its mooring line across the two states before deflating enough to be shot down by State Troopers.
Experiences in Operation Iraqi Freedom demonstrated that even conventional cruise missiles with limited reach could have disruptive tactical effects, in the hands of a determined enemy. Meanwhile, the proliferation of cruise missiles and associated components, combined with a falling technology curve for biological, chemical, or even nuclear agents, is creating longer-term hazards on a whole new scale. Intelligence agencies and analysts believe that the threat of U.S. cities coming under cruise missile attack from ships off the coast is real, and evolving.
Aerial sensors are the best defense against low-flying cruise missiles, because they offer far better detection and tracking range than ground-based systems. The bad news is that keeping planes in the air all the time is very expensive, and so are the aircraft themselves. As cruise missile defense becomes a more prominent political issue, the primary challenge becomes the development of a reliable, affordable, long-flying, look-down platform. One that can detect, track and identify incoming missiles, then support over-the-horizon engagements in a timely manner. The Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor (JLENS) certainly looked like that system, but the Pentagon has decided to end it.
Lockheed Martin Maritime Sensors and Systems won a $124 million cost-plus-award-fee contract modification to upgrade Japan’s Kongo-Class AEGIS destroyer JS Kongo [DDG-173] to give it AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense Block 2004 capability. Japan’s Kongo-Class destroyers are based on the USA’s Flight II DDG 51 Arleigh Burke Class, but feature many modifications both internally and externally. The Kirishima itself was posted to the Indian Ocean as part of Japan’s contribution to the war on terror, acting as flagship for the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force.
It’s becoming clear that Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, have stepped up their defense spending in recent years. Uncertainty creates perceptions of risk, and perceptions of risk lead to responses aimed at reducing that risk. That’s why arms spending is an incomplete but very concrete way of tracking a state’s real assessment of threats and priorities. Iraq is no longer a missile/WMD threat, but Iran’s ballistic missiles are another matter. They may be based on North Korean designs that lack accuracy, but the prospect of nuclear payloads is producing reactions.
Gulf states recognize that even a lucky conventional missile could wreak havoc if it hit key oil-related infrastructure, or damaged the larger and more nebulous target of business confidence. The spread of nuclear weapons would change the calculus completely. A 2007 US National Intelligence Assessment [redacted NIE summary, PDF] believed that Iran’s nuclear program had stopped, but others, including the United Nations and Israel, were more skeptical. By 2010, that skepticism had spread to US intelligence, which repudiated an assessment that seems set to join the infamous 1962 NIE of no Soviet missiles in Cuba .
The Gulf states’ response to these developments covers a range of equipment, but anti-ballistic missile capabilities appear to be rising to the top of the priority list.
This is a pivotal year for the Polish defense market. Part 1 of this series offers an overview of Poland’s $44 billion military modernization program. This 2nd and final part covers key near-term purchases, as Poland becomes a key battleground for US and European industries.
Russia’s troubling regional ambitions have added urgency to Polish plans for a stronger military and more capable indigenous defense capabilities. Against that backdrop, the nationality of the winners of key missile defense and rotor-wing contracts, to be decided in the next 12 months, will set the tone for Polish defense relations over the remainder of its 10-year modernization program.
This is a pivotal year for the Polish defense market. Russia’s actions in Ukraine have underscored the urgency of Poland’s $44 billion military modernization program, and accelerated planned purchases. Critical defense procurement decisions will be made in 2014, testing the government’s ability to successfully manage big international tenders that pit Americans against Europeans. This year will also see the implementation of the country’s highly ambitious plans to consolidate most of its domestic industrial base under one roof, with significant implications for foreign suppliers seeking industrial arrangements with local partners.
Naturally, foreign companies are eager to secure a share in Europe’s most promising defense market. To compete effectively, defense primes and their subcontractors need to understand the financial, industrial, and political landscape they face in Poland.
Keeping them running is a job for ARCTEC, who has also handled contracts related to the USA’s more advanced BMEWS and PAVE PAWS early warning radars, one of which is located at Clear Air Force Station, AK. This article covers ARS maintenance contract orders from the FA5000-04-C-0011 contract’s beginning in 2004 to its final period in 2014.
Arms control treaties and other deactivations have left the USA with over 1,400 ballistic missile rocket motors in storage. The USAF’s Rocket Systems Launch Program looks at ways to reuse them for missile defense testing or spacecraft launches, examines the use of ballistic missile technology for a Conventional Strike Missile (CSM), and studies related technologies. RSLP has supported various technology development efforts for guidance and navigation systems; advanced reentry physics; avionics; Missile Technology Demonstration (MTD); Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) and Ballistic Missile Range Safety Technology (BMRST).
In December 2012, US Space & Missile Command’s Space Development and Test Wing issued 3 indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price RSLP contracts, with up to $900 million in task orders to be competed among the winners:
The Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) is the world’s largest instrumented testing and training missile range, located on the far Hawaiian islands of Kaua’i and Ni’hau. The Barking Sands shore facility used to belong to Kekaha Sugar Company. It became Mana Airport during World War 2, and was renamed Bonham Air Force Base in 1954. The Navy has owned it since 1964, and is currently using PMRF to launch ballistic missile targets for the naval AEGIS BMD/ SM-3 missile combination, and the Army’s THAAD missile system. It will have an Aegis Ashore complex that will be used for testing purposes, but could also serve operationally, and has also been a deployment site for THAAD in response to threatening North Korean tests that posed a risk to Hawaii.
PMRF’s size and scope make it a valuable resource beyond the US Navy, and that role will grow as global interest in naval ballistic missile defense grows. Contracts include:
In fall 2012 The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and U.S. Air Force award Raytheon a $125.3 million contract to modernize and upgrade the US Air Force’s early warning radar (EWR) system at Clear AFS, AK. The existing phased array radar face will remain, but new electronics and back-end software will improve performance. The difference is not a small one – with the upgrades, the upgraded EWR (UEWR) can start providing targeting data to interceptor systems.
The US military is slowly stitching together its missile defense program…
In September 2012, BAE Systems Technology Solution and Services, Rockville, MD received a 6-year, $49.2 million contract modification to manage, operate, maintain and logistically support the Solid State Phased Array Radar Systems (SSPARS). This array is also known as BMEWS, the ballistic missile early warning system of large radar installations developed during the Cold War. The radars themselves are about 11 stories tall, and excel at searching large volumes of sky that extend into space. Each has several transmitter faces, in order to provide wide coverage. BAE has a history of handling these support contracts, alongside firms like ARCTEC. This overall maintenance and support contract is expected to be complete by Sept 30/18, with awards made each year. The 21st Space Wing at Peterson Air Force Base, CO, who provides missile warning and space control to NORAD and U.S. Strategic Command, manages this contract (FA2517-06-C-8001, PO 0312).
Work would be performed at Cape Cod Air Force Station, MA; Beale Air Force Base, CA+; Thule Air Base, Greenland+; Clear Air Force Station, AK, and Royal Air Force Fylingdales, United Kingdom+. Installations with a + sign have received UEWR upgrades, which also allow them to be used as low-grade targeting radars for ballistic missile defenses. Alaska’s Clear AFS is next. See also BAE’s November 2012 release.