Air-Launched BMD Enjoys Renewed Popularity

Discussion in 'Americas' started by nrj, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Nov 16, 2009
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    An air-launched, missile defense system is being advocated by two veterans of the Pentagon’s Star Wars era and a 1990s program to mate unmanned aircraft and long-range air-to-air weapons.

    Len Caveny, former director of science and technology, and Dale Tietz, a retired U.S. Air Force officer who focused on unmanned aircraft, were part of the Pentagon’s ballistic missile defense organization. They are offering a new concept — backed up with a couple of decades of research — to kill ballistic missiles soon after launch when they are slow, bright targets.

    Its basic idea is to use Global Hawk (with its 60,000 ft. operational altitude) as a dedicated sensor aircraft and the turbo-prop powered Predator B/Reaper or jet-powered Predator C (flying at 40,000 ft. and capable of carrying more interceptor missiles) as the flying components of a restructured boost-phase intercept (BPI) system.

    The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is already looking for an unmanned aircraft that can detect boosting missiles and has focused on a sensor pod that can fly on a number of existing platforms. A Reaper carrying a Raytheon MTS-B electro-optical/IR/full-motion video sensor was able to detect and track a boosting missile from greater than 1,000 km. (621 mi.), says MDA’s director, Army Lt. Gen. Patrick O’Reilly. One of the mods has been a part of each major MDA flight test since December.

    They also are pushing rocket-motor firms and missile designers to come up with more powerful boosters and repackage them as missiles that are small and light enough to be carried internally. They have to be fast enough — 2.5-5 km./sec. (6,000-11,000 mph.) or faster — to catch heavy ballistic missiles during boost and ascent at ranges of 300 km. or greater. The longer the range, the faster and more heavy the interceptor becomes.

    “In the 1990s, under the Raptor/Talon program, the [plan] was to use a custom-designed, high-altitude [more than 20 km.], long-endurance [more than 24-hr.] unmanned aerial system carrying ultra-lightweight sensors and weapons based on Brilliant Pebbles technology,” Tietz says. “The UASs would fly very close or sometimes over enemy territory hunting for Scuds as a networked wolf pack. The concept was designed to push the enemy back and destroy his [theater ballistic missiles] within two minutes.”

    From 65,000 ft., sensors can see a missile launch plume at a range of about 480 km. That would make the defense of South Korea and Japan relatively easy. Iran is far more complicated because of the country’s size, which demands a technology penalty.

    “Korea can be defended with a 3-3.5 kilometer per second interceptor,” Caveny says. “For Iran you would need about 5 kilometers per second. The kill vehicle technology is pretty advanced. What we don’t have is the low-mass, two-stage solid rocket that is more aggressive than Raytheon’s Network-Centric Air Defense Element. We need NCADE on steroids. It also is going to require a very agile missile because you need short time-to-target at standoff ranges up to 300 miles.”

    Even with that kind of missile performance, in times of heightened tension, the missile-carrying UASs would have to move into Iranian air space, which in turn would require it to carry additional weapons to protect itself against surface-to-air missiles.

    “The show-stopper right now is the size of rocket motors,” Caveny says. He sees three key methods to compensate: using small kill vehicles, taking inert mass out of the system or using higher-energy propellants.

  3. Patriot

    Patriot Senior Member Senior Member

    Apr 11, 2010
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    Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
    Up to $1.5B to 4 Firms for MDA Financial Management Services

    The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) awarded 4 contracts worth up to $1.5 billion to provide financial management services in support of the Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) program.

    The MDA is expected to spend more $100 billion over the lifetime of the BMD program. The agency has come under criticism from the GAO for its lack of transparency and accountability.

    “MDA’s flexible acquisition approach has limited the ability for DOD and congressional decision makers to measure MDA’s progress on cost, schedule, and testing…MDA’s baselines have been inadequate to measure progress and hold MDA accountable. However, GAO also reported that new MDA initiatives to improve baselines could help improve acquisition accountability.”


    To help it improve financial accountability, the MDA is turning to 4 contractors…

    Booz Allen Hamilton in McLean, VA (HQ0147-10-D-0018);

    Computer Sciences Corp. in Huntsville, AL (HQ0147-10-D-0019);

    Paradigm Technologies in Arlington, VA (HQ0147-10-D-0020); and

    Odyssey Systems Consulting Group in Wakefield, MA (HQ0147-10-D-0021).

    Each firm is being awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide advisory and assistance services to MDA’s Business Financial Management Organization.

    This procurement is managed by the MDA’s Engineering and Support Services Program Office. This program office is responsible for centrally managing the acquisition of advisory and assistance services for the agency.

    Each contract has a not-to-exceed ordering ceiling of $374.8 million. The companies will have the opportunity to bid on each individual task order.

    Work under these contracts will be performed in Huntsville, AL; Los Angeles, CA; Colorado Springs, CO; Indianapolis, IN; Dahlgren, VA; Arlington, VA; Albuquerque, NM; and Columbus, Ohio. The performance period is through August 2015.

    Up to $1.5B to 4 Firms for MDA Financial Management Services

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