Issues Facing U.S.Ballistic Missile Defense Philip E. Coyle Center for Defense Information For the Arms Control Association July 21, 2009
Five Nations on Bush Chart but not on Obama Chart: Moldova Russia China Israel South Korea 15 Nations on both Bush and Obama Charts: Belarus Ukraine Syria Turkmenistan Kazakhstan North Korea Vietnam India Pakistan Yemen UAE Saudi Arabia Iran Egypt Libya “The Threat”
Issue #1 • Does the Congress believe that Iran or North Korea is so suicidal that it would attack the United States with missiles? • Such an attack would justify massive retaliation, and the decapitation of the regime that authorized the attack.
Issue #2 • Does the Congress intend that U.S. missile defenses be able to handle attacks involving multiple offensive missiles launched by Iran or North Korea, not just one or two? • Having developed and successfully tested any given offensive missile type, it would not be difficult or expensive for an adversary to build many missiles of the same type. If an adversary would attack with missiles, it would not just fire one or two, and then sit back and wait for the consequences.
Issue #3 • Does the Congress intend that the proposed missile defenses be able to handle decoys and countermeasures? • As explained a decade ago by the National Intelligence Officer for Strategic and Nuclear Programs, Iran or North Korea “probably would rely initially on available technology - including separating RVs, spin-stabilized RVs, RV reorientation, radar absorbing material (RAM), booster fragmentation, low-power jammers, chaff, and simple (balloon) decoys - to develop penetration aids and countermeasures.”
Issue #4 • What degree of effectiveness does the Congress expect? That is, what probability of successful intercept in actual battle would the Congress accept? • For example, is it acceptable to the Congress if the system is only 10 percent effective and 90 percent of enemy missiles get through?
Issue #5 • To what extent is the Congress willing to support working with Russia on a solution that is in the interest of both the United States and Russia, while also sustaining our strong commitment to our allies in Europe and Asia?
Options for Europe • All four of the Options examined by CBO require close partnership with Russia, as all four Options involve a radar on Russian territory or very close to Russian territory. This is a great strength of the CBO Options. • If Iran were so suicidal as to attack Europe, the first thing Iran would do is attack the “eyes” of the system. With a forward-based X-band radar in Azerbaijan or Armavir, as recommended by CBO, that would mean that Iran would have to attack Russia. This leads then to the obvious question, is Iran so suicidal that it would attack BOTH Europe AND Russia at the same time? • The introduction of this idea and of Ascent-Phase missile defense means that the original concept and architecture for U.S. missile defenses in Europe has been overtaken by events.
Proliferation and Missile Defense • Missile defenses lead to proliferation. • For example, Soviet and U.S. MIRVs in the late 1960’s and 1970s. • And recently, North Korea, Iran, Russia, and China each have announced new steps to counter U.S. missile defenses. • U.S. missile defenses aimed at North Korea and Iran have not deterred proliferation.
Some generalities • Shorter range systems tend to be less expensive, have undergone more extensive testing, and have better track records in those tests, albeit scripted for success. • Decoys and countermeasures are different for shorter range systems than for systems that operate outside the atmosphere. None have been adequately tested. • The best enemy “countermeasure” may well be to just fire more offensive missiles. • This leads to an arms race where the adversary just builds more offensive missiles to overwhelm U.S. defenses.
Test Results Summary 21 hits in 39 attempts = Patriot PAC-3 17 hits in 21 attempts = Aegis 6 hits in 6 attempts = THAAD, since 2006 8 hits in 14 attempts = GMD, but the most recent hit was a partial failure. No decoys. However, by design, all flight intercept tests have been scripted for success. And were not conducted with realistic decoys and countermeasures.
Patriot in OIF ~ Friendly Fire • March 23, 2003, a U.S. Patriot missile battery fired on a British Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 aircraft as it was returning from a mission, killing its two crew members. • On March 25, a U.S. PATRIOT missile battery south of Najaf nearly shot down a USAF F-16 jet after the battery's radar locked on the jet. Believing he was being “painted” by an Iraqi missile battery, not by U.S. forces, the F-16 pilot fired back. • A PATRIOT PAC-3 missile shot down a U.S. Navy F/A-18C Hornet fighter jet on April 2, killing the pilot. • This history raises issues about Air-Launched Hit-to-Kill, the newest MDA program.
SECDEF Gates on ABL “I don't know anybody at the Department of Defense, Mr. Tiahrt, who thinks that this program [airborne laser] should, or would, ever be operationally deployed. The reality is that you would need a laser something like 20 to 30 times more powerful than the chemical laser in the plane right now to be able to get any distance from the launch site to fire.” Secretary Gates, HASC, May 13, 2009
SECDEF Gates on ABL cont’d • “So, right now the ABL would have to orbit inside the borders of Iran in order to be able to try and use its laser to shoot down that missile in the boost phase. And if you were to operationalize this you would be looking at 10 to 20 747s, at a billion and a half dollars apiece, and $100 million a year to operate. And there's nobody in uniform that I know who believes that this is a workable concept.” Secretary Gates, HASC, May 13, 2009
SECDEF Gates on KEI • “The Missile Agency itself last fall, during the Bush administration, essentially eliminated the kinetic energy interceptor from its FY '10 POM.” • “First of all, this was to have been a five-year development program and it now looks like it's about a 16-year development program.” • “The missile’s 38 or 39-feet long. It weighs 12 tons. There’s no extant ship we can put it on. We would have to design a new ship to put it on.And as I say, it would have to operate in close proximity to the territorial waters of these countries.” • “So for all these reasons, the decision has been made that this is not a productive way to look at the booster problem.” Secretary Gates, House Defense Approps, May 20, 2009
Further Issues • Air-Launched Hit-to-Kill, a new program. • To what extent will ALHK supercede or conflict with existing programs? • SBIRS-High and STSS way behind schedule and billions over budget. • Sea-Based X-Band Radar compatibility with the maritime environment.
New Directions for US Missile Defense? • Has testing been rigorous enough? No. Always overly scripted. MDA Three-Phase review; Critical Engagement Conditions. • Which system holds the greatest promise over the short, medium, and long-term? Ascent-Phase? A brand new program! • What will be the future budgetary constraints? ~ $10 billion/year is a lot.
“There’s no crying is baseball!” • The Obama MDA budget ($7.8 billion) = Bush request in 2006. • Bigger than Bush request in 2004 ($7.7 B). • And significantly bigger than Bush request in 2003 ($6.7 Billion). • And the Obama MDA budget is equal to or greater than the as-passed appropriations by Congress in four of the Bush years, including two years when Republicans controlled both the Congress and the White House (2004 and 2006).
Q: Which systems are farthest along? A: None are very far along, despite the U.S. trying for 60 years. Q: How well proven are these systems? A: Any determined adversary can overwhelm them. Q: Can we rely on the UHF search radars and X-band targeting radars? A: Not against an adaptive enemy. Q: How capable are each of the systems in a real world situation vs. decoys and pen-aids? What are the realities of the testing programs? A: None have been adequately tested. Tests are designed for success. Q: What are the budget implications and costs? A: No U.S. system is “cost effective on the margin.” Costs are open ended with no end in sight? Q: How much more difficult is it to intercept ICBMs than SRBMs? A: Both involve environments that can be exploited by an enemy. Q: What is the viability of the “3rd” GMD site in Europe and potential alternative architectures? A: The current plan with an X-band radar near Prague is vulnerable. Working with Russia is better. Most Asked Questions
Focus on the Rogue Threat “We will restructure the program to focus on the rogue state and theater missile threat.” “We will terminate the Multiple Kill Vehicle (MKV) program because it is not a necessary capability to defeat rogue threats, …” “We will also terminate the Kinetic Energy Interceptor (KEI) program since its capability is also inconsistent with the missile defense mission to counter rogue nations threats, …” Lt. Gen Patrick J. O’Reilly, HASC, May 21, 2009
“The Obama-Biden Administration will support missile defense, but ensure that it is developed in a way that is pragmatic and cost-effective; and, most importantly, does not divert resources from other national security priorities until we are positive the technology will protect the American public.” Obama White House web site.
Missile Defense in Europe • “As long as the threat from Iran persists, we will go forward with a missile defense system that is cost-effective and proven.” President Barack Obama, April 5, 2009, Prague.
PAC-3 • The PAC-3 has made a target intercept 21 times out of 29 attempts during testing. There has also been one failed intercept test conducted with Japanese forces on Sept. 17, 2008. The latest PAC-3 flight test was held on April 21, 2009 where two PAC-3 missiles reportedly engaged a target ballistic missile. This was the first test of the PAC-3 that incorporated an advanced guidance system, known as the Simplified Inertial Measurement Unit, into the missile.
Aegis • “The Aegis BMD system has achieved 14 successful exo-atmospheric intercepts in 18 attempts. This total includes one successful intercept and one unsuccessful intercept by Japanese Aegis ships in two Japanese test flights. The Aegis BMD system has also achieved 3 successful endo- atmospheric intercepts in 3 attempts, for a combined total of 17 successful exo- and endo- atmospheric intercepts in 21 attempts.” Congressional Research Service, April 13, 2009
Aegis Issues • Cost relative to Defended Area • Range/speed of SM-3 interceptors • Divert capability ~ SDACS • Scripted tests
THAAD • THAAD testing stopped in 1999, program revamped. Testing resumed in late 2005. • Since then, THAAD has made an intercept in six out of eight flight test attempts. The latest flight test, FTT-10, was held on March 18, 2009, and resulted in an intercept. • Target complications caused the two unsuccessful attempts.
THAAD • According to FY09 budget MDA plans to deliver first THAAD fire unit between 2QFY09 and 4QFY10 (instead of 3QFY08 and 3QFY09, as planned in the previous year’s budget request); it will be made up of 24 interceptors, 3 launchers, 1 THAAD radar, and 2 fire control and communications units. The second fire unit will be delivered between 3QFY10 and 4QFY11 (instead of 3QFY09 and 4QFY10, as planned in the previous year’s budget request), with same components as the first THAAD fire unit. Significant schedule delays, many of which are due to problems with its test targets.
GMD • The system has made eight intercepts out of fourteen attempts. The latest test, FTG-05, held on Dec. 5, 2008, resulted in an intercept, but decoys did not deploy. • But in the last five years there have only been 6 flight intercept tests, and four of those have failed, a success rate of only 33%. The MDA counts the most recent of those six tests as a partial failure, but considering that the main reason for the test was not achieved, it was a serious setback.
SECDEF Gates on ABL, cont’d • I have kept the first -- the prototype, because we do need to continue the research on directed energy and on lasers, and that will be robustly funded because we do need to continue developing a boost- phase capability. But, operationally, this first test, for example, is going to be from a range of 85 miles.” Secretary Gates, HASC, May 13, 2009
SECDEF Gates on KEI, cont’d • “But a big part of the problem with this program is that it needs to be close to the launch site to be able to be effective. -- the only potential country where it could have a role with some confidence would be North Korea. It has poor capability against Iran and virtually no capability against either Russia or Chinese launch facilities.” Secretary Gates, House Defense Approps, May 20, 2009
SECDEF Gates on MKV • “On the Multiple Kill Vehicle, the policy of the Bush administration and the policy of this administration has been to develop a missile defense against rogue nations, not against China and Russia. And the Multiple Kill Vehicle, in addition to schedule and cost and technology issues, was a -- was designed against a far more capable enemy than either North Korea or Iran are going to be in -- for the next 10 to 15 years.” Secretary Gates, SASC, May 14, 2009
Patriot in OIF • PAC-3 was designed to intercept SCUDs, after the first Persian Gulf War in which some 158 PATRIOTs were fired at 42 SCUDs launched by Iraq, and almost none shot down. • The GAO estimated the Patriot success rate in the Persian Gulf War may have been no better than 9 percent, or four SCUDs shot down. • The Congressional Research Service reported that there was conclusive proof of only one destroyed Scud warhead. • Israel came to similar conclusions which are part of the public record.
Patriot in OIF, cont’d • At first the Army and President George H.W. Bush claimed near perfection, saying 41 of 42 Iraqi missiles were shot down. The Army said 95% at first, but later revised that figure downward in successive steps. In 1992, SECDEF William Perry told a congressional committee that PATRIOT was "not an effective antiballistic missile system” because it was too easily confused by countermeasures. • On January 12, 2001, Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen said, "the PATRIOT didn't work.”
Patriot in OIF cont’d • To this day the PAC-3 is still untested in battle. Iraq fired no SCUDs in OIF, having destroyed or dismantled them all per UN resolution. Instead Iraq fired shorter-range missiles and low flying cruise missiles for which PAC-3 was not designed. These were FROG -7 missiles, Ababil-100s, CSSCs, and Al Samoud missiles.A history written by the 32d Army Air and Missile Defense Command documents 23 Iraqi missile launches (9 Ababil-100s, 4 Al Samouds, 4 CSSC-3s, 4 FROG-7s, and 2 unknowns).
Patriot in OIF cont’d • In OIF the Army claimed 8 engagements for 9 tries, and possibly 9 for 9. Thus even if we assume that the Army brought down 8 or 9 targets, that leaves 14 or 15 enemy targets that Patriot did not bring down. • Also, it puts the Army’s claim into perspective to point out that 24 PATRIOTs were fired at those 9 targets, and if every one of the nine were hit, that would be only a ratio of 37.5% (9/24). • PAC-3 did not play a role in OIF because, compared to other variants, there were relatively few in the field. One PAC-3 was responsible for one of the fratricides.In OIF only 54 PAC-3s ended up being deployed in-theater, out of a total of 1069 PATRIOT interceptors that were rushed in-theater. Lt. Gen. Ronald Kadish, told Congress, only four PAC-3's were fired in OIF and one of those PAC-3s shot down a U.S. Navy F-18 jet fighter.