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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Important U.S. House Armed Services Strategic Forces Sub-Committee Hearing: Fiscal Year 2016 Missile Defense

This is worth an hour of your time:

If you have doubt, there is this Reuters headline, U.S. missile defense agency warns of "jeopardy" from budget cuts:
Further budget cuts would put the U.S. military's ability to protect the United States in "serious jeopardy" at a time when Iran and North Korea are advancing their own missile programs, the head of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency said on Thursday.

Vice Admiral James Syring told U.S. lawmakers that failure to lift budget caps in fiscal 2016 would force him to delay urgently needed steps aimed at improving the reliability of a system that top military leaders have already called "unsustainable" given growing threats and budget pressures.
It is not rational to think standing still means your potential enemies will also call a halt to their activities.

UPDATE: U.S. Naval Insitute News offers up Army-Navy Memo on need for Ballistic Missile Defense Strategy, referenced in the above:

UPDATE2: Robert Work, Deputy Defense Secretary on budget issues as found in the Aviation Week opinion piece, "Budget Blunders Threaten U.S. Military Superiority":
Sequestration is a blunder that allows our fiscal problems, not our security needs, to determine our strategy.
Preach it!

1 comment:

  1. “Ballistic missile defense ships are at the highest OPTEMPO that we have, and those are the forces that are going to feel that impact that’s going to directly affect how well we defend ourselves in the away game.”
    So what did the US Navy do? They cut five Integrated Air & Missile Defense packages from the projected destroyer modification program, which will place even more stress on that system, and one will always have to know who is underway, and what they can do, because all the DDGs will not be interchangeable (false economy and planning to fail in the long term).
    " . . . So we’ve got to get them, at that midlife, get their upgrades in place, get the degree of ballistic missile defense that we need to get our BMD ship count up.”
    So what did the US Navy do? They cut five BMD conversion packages . . . madness!
    "Subcommittee member Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) noted in the hearing that the combatant commanders requested about 44 BMD ships a year from Fiscal Year 2012 to 2014, but in the 2016 request they ask for 77. Gortney said the demand for regional missile defense has skyrocketed as the threat proliferates, making it even more important to tackle OPTEMPO and the cost curve." [did you note that TERM 'regional missile defense' . . . Theater Missile Defense Capability?]
    Now what has been stated for most of the last several years ? . . . The US Navy NEEDS an Aegis Guided Missile Frigate that cost about half that of a DDG-51, and has at least Theater Ballistic Missile Defense capability with SM-2/SM-6 and maybe SM-3IA, it depends on how we design it. One can build two instead of every other DDG-51. This BMD ship employment problem was predicted, and US Navy has been so focused on preserving LCS production, they are in effect mortgaging our future . . . and to build what ? What a sad state of affairs. THIS article actually recognized Ballistic Missile “Proliferation” for the first time in most of the articles that skirt around this topic. What ever happened to pro-activity in our force planning?
    Co-production of the Standard Missile line with two Allies is in order. There is no reason that Japan and South Korea should not both be licensed to manufacture these weapons and supply their own fleets, and augment ours. Japan is already working with us on the SM-3IIA development program, and I think they already build SM-2s. They should be given SM-3IA/B manufacture capability today, to help take some manufacturing pressure for numbers off the system. South Korea should be considered for this as well.
    The US Navy needs an Aegis Guided Missile Frigate with at least a Theater Ballistic Missile capability as its base design criteria. Perhaps the platform can be prepped for future Directed Energy upgrade / employment. We have already lost three years. The US Navy needs to show some innovative thinking and leadership in this matter.