On March 26/08, the USA’s GAO audit agency released report #GAO-09-466T:
“Defense Management: Key Challenges Should be Addressed When Considering Changes to Missile Defense Agency’s Roles and Missions.” Key excerpt:
“To date, MDA has spent about $56 billion and plans to spend about $50 billion more through 2013 to develop an integrated Ballistic Missile Defense System [including] defensive components such as sensors, radars, interceptors, and command and control… While MDA’s exemption from traditional DOD processes allowed it to quickly develop and field an initial ballistic missile defense capability, this approach has led to several challenges… (1) Incorporating Combatant Command Priorities… (2) Establishing Adequate Baselines to Measure Progress… (3) Planning for Long-Term Operations and Support…”
The US GAO has changed its name from “Government Accounting Office,” but the mentality remains. That does not make its reports wrong by any means, but it is worth taking into account as a consistent lens. See the report’s main page, full PDF version, and accessible text versions online.
Flight International reports that Lockheed is proposing a $137 million program to adapt its Patriot PAC-3 surface-to-air missiles for use on the USAF’s F-15C Eagle air superiority fighters. The missiles would reportedly be used to help the fighters kill ballistic missiles during the boost phase or mid-course phase, instead of hoping for a Patriot’s usual final phase intercept. Patriot PAC-3 missiles also have significantly longer range than the AIM-120 AMRAAM, creating the potential for wider coverage against cruise missiles and other aerial threats. In order to use an AIM-104 Patriot air-launched hit-to-kill (ALHTK) effectively, however, the F-15s would need to add IRST(Infra-Red Search & Track) capability to track enemy missiles outside the atmosphere.
Work is beginning on a $9.9 million Unmanned Anti-Submarine Warfare Support Facility, which will be located at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division, Newport. A World War II era building, originally built as a steam plant on the waterfront of Narragansett Bay, will be converted to support integrated testing and evaluation of USVs (Unmanned surface Vehicles) and UUVs (Unmanned Undersea Vehicles) on the Narragansett Range. The instrumented range will be used for testing UUVs and USVs, swimmer delivery systems, payloads, torpedoes, targets, underwater surveillance, swimmer defense systems and related undersea technologies.
The architectural and engineering design portion of the project was awarded March 6/09 to AECOM Services, Inc. of Roanoke, VA. Construction is expected to begin in May 2010, with the building’s new tenants expecting to move in around November 2011. US Navy release.