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The Wednesday Report North American Missile Defence Systems: Canadian Participation
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Volume 18, Number 20, May 12, 2004

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The [U.S.] Missile Defense Agency's mission is to develop and field an integrated Ballistic Missile Defense System capable of providing a layered defense for the United States and its deployed forces, friends and allies against ballistic missiles of all ranges in all phases of flight. MDA is responsible for research, development, testing and evaluation. Using complementary interceptors, sensors, and battle management command and control systems, the planned missile defense system will be able to engage all classes and ranges of ballistic missile threats. Missile defense elements being developed and tested by MDA are primarily based on hit-to-kill technology. It has been described as hitting a bullet with a bullet ­ a capability that has been successfully demonstrated in test after test. -- U.S. Missile Defence Agency

Canada in the Ballistic Missile Defence Regime

Guidance systems sold by North Korea to enhance the accuracy of  Syria's medium-range Scud D missiles is atrociously inaccurate according to data gathered by watchers in Israel, but it nevertheless takes the indigenous Syrian project to a new dimension. Israel must take this weapon system seriously and make certain that it's home grown anti-missile missile system is up to snuff.

The Scud D is an old dog of a medium-range weapons delivery system, widely available, getting a new life from a handful of modern micro-chips. Almost anyone can do it.

Iran's Shahab-6 has the potential of striking Toronto, Canada with three rocket stages.

North Korea's Taepo Dong-2 could deliver a substantial nuclear payload to Vancouver. A three-stage variant could delete Montreal from the map.

Would Iran or North Korea ever want to kill Canadians? No, it is hard to concoct any reasonable expectation of that happening, so why worry about the capability if motive can't be found?

  • Any non-state terrorist organization or failing state can be a player in the inter-continental missile game if it has enough money.

  • Non-state entities will be exploited to deliver catastrophic blows to the West on behalf of nation states seeking plausible deniability for the act.

  • North Korea, for one, will sell most anything to anyone for a price.

  • As was in the case in Pakistan, rogue elements within NPT-member states sell their nation's technology to the highest bidder. 

  • Iran will sell anything to anyone who is willing to kill Jews or Israelis.

Why would anyone want to attack a Canadian city? Blackmail? Retaliation against one of Canada's alliances? Demonstrate to the U.S. a capability to kill many millions of people by devastating a small Canadian city?

Dear President. Bush;
To prove our capability, we have today destroyed the Canadian city of Halifax with a 100 Kiloton nuclear bomb delivered by one of our very own missiles which re-entered from space like the hand of Allah. Pull your troops out of Iraq by month-end or we will kill New York City with just a slight change of the coordinates.

An inter-continental missile launched from a rogue state or by non-state operators from half way around the globe would likely carry a significant chemical, biological or nuclear payload. Technology, delivery systems and warheads as well as know-how are all available for a high price in cash dollars in the right place at the right time. This is not a stretch. This is today's reality.

Meanwhile, although on May 29, 2003, Ottawa announced that Canada would enter into discussions with the U.S. about possible Canadian participation in the missile defence of North America, Canada's current plan for dealing with such a threat is still limited to diplomatic engagement with proliferators, export controls on missile-related technology, membership in the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), and support for the Hague Code of Conduct on ballistic missiles.

Notwithstanding these valiant international 'Boy Scout' efforts, Canada is therefore extremely vulnerable inasmuch as the United States is vulnerable without a viable ballistic missile defence system. In this danger, we and the U.S. are inseparably joined at the hip.

By the year 2010, if not earlier, a missile attack traversing Canadian territory or into Canada is more than possible, it's a probability.

It is therefore an obligation of the Canadian federal government, no matter what opinion polls may indicate, to provide Canadians with defensive capability against missile attack or against errant missile hits by joining the U.S. and our mutual allies in the creation of the North American missile defence system.

The advantage of gaining a technological lead of at least five years over enemies and proliferators is a proven thing.

The Canada / U.S. North American Missile Defence system is the next best step for NORAD.

Micheal O'Brien, Editor

Ed. Note: Additional reading: Discussions with the United States on possible Canadian participation in the Ballistic Missile Defence of North America.

Recent Missile Defence Agency Milestones

May 3

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) successfully conducted a demonstration launch of a Long Range Air Launch Target (LRALT) at 12:06 a.m. (EDT) Monday, May 3, 2004. The LRALT missile boosted a simulated reentry vehicle from a point just south of Midway Island to the vicinity of Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

The LRALT program is managed by the Missile Defense Agency Targets and Countermeasures Directorate and developed for MDA by the U. S. Air Force Space & Missile Command and L3/Coleman Aerospace Corp. LRALT is based on two Minuteman II second stages taken from deactivated assets. The delivery system is air-extracted from a C-17 for launch on any azimuth. LRALT was developed as a target for realistic testing of the Ballistic Missile Defense System using air-launch as a method to relieve the test constraints imposed by fixed ground launch sites.

March 23

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) announced that Lt. Gen. James A. Abrahamson, U.S. Air Force (Retired), is the second recipient of the Ronald Reagan Missile Defense Award, an annual honor awarded to individuals or organizations to recognize outstanding support, innovation, and engineering and scientific achievement associated with technologies designed to defend against ballistic missile attack. General Abrahamson was the first director of the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO), the forerunner of the Missile Defense Agency, and served from March 27, 1984 to January 31, 1989. 

The award was presented to General Abrahamson during a ceremony at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. on March 23, 2004, during the 2nd Annual Missile Defense Conference sponsored by MDA and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). 

Former Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger received the award last year.

Earlier this month, another hurdle was successfully passed on the road to the missile defense Initial Defensive Capability (IDC) being put on alert. U.S. Pacific Fleet ships, in concert with the Ground-based Midcourse and C2BMC elements of MDA's Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) conducted a series of interoperability events continuing to build confidence in the Missile Defense Agency's efforts to develop a long-range surveillance and tracking capability in Aegis Destroyers and communicate that data to other elements of the BMDS to support engagement of ICBM ­class threats. 

Entitled Pacific Explorer II (PACEX II), the exercise teamed various elements of the BMDS, including Aegis BMD, C2BMC, GMD, U.S. Navy ships, satellites and shore stations across the globe in multiple tests. Extensive communications and interoperability capabilities, essential to the Ballistic Missile Defense System, were successfully demonstrated. 

March 5

The Ground-Based Midcourse Defense Site Activation Command announced that the construction project at the Fort Greely Missile Defense Site recently passed a major safety milestone: more than 2 million man-hours worked without a lost time accident. 

For a construction site this large and with so many moving parts, a safety record like this is almost unheard of, according to Colonel Kevin Norgaard, Director of Site Activation Command.

"Completing the project in Alaska on the aggressive schedule we imposed in itself is a great accomplishment," said Colonel Norgaard. "Doing so with two million hours without a lost time accident is an extraordinary accomplishment and reflects the superb corporate safety culture that Fluor and its subcontractors have embraced."

While Site Activation Command has overall responsibility for the site, several major construction contractors and government agencies working for Site Activation Command are involved with developing and maintaining safety awareness on the construction site. These include Fluor Alaska working under the supervision of theU.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and The Boeing Company (prime contractor for the program) under supervision of Site Activation Command. 

March 3

The U.S Army conducted a successful intercept test flight of the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., today at approximately 7 a.m. Mountain Standard Time. Preliminary test data indicate the missile successfully intercepted the target and mission objectives were achieved.

Test objectives of this mission included demonstrating the PAC-3 missile segment software and ground system improvements, demonstrating system capability to intercept and kill a short-range full-body tactical ballistic missile target, and demonstrating and validating successful operation of the PAC-3 missile seeker with a domestic source Traveling Wave Tube. The target for the mission was a Patriot-As-A-Target (PAAT), a Patriot legacy missile modified to represent a short-range tactical ballistic missile (SRBM).

Soldiers of the 3/6 and 3/43 Air Defense Artillery, Fort Bliss, Texas, participated in today's test. The PAC-3 Missile is a high velocity, hit-to-kill missile and is the newest addition to Patriot family of missiles. The PAC-3 missile provides increased capability against advanced tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and hostile aircraft.

The PAC-3 missile successfully completed operational testing and began fielding in 2002. This was the first test mission flown since fielding and combat in Operation Iraqi Freedom. 

The Patriot PAC-3 program is managed by the U.S. Army and executed by the Army Program Executive Office, Air, Space and Missile Defense and the Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Project Office in Huntsville, Ala. Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Dallas, Texas, is the prime contractor responsible for the PAC-3 Missile Segment. Raytheon Systems Company, the Patriot system prime contractor, is the system integrator for the PAC-3 missile segment.

January 9

Team Vandenberg successfully launched Booster Verification Test-5 at 10:40 a.m. today. BVT-5 tested a three-stage booster configuration for use with the Missile Defense Agency's Ground-based Midcourse Defense System. Built by Lockheed Martin Corp., the booster is one of two slated for use with the GMD system. The system is designed to intercept and destroy long-range ballistic missiles.

January 7

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company of Sunnyvale, Calif. is being awarded an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity cost-plus-award-fee contract for the development and demonstration of a miniature kill vehicle (MKV) system. 

The maximum value of the contract is $768,000,000 performed over an eight-year period. 

The first task order for $27,000,000 will be awarded simultaneously with the contract award. The MKV program will be managed by MDA Advanced Systems, which is responsible for developing advanced capabilities for integration into the Ballistic Missile Defense System. The MKV contract will be executed for MDA Advanced Systems by the U. S. Army Space and Missile Defense Technical Center in Huntsville, Alabama. 

The MKV system will deploy multiple, small kill vehicles from a single carrier vehicle. The integrated payload will be designed to fit on existing and planned interceptor boosters. The resulting system will be capable of engaging multiple midcourse targets from a single launcher, adding firepower and robustness to midcourse defenses. The initial program focus will be on the design and demonstration of the kill vehicle. The MKV system will be designed to integrate seamlessly into the Ballistic Missile Defense System with initial focus on its Ground-based Midcourse Defense element.

 

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Micheal J. O'Brien
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