India developing anti-satellite capability

Discussion in 'Strategic Forces' started by LETHALFORCE, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    The Space Review: India’s ABM test: a validated ASAT capability or a paper tiger?

    India’s ABM test: a validated ASAT capability or a paper tiger?
    The March 7 edition of The Hindu reported that India performed a test of the interceptor missile portion of its ballistic missile defense system on March 6, 2011. The test, the sixth of the series, was reportedly a success and a validation of the technology to be integrated into India’s defense system.1

    The question remains that, even with the necessary technology to acquire an ASAT capacity, does India now have a proven capability?
    The target missile, a modified Prithvi, was launched at 9:32 a.m. from Launch Complex III of the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, Orissa. The modified Prithvi mimicked the trajectory of a ballistic missile with a 600-kilometer (324-nautical-mile) range. Radars at different locations tracked the modified Prithvi, determined its trajectory, and passed the information in real time to Mission Control Centre (MCC) to launch the interceptor. The interceptor used a directional warhead to maneuver the interceptor to the modified Prithvi before exploding. As part the announcement, V.K. Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Director-General, stated this latest success demonstrated India’s capability to effectively neutralize satellites belonging to an adversary.2

    While not the primary purpose of the test of India’s ABM program, Sarawat’s statement reflects India’s interest in anti-satellite (ASAT) technology, and it has reportedly put together the necessary components to acquire such a capacity (see “India’s missile defense/anti-satellite nexus”, The Space Review, May 10, 2010). The question remains that, even with the necessary technology to acquire an ASAT capacity, does India now have a proven capability?

    ABMs and ASATs
    The history of India’s quest for an ASAT capability dovetails with the development of its ABM program. Unlike the ABM capability sought by India, its endeavor towards an ASAT capability is fairly new. India’s indigenously built ABM system has been in development for several decades and only began to bear fruit in November 2006 when an intercept was performed outside the atmosphere. India followed up this success with others in an effort to deploy an operational ABM capability sometime in 2012.

    According to Sarawat, there are two phases in India’s ABM program. Phase 1, which the March 6, 2011 test was a part, will develop a capability to intercept missiles with a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,080 nautical miles) coming from an altitude of 150 kilometers (81 nautical miles). The next test planned later this year is supposed to validate this capability3. Phase 2 of the program is intended to develop a capability to intercept missiles with a range up to 5,000 kilometers (2,700 nautical miles), which theoretically would give India the capability to intercept intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

    Chinese ASAT test and seeds of India’s ASAT interest
    The Chinese government surprised the international community with the intentional destruction of its weather satellite Fengyun 1C on January 11, 2007, using its SC-19 ballistic missile to carry a kinetic kill vehicle4. The test was the first successful test of China’s ASAT, and it was performed without warning to the international community and likely constituted a technical violation of China’s obligations under the Outer Space Treaty5. Aside from international criticism, China suffered no sanctions for the test and the resulting debris cloud.

    The United States took particular notice that the test represented the demonstration of a potential threat against its robust outer space systems, which it has become increasingly reliant upon. What didn’t garner immediate attention was India’s concern that China’s ASAT test represented a similar threat to its growing investment in outer space systems. It wasn’t until 2009 that India started making public gestures that it was interested in finding a way to secure it space assets.

    India’s public statements about its purported ASAT capability seem to fit neither an active program to develop an ASAT or an ancillary capability to ballistic missile defense.
    If there were any doubts about India’s intentions they were cleared when Saraswat publically acknowledged that India was developing and bringing together the basic technologies to create a system that could be used against satellites belonging to an adversary. Saraswat made a similar statement after the March 6 test6. The decision to adapt India’s existing ABM technologies to the ASAT role was doubtless encouraged by the ancillary capability demonstrated by the United States when it adapted its ABM system to deorbit USA 193 in 2008.

    Dedicated weapon or capability?
    It is unclear whether India’s purported ASAT capacity is intended to be a dedicated weapons program or a simply a capability ancillary to missile defense. To illustrate, the test against Fengyun 1C in 2007 not only that demonstrated that China had the capability to deorbit a satellite, but that it also had a weapons program dedicated towards the creation of that capability.

    When the United States planned to de-orbit the crippled USA 193, critics argued that the United States was planning on testing an ASAT7. The United States did not have a specific program dedicated to develop and deploy an ASAT; however, it did demonstrate that it had an ancillary capability to its ABM program that could be used in the ASAT role.

    The distinction between China’s ASAT test and the de-orbit of USA 193 is important because China’s test was the result of an active effort to develop and deploy a dedicated weapon system, which was designed to deny an adversary the use of its space assets. Conversely, the United States demonstrated it had an ASAT capability ancillary to missile defense that was used to de-orbit a crippled satellite before it could cause harm.

    India’s public statements about its purported ASAT capability seem to fit neither an active program to develop an ASAT or an ancillary capability to ballistic missile defense. On one hand, public statements made by India’s officials indicate that their goal is to protect its space assets and deny the use of space to an adversary.

    In the same vein India’s officials claim their ASAT ambitions are strictly a deterrent and not meant to be used and that “India’s policy is that it will not weaponise space, and we are committed to the peaceful uses of outer space.”8 The conflicting statements give the impression that India intends to deploy dedicated ASAT capability along with the deployment of its ABM system, but at the same time considers the ASAT role an ancillary capability that it does not intend to use.

    It is perhaps this ambiguity and uncertainty where India’s ABM program ends and its ASAT ambitions begin that India is relying upon to make China wary of interfering with its outer space assets.

    Proven capability or semantics?
    Whether India’s ASAT is “proven” as postured by India’s officials is a matter of semantics and given the geopolitical realities that India exists within it may be all that it can rely upon.

    On March 9, 2011, the Secure World Foundation held a panel discussion concerning the militarization of India’s space program. Victoria Samson, the Director of the Washington office of the Secure World Foundation noted, “A missile defense program can very easily be used as a technology demonstrator program for an ASAT capability.”9

    As noted above, the United States demonstrated this when it modified components of its ABM system to intercept and de-orbit the crippled USA 193. The effort was successful on its first attempt, but the plan for the intercept did allow for multiple attempts if necessary.

    India has publically acknowledged that it brought together the basic technologies needed to create an ASAT capability; however, integrating the necessary technologies may give India an ASAT capacity, but does not necessarily give India a proven ASAT capability. The only way for India to demonstrate that it has a proven ASAT capability is to perform a test on a target satellite.

    Addressing the audience at the Secure World Foundation panel discussion, Bharath Gopalaswamy stated that the scientific and military community of India was open to a test, if it is performed with careful consideration of where and how it was performed and that such a test might occur within the next 5 to 10 years.10

    The uncertainty of India’s ASAT capability works to its benefit, and that uncertainty can be a powerful tool for deterrence.
    A prospect such as the one presented with USA 193 may not manifest itself for India to test its ASAT, unless it intentionally places a satellite in orbit in order to manufacture a situation similar to the one that the United States faced with USA 193. Otherwise, India would have to utilize one of its own existing satellites already in stable orbit. When questioned about which satellite India would likely choose for a test, Gopalaswamy identified India’s RITSAT-2, which orbits at an altitude of 551 kilometers (298 nautical miles), as a likely candidate.11

    Even if India fulfills its obligations under the Article IX of the Outer Space Treaty, it is questionable whether such a test would be looked upon favorably. The altitude of the satellite is such that its destruction could produce a debris field, which could linger in orbit for a considerable time and represent a hazard to other spacecraft.12 Furthermore, the test of an ASAT could be considered an aggressive military action and would be inconsistent with India’s stance that it aligns itself with the Outer Space Treaty’s precept of the peaceful use of outer space.13

    An attempt to perform such a test unilaterally without consulting the international community could result in serious international repercussions and could even affect its burgeoning relations with the United States in terms of space cooperation.14 Although China avoided serious international repercussions from its ASAT test in 2007, it is unlikely that India would enjoy similar immunity and could find itself at the center of a serious political and diplomatic tempest, a fact that India’s officials are likely aware of.15

    India would also have to consider what a unilateral test could do to its credibility in the international circle with relation to orbital debris mitigation. India is a member of the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC), and it contributed significantly to crafting that organizations mitigation guidelines. A successful test of an ASAT by India and the resulting debris field could seriously erode it credibility in that arena.

    There is also a possibility that an ASAT test could inadvertently spark an international crisis with China. The resulting debris from an ASAT test could contaminate a large orbital area and potentially create a hazard to Chinese satellites. Regardless of the debris produced by an ASAT test, China might consider such a test as a provocative action.

    India also has to consider the possibility that a test could fail, and such a failure might not go unnoticed. Even though India may have the technology to produce an ASAT capacity it does not guarantee that it will work the first time out. The deorbit of USA 193 performed by the United States was planned with multiple attempts to take down the satellite to ensure the satellite was safely deorbited. The stakes of an ASAT test for India are far greater.

    The uncertainty of India’s ASAT capability works to its benefit, and that uncertainty can be a powerful tool for deterrence. India could effectively squander that uncertainty if it decides to perform a test of its ASAT and it does not perform as touted first time out. A failure would not only be a blow to the technical and scientific community of India, but it could also affect India’s national security as it would provide China a level of certainty that India does not have an effective ASAT capability.

    It is uncertainty surrounding India’s ASAT ambitions that may be its best weapon to protect its space assets, and it may be what India is ultimately seeking. The combined statements of Saraswat after the March 6th test concerning India’s “proven” ASAT capability and the statements made by Bharath Gopalaswamy at the Secure World Foundation panel discussion touting a test of India’s ASAT capacity in five to ten years may be orchestrated posturing from within India’s government designed to stoke the flames of uncertainty with China as the intended audience.

    Conclusion
    The question of whether India has a proven ASAT will not be answered until India performs a full-up test. Technical realities, international politics, and geographical concerns make such a test chancy.

    Unless a situation arises where India feels that it needs to employ its ASAT, India’s best weapon of choice is uncertainty, and if uncertainty is India’s strategy then its ASAT capability will likely remain a paper tiger for the arms control community and the intelligence community to ponder and for its neighbor China to consider.
     
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  3. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Group believes India will perform anti-satellite test - Washington DC DC | Examiner.com

    Group believes India will perform anti-satellite test


    The Secure World Foundation (SWF) hosted a special panel discussion on Tuesday to examine India's military space efforts and how their plans could influence overall Asian security.

    The event, held at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, was a follow-up from a SWF co-sponsored conference held in January in New Delhi intended to understand the primary forces behind India’s increasingly militarized space program.

    India’s space program, managed by the Indian Space Research Organization, has very strong civil roots and has done much to improve the everyday lives of its citizens. However, India’s space efforts have taken on a more military tone with help from their own missile defense system.

    India has been working on its own missile defense system and has held six test intercepts since November 2006; four were reported to be successful. The most recent test was performed on Sunday. Following that test, India’s Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister, V.K. Saraswat, said India has “all the technologies and building blocks which can be used for anti-satellite (ASAT) missions” in the low-earth and polar orbits. ASAT weapons are launched into space to incapacitate or destroy satellites for strategic military purposes.

    “A missile defense program can very easily be used as a technology demonstartor program for an ASAT capability,” said Victoria Samson, director of SWF’s Washington office.

    The United States demonstrated this in 2008 when they fired a modified SM-3 missile from a Navy ship and destroyed a military satellite named USA 193 in orbit.

    Space security is a growing interest in India.

    “We know how important space has a role today, starting from your cell phones and other gadgets that you use,” Bharath Gopalaswamy told the audience at the event. Gopalaswamy is a researcher in the Arms Control and Non-proliferation Programme at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

    In order to take out a 50-foot by 50-foot wall during World War II it would require 12,000 bombs, Gopalaswamy said. With today’s precision-guided munitions, that use Global Positioning System satellites to navigate, you just need one bomb.

    “Every country values its space assets extremely highly,” Gopalaswamy said, “you want to protect them and you want to defend them. If I were the military, I would be saying I want all options on the table.”

    India’s scientific community is open to having an ASAT test, according to Gopalaswamy. “They said test it, but be careful, about where you test it and how you test it.”

    “India might do an ASAT test in the next five to 10 years,” said Rajeswari Rajagopalan, senior fellow at Observer Reseach Foundation, New Delhi.

    But is ASAT development the biggest threat to satellites?

    Increasing awareness of space debris and continued efforts to develop and implement international measures to tackle the problem is a major concern for all countries.

    Significant on-orbit collisions, such as the collision of the French military satellite Cerise with a portion of an Ariane rocket in 1996, and Russia’s Cosmos 2251 crashing into Iridium 33 in 2009, have encouraged the recognition of space debris as a significant threat.

    “As it stands today, in space, the probability of debris hitting a satellite is more than an adversary taking your satellite down,” Gopalaswamy said.
     
  4. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    India demonstrates capability to neutralize satellites in space - Washington DC DC | Examiner.com

    India demonstrates capability to neutralize satellites in space


    India on Sunday conducted another successful test of its ballistic missile defense system when it successfully destroyed an “attacker” ballistic missile with an interceptor missile, over the Bay of Bengal off Orissa coast. [source]

    The interceptor missile was launched from Wheeler Island, off the Orissa coast, to ambush an incoming 'enemy' missile at an altitude of 16 kilometers (10 miles) over the Bay of Bengal. [source]

    The fresh success of the interceptor missile mission has demonstrated the country's capability to neutralize adversarial satellites in space, according to V.K. Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister. [source]

    The indigenously developed missile interception system destroyed a modified Prithvi variant. The Prithvi was mimicking an enemy ballistic missile.
     
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  5. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    The Hindu : News / National : Capability to neutralise enemy satellites proved

    Capability to neutralise enemy satellites proved


    The fresh success of the interceptor missile mission on Sunday has demonstrated the country's capability to neutralise adversarial satellites in space, according to V.K. Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister.

    India has “all the technologies and building blocks which can be used for anti-satellite missions” in the low-earth and polar orbits. However, “India's policy is that it will not weaponise space, and we are committed to the peaceful uses of outer space,” he said.

    Out of the six interceptor missions conducted so far by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), five have been successful.

    “Fantastic success”
    Dr. Saraswat, who is also the DRDO Director-General, called Sunday's mission “a fantastic success.” The interceptor boasted new technologies such as directional warhead, fibre-optic gyroscopes and a radio-frequency seeker that guided the interceptor to attack the incoming “enemy missile” at an altitude of 16 km above the Bay of Bengal.

    The incoming missile, a modified Prithvi, blasted off at 9.32 a.m. from the launch complex III of the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, Orissa. It mimicked the trajectory of a ballistic missile with a 600-km range. In no time, radars at different locations swung into action, tracking the “enemy” missile, constructing its trajectory and passing on the information in real time to the Mission Control Centre (MCC) to launch the interceptor, an Advanced Air Defence (AAD) missile. It had a directional warhead to go so close to the adversarial missile before exploding to inflict the maximum damage on it. The interceptor had state-of-the-art guidance systems to achieve a manoeuvrable trajectory.

    The MCC identified the attacker as a ballistic missile and assigned it to the Launch Control Centre (LCC) on Wheeler Island. After making quick calculations, the LCC launched the interceptor “right on the dot at the required instant,” Dr. Saraswat said. The AAD soared into the sky at 9.37 a.m. from Wheeler Island to take care of the “threat.”

    The interceptor manoeuvred in the direction of the target, which was called the “least energy manoeuvre,” he said. The interceptor raced into the sky at 4.5 Mach. In the terminal phase of the attacker's flight, as it was hurtling towards the earth, the interceptor's radio frequency seeker “acquired the target, rolled the interceptor in the right direction and, when it was a few metres from the target, gave the command to the directional warhead to explode,” Dr. Saraswat explained.

    The warhead detonated, blasting the attacker to pieces. The ground-based radars and the sensors on board the targeted missile tracked the debris, which rained down over the Bay of Bengal, “confirming a very good kill,” the DRDO Director-General said. “Based on the data from the target, a 100 per cent kill was achieved.” The radars were located at Konark and Kendrapara, near Paradip, in Orissa.

    V.L.N. Rao, Programme Director; Avinash Chander, Director, Advanced Systems Laboratory, DRDO, Hyderabad; K. Sekhar, Chief Controller (Missile Systems and Low Intensity Conflict), DRDO; and S.P. Dash, Director, ITR, were present on Wheeler Island. Defence Minister A.K. Antony congratulated the DRDO missile technologists on the successful demonstration of the ballistic missile defence system.

    Dr. Saraswat said the next test would be done later this year to intercept a 2000-km-range incoming missile at an altitude of 150 km. India's plans for putting in place the first phase of the two-layered ballistic missile defence shield by 2012 and the second phase by 2016 were on course. This would be done by integrating it with the Air Defence System of the Indian Air Force and the Army.

    Only the U.S., Russia, France, Israel and India have the capability to put in place a ballistic missile defence shield. China is still developing it. It conducted an anti-ballistic missile test on January 11, 2010. The target missile, launched from Xichang, was intercepted and destroyed at an altitude of 700 km by a KT-2 variant missile that took off from near Korla in Xinjiang province.
     
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  6. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    What kind of ABM is this, kinetic or explosive warhead?
     
  7. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Does India need anti-satellite capability? - Rediff.com India News

    Does India need anti-satellite capability?


    In the short to medium term India's [ Images ] scarce resources would be better served by focusing on reducing the disparity with China in space. Developing ASAT capability is something that can wait, write Bharath Gopalaswamy and Harsh V Pant.

    Expressing concerns about China's growing defence capabilities, particularly its anti-satellite weapon system, a few days back Air Chief Marshal P V Naik sought the development of India's own missile system that can destroy enemy satellites.

    "Our satellites are vulnerable to ASAT weapon systems because our neighbourhood possesses one," Naik said while delivering the Air Chief Marshal L M Katre memorial lecture. He underlined the need for India to develop ASAT technology and referred to it as "one of our challenges of future war capability."

    Indian communication, weather and remote-sensing satellites are clearly more vulnerable today than they have ever been in the past and their vulnerability has enormous implications for a whole range of areas affecting the day-to-day life of ordinary Indians. Over the past 20 years, the use of outer space has changed dramatically. From the dawn of the space age to the Cold War era, Russia [ Images ] and the United States were the world's only space powers.

    Today, more than 41 countries own or operate satellites, about a dozen of them can launch satellites on their own and many more are aspiring for that capability. At the same time, more and more states are using space for military purposes -- from communications to mapping to intelligence gathering as well as weapons targeting. Going a step further, it should also be pointed out that even the Mumbai [ Images ] terrorist attacks in 2008 were orchestrated using space technologies.

    To put this in perspective, it is worthwhile to look at the economic dimensions of satellites. In 2007, the space industry revenue was estimated to at $123 billion, and the revenue from the GPS equipment alone was calculated to be at $56 billion. The number of US jobs supported by the space industry was around 729,000 while the US satellite radio subscribers were approximately 13.65 million.

    Going by these sheer numbers, it is no wonder that space occupies a significant part of our lives. In light of this background, it is not surprising that significant developments have occurred in the recent past: firstly, the Chinese ABM test recently, secondly, the Chinese ASAT test in 2007, thirdly the USA-193 tests in 2008 and finally the Indian shift in policy to seek ASAT capabilities.

    Earlier this month, China announced that it had conducted a missile defense test that consisted of a ground-based mid-course missile interception technology within its territory. China added that the test has achieved the expected objective and went on to clarify that the test was defensive in nature, not targeted at any country.

    It is interesting to note that China is migrating its anti-satellite research into the missile defense arena, India is doing the opposite. In both cases, however, the technology is fundamentally the same: the development of kinetic energy interceptors -- so called 'hit-to-kill' technologies that use a bullet to hit a bullet.

    As far back as January 2007, China had successfully tested a direct-ascent hit-to-kill interceptor against one of its old weather satellites. That test appears to have increased the amount of debris (size greater than 1 centimeter) in Low Earth Orbit by 15 to 20 percent, becoming the worst debris-producing event on record. The satellite was orbiting at about 850 kilometers, so the resulting debris is concentrated in a region of space that's heavily used by satellites and already crowded with debris. How did this test change the risk to satellites? Before the Chinese test, the chance that any given satellite near the altitude of the FY-1C would be hit by debris larger than 1 cm -- large enough to cause severe damage -- was approaching 1 percent over the satellite's lifetime, generally 5 to 10 years. Since debris from the Chinese test is concentrated near this altitude band, the threat will nearly double for the next 5 to 10 years.

    A year later, the US military destroyed a defunct and out-of-control spy satellite USA 193 with a specially designed SM-3 ballistic missile with pin-point accuracy. The US described this event as an effort to get rid of the huge amount of toxic hydrazine fuel of the satellite from contaminating the earth causing unexpected health hazard to humans. However, it would be really naïve to not acknowledge both the feat that the US military was able to accomplish and the political impact of the test, which was more than the technological achievement.

    The US had tested a similar ASAT weapon in 1985 against a satellite in an even higher orbit by firing an interceptor from an F-15 fighter aircraft.

    With this strike, the US once again demonstrated its technical ability to field anti-satellite weapons. The Pentagon [ Images ] had denied that the test had anything to do with ASAT weapons primarily because the altitude of interception was too low for any orbiting satellite. The SM-3 interceptor, which is part of the AEGIS missile defence system, has been used for the first time to shoot down a satellite.

    This intercept was made by engaging the target, which was moving at 17,000 miles per hour. It proved that the US have become very good at hitting objects at extremely high velocities when it matters the most and that too with extreme pin-point accuracy.

    Both these tests demonstrated that the hit to kill technology was a threat to LEO satellites. Currently, India has 12 satellites in LEO out of which, RISAT-1 is probably an attractive target. RISAT-1 is an experimental satellite, which has the capability to operate in all weather conditions. Internationally, RISAT-1 is believed to be dedicated for military applications.

    On the other hand, China has 31 satellites in the LEO orbit, out of which 12 of them are dedicated for military purposes. A space war (mutual shooting down of satellites) between China and India will be devastating. India's lack of redundancy in satellite capabilities will compromise its capability to retaliate. The effects in terms of debris will pose enormous risk to not only Indian and Chinese satellites but also to all the other satellites in orbit.

    In light of these issues, important policy questions arise for the Indian defence establishment: why focus on developing ASAT technology for a war that India can't win in the near future and everybody loses? The debris issue which has received far less attention than it warrants needs to be better understood. Threats to Indian space assets are clearly growing especially in light of China making moves in that direction.

    In the short to medium term India's scarce resources would be better served by focusing on reducing the disparity with China in space. While shielding on satellites can help protect against small particles, most satellites do not carry such shielding. Moreover, shielding is not effective against debris larger than about one centimeter in size. In particular, it is doubtful if any of active Indian satellites carry such shielding.

    Greater space cooperation with the West, especially the US, will help India in balancing China's growing weight in space. If Indian satellites are in danger from China, then so are American assets in space. The US has far greater stakes in ensuring that China does not become too powerful in space. A greater redundancy in space capabilities will also help. Developing ASAT capability however is something that can wait.
     
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  8. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    India working on anti-satellite capabilities: DRDO - Indian Express

    India working on anti-satellite capabilities: DRDO



    India today said it was making the “building blocks” of the technology to develop anti-satellite capabilities as part of its space security measures.



    “We are making the building blocks of technology for the space security measures and they are of two types, active and passive. So, we are developing both these elements in this programme,” DRDO chief V K Saraswat told reporters.



    He was responding to queries on India’s plans to develop capabilities to destroy satellites in space while speaking on the sidelines of a function to sign MoUs between DRDO laboratories and private industries to commercialise technologies developed by the defence research organisation.



    Asked about the developments in the indigenous Ballistic Missile Defence programme, he said, “the (BMD) test is going to be conducted in February.” DRDO is working on the BMD programme, under which it is developing a system to destroy incoming enemy ballistic missiles both in space and in earth’s atmosphere.


    Commenting on the recent trials of the laser-guided bombs by DRDO, he said, “today is the era of precision guidance and we have to minimise collateral damage. So, DRDO’s effort is to ensure that whatever systems used to be of 100 metres accuracy or 200 metres is brought down to the realm of less than 10 metres.”"
     
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  9. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    India Developing Means To Destroy Satellites | SpaceNews.com

    India Developing Means To Destroy Satellites


    PARIS — India has begun development of lasers and an exoatmospheric kill vehicle that could be combined to produce a weapon to destroy enemy satellites in orbit, the director-general of India’s defense research organization said Jan. 3.

    “The kill vehicle, which is needed for intercepting the satellite, needs to be developed, and that work is going on as part of the ballistic missile defense program,” said V.K. Saraswat, director-general of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which is part of India’s Ministry of Defence.

    In a televised press briefing during the 97th Indian Science Congress in Thiruvananthapuram, Saraswat said the program includes the development of lasers “which will be able to give you a concrete picture of the satellite, and use that picture to guide your kill vehicle towards that. That work has yet to be done.”

    The DRDO expects to have all the building blocks ready between 2012 and 2014, he said. An interceptor missile with a range of 120 to 140 kilometers will be test fired in September 2010, he said.

    Saraswat said that while work on individual components of the system is going on, the anti-satellite (A-Sat) weapon will be built and tested only “if and when the country needs it.” Saraswat, who is also the scientific adviser to the defense minister, said space security is going to be a major issue in the future and that India should not be left behind.
     
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  10. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    The Space Review: India’s missile defense/anti-satellite nexus

    India’s missile defense/anti-satellite nexus


    While China’s 2007 anti-satellite (ASAT) test and its missile defense intercept test earlier this year have attracted much attention and concern, another emerging space power has also been expressing its interest in developing those capabilities yet attracting very little notice: India. Given enthusiastic statements by Indian officials about what they see as the need for ASATs and the country’s continued missile defense efforts, this could be worrisome. Though most of the rhetoric can be chalked up to regional rivalry, and much of the grandstanding downplays the level of technical capacity that still needs to be developed, India’s plans for missile defense and their relationship to space security bear further monitoring.

    India’s plans for missile defense and their relationship to space security bear further monitoring.
    India has been working on a missile defense system that is primarily indigenously built for several decades, but it wasn’t until relatively recently that successes were repeated during testing. India held missile defense intercept attempts in November 2006 (a test where the intercept occurred outside the Earth’s atmosphere, or was exoatmospheric), December 2007 (a test where Indian officials claimed that the intercept occurred inside the Earth’s atmosphere, or was endoatmospheric, despite video footage implying that the interceptor missed the target), March 2009 (an exoatmospheric test), and March 2010.1 During the last test, the modified Prithvi target missile did not follow its scheduled flight path and thus the interceptor missile, called the Advanced Air Defense (AAD) missile, was not launched.2 Indian officials have indicated that they want to deploy a working missile defense system by 2012. Defense Research and Development Organization Director General V.K. Saraswat stated last October that the “[o]nly part that remains to be developed is the interceptor missile;”3 the US Missile Defense Agency’s experience in developing interceptors might demonstrate to him how much work India might have ahead of itself. Per Saraswat, there are two phases to India’s intended ballistic missile program: the first phase is planned to intercept target missiles with ranges of up to 2,000 kilometers via “exo-atmospheric, endo-atmospheric and high-altitude interceptions,” while in the second phase, India will strive to be able to intercept target missiles with ranges of 5,000 kilometers, which potentially could give India the ability to intercept intercontinental ballistic missiles.4 Saraswat also proudly noted after China held its first missile defense intercept test attempt in January 2010, “This is one area where we are senior to China.”5

    Dr K. Kasturirangan, former head of the India Space Research Organization (ISRO), said in September 2009, “China’s ASAT capabilities displayed a few years ago was to show to the world that they too can do it. That China can do what it wants to do and demonstrate that it can do even more… to supersede the best of the world, that is the US.”6 He also stated, “Obviously we start worrying. We cannot overlook this aspect.”7 Kasturirangan, sounding very similar to some parts of the US national space community, asserted that “India has spent a huge sum to develop its capabilities and place assets in space. Hence, it becomes necessary to protect them from adversaries. There is a need to look at means of securing these.”8

    In January 2010, Saraswat tipped India’s hand further when he told reporters, “India is putting together building blocks of technology that could be used to neutralize enemy satellites,” and that “We are working to ensure space security and protect our satellites. At the same time we are also working on how to deny the enemy access to its space assets.”9 This last part is very similar to statements made by some US officials charged with protecting US space assets. Saraswat did acknowledge, “Basically, these are deterrence technologies and quite certainly many of these technologies will not be used.”10 If that last part is true, it does raise the question of how much of a deterrent these technologies may actually provide, since the Indian government claims not to intend to use them.

    Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik gave in February 2010 perhaps the real reason why India has expressed any interest in an ASAT program in his explanation, “Our satellites are vulnerable to ASAT weapon systems because our neighborhood possesses one.”11

    “Our satellites are vulnerable to ASAT weapon systems because our neighborhood possesses one.” - Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik
    Clarifying his statements from the previous month, Saraswat announced in February 2010, “In Agni-III, we have the building blocks and the capability to hit a satellite but we don't have to hit a satellite… If you hit a satellite, the repercussions are that we will have debris and they will be detrimental to objects in space and it will remain in there for many years.”12 This was a welcome acknowledgement by an Indian military official of some of the negative consequences of actively testing an ASAT program. Instead, Saraswat said that India “will validate the anti-satellite capability on the ground through simulation,” emphasizing that “there is no program to do a direct hit to the satellite.”13 Conflating India’s successes thus far with its ballistic missile arsenal development and its plans for a ballistic missile defense system, he went on to say, “With the kill vehicle available and with the propulsion system of Agni III, that can carry the missile up to 1,000 kilometers altitude, we can reach the orbit in which the satellite is and it is well within our capability.”14

    Part of why India may be interested in developing an ASAT capability is that it wishes to use it as a way to enhance its missile defense program and, to a lesser extent, its domestic science and technology skills. This is latter is seen even in the United States, which has a much longer history of space activities, where some of the strongest proponents for continuing with space exploration (for example) couch their arguments in the need to maintain and expand an intellectual industrial base for space technology know-how. An ASAT capability requires, if one is using kinetic kill vehicles and not relying on the destruction from an electromagnetic pulse or a nuclear-tipped warhead, very solid and reliable hit-to-kill capabilities. India has explicitly expressed its interest in developing more or less indigenously its own missile defense system and has been working assiduously on such a program for some time; thus, an ASAT program, as it were, would also be a technology demonstration program for a missile defense system. This highlights the similarities between missile defense and ASATs. Interestingly enough, India seemed a few years ago like it was more interested in purchasing parts of the Arrow Weapon System, a missile defense system co-developed by the United States and Israel. It apparently has since decided that it would rather build its own and gain the skill set such a system would require.

    But primarily, as can be seen by statements by Indian officials, not ceding ground to its political regional rival, China, is mostly grandstanding by India. The Indians see China as their main competitor and nation of concern (regarding space capabilities) in the region. So these statements by Indian officials partially can be explained as bombast to assure domestic audiences that India is a peer of China or even ahead of it. However, there is another explanation: these statements indicate that India is interested in being able to reach China. The Indians may have decided that they should be able to cover all contingencies for future conflicts. The Pakistanis are already well within range of Indian ballistic missiles, and by developing this long-range missile capability, the Indians will be able to counter China as well. They can point to the 2007 Chinese ASAT test as an example of the pressing need for reciprocal capability; again, this mirrors some of the debate within the United States for why American space assets may be endangered. And since China reportedly held its own hit-to-kill missile defense test in January 2010, this just adds more justification to those who feel that India must have a missile defense system in order to keep up with regional capabilities.

    There are lessons learned from previous arms control debates that have probably affected India’s decision to seek a missile defense/ASAT capability. One strong one is that Indians remember well that the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) made a concrete division between the nuclear haves and the have-nots. This partition was largely based on who had held a nuclear test prior to the treaty’s creation. India missed becoming an official nuclear weapon state by six years by having its first nuclear test—or, as India termed it, a “peaceful nuclear explosion”—in 1974. There are some within India who have taken that lesson to heart and want India to develop an ASAT capability so that India would be grandfathered in, should any future treaty or international agreement ban ASATs. This is probably to gain the prestige of being one of a select few states and the wish to avoid being hemmed in, should future Indian military officials decide that an ASAT capability is needed for their national security needs.

    India’s ASAT plans are worrisome because in the Indians’ anxiety to keep up with China, they may unexpectedly create the exact thing that they are trying to avoid: a conflict in or about space.
    India’s interest in developing this missile defense/ASAT capability also could be seen as an unintended consequence from the October 2008 US-India nuclear deal. In it, the United States agreed to lift its ban on nuclear trade with India, despite India’s not having signed the NPT and actively flouting the spirit of that treaty by holding nuclear weapon tests. The nuclear deal put India in a unique position relative to other non-conforming states to the NPT, thanks to its now special relationship with the United States; India may think that its benefactor will quietly look the other way while it develops ASATs. Furthermore, as noted earlier, many of India’s justifications for pursuing ASATs are quite familiar to those following the debate being held in the United States about how best to protect US space assets.

    Along those same lines, while there was much criticism of the debris created by China’s 2007 ASAT test, international approbation was about all that China was subjected to. There were not any military responses, economic embargoes, or even technological limitations (beyond what the export controls that the United States already had in place). Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe very delicately called the test illegal with this statement to the Japanese Diet: “I believe it would not be in compliance with basic international rules such as the Outer Space Treaty.”15 (Article IX of the 1967 OST calls for prior international consultation if a state believes its planned space activities may be harmful to others.)16 So perhaps India figures that despite the unpopularity of developing ASATs, there are not going to be any tangible consequences to doing so.

    Now, if India were to actually test an ASAT, that might prove to be a different story, but as can be seen by the Indian officials quoted above, they probably realize that as well and have opted not to cross that line. Also, perhaps maintaining ambiguity around its ASAT plans serve India better than holding an actual test and removing all doubt as to whether it actually has that capability.

    Finally, it is important to put India’s missile defense/ASAT ambitions within the proper context. India does not have the indigenous space situational awareness capability needed for an ASAT system. India is working to improve this but, as the US missile defense systems’ trials and tribulations have shown, it is not something that can be developed rapidly, even if given great leeway in its development and a relatively blank check. While a dedicated satellite network is not a necessity, it does raise the question of how India intends to be able to detect and track missile launches. The United States’ experience in shooting down the de-orbiting satellite USA 193 in February 2008 with a modified Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) interceptor demonstrated that missile defense radars often do not have the capacity to keep up with a satellite target, since the Aegis system’s radars were unable to track at the very fast speed that the satellite was travelling. Finally, while it is true that, generally speaking, a ballistic missile is expected to be able to reach an altitude of about half its range, this does not mean that this automatically translates into being able to reach that altitude while simultaneously serving as a missile defense interceptor. The Agni-III or -V may be powerful ballistic missiles, but they cannot be scaled down and just swapped into the Indian missile defense network in order to have a missile defense capacity; thus claims about their effectiveness equaling an enhanced ASAT or missile defense capability should be taken with a grain of salt.

    India’s ASAT plans are worrisome because in the Indians’ anxiety to keep up with China, they may unexpectedly create the exact thing that they are trying to avoid: a conflict in or about space. If their statements are misunderstood or if they ratchet up the rhetoric, they may thrust India into the position of having to hope that its missile defense interceptors do, indeed, serve as able ASATs.
     
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  11. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    China and India pursue anti-satellite kill technology | Homeland Security News Wire

    China and India pursue anti-satellite kill technology



    The space arms race accelerates, as China and India announced the development of hit-to-kill anti-satellite weapons; the United States has been developing this technology for years – but since the U.S. military and economy are much more dependent on satellites, the United States becomes more vulnerable as more countries acquire anti-satellite capabilities

    Anti-satellite weapon // Source: wired.com
    India and China are forging ahead with technology that could be used to kill satellites. An official from India’s Ministry of Defense announced on 3 January that the country is developing a “kill vehicle” with laser vision that could home in on and destroy satellites in orbit.

    David Shiga writes that on Tuesday, China announced it had carried out a successful missile defense test the previous day. China did not release details of the test, but said it involved a missile interceptor.

    The Chinese test came three years to the day after it fired a missile in a test that destroyed one of its own satellites in Earth orbit, creating thousands of pieces of high-speed debris that continue to continue to threaten other satellites.

    As Jeffrey Lewis, an analyst for the New America Foundation based in Washington, D.C., points out, there is not much difference between missile defense and anti-satellite technology. Both involve missiles, sometimes called “kinetic energy” interceptors, that can be precisely targeted at fast-moving objects in order to slam into and destroy them.

    The Indian announcement made that link explicit, describing the work on anti-satellite technology as part of the country’s own missile defense program, carried out against a backdrop of military tensions with Pakistan.

    Shiga writes that as for the Chinese missile defense test, it is natural to wonder whether it was intended at least in part as a continuation of its work on anti-satellite technology.

    Though the spotlight is on India and China this week, Lewis points out that these two countries are not acting in isolation. “The U.S. has pioneered [hit-to-kill] technology — and encouraged its spread to allies like Israel, Japan and Taiwan among others,” he writes. “Now China and India are racing to join the club.”
     
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  12. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Indian Official Says Anti-Satellite Weapon Within Reach | AVIATION WEEK

    Indian Official Says Anti-Satellite Weapon Within Reach


    Following the latest successful test of an air defense interceptor, India’s defense research chief says the technology for anti-satellite missiles is within the country’s grasp.

    The March 6 intercept test featured an advanced air defense interceptor incorporating new technologies including an RF seeker, fiber-optic gyroscopes and directional warheads. The missile executed a textbook prescribed intercept of a modified Prithvi missile at an altitude of 16 km (10 mi.) above the Bay of Bengal.

    “It was a great mission for all of us,” says V.K. Saraswat, head of the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). “I would rate it as one of the best launches. We are now fully ready with [next-generation] technologies which can even be used for anti-satellite missions.”

    However, he adds, “we are completely committed toward non-weaponizing space, and we are for absolutely peaceful uses of outer space.”

    India plans a two-layered ballistic missile defense shield integrating the air defense systems of its army and air force. Phase 1 is expected to be ready by 2012, while Phase 2 should be in place by the end of 2015.

    The Prithvi missile was launched from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Orissa, mimicking the flight of a ballistic missile. Within seconds, radars tracked it and fed trajectory information to the mission control center, which launched the Mach 4.5 interceptor from Wheeler Island in Orissa.

    “We have analyzed the reports and are really satisfied with the damage it inflicted on the ‘enemy’ missile,” Saraswat says. “The ground-based radars/sensors onboard the targeted missile confirmed a very good kill.” The next test will intercept a 2,000-km-range missile, Saraswat says.

    Including this most recent launch, DRDO has conducted six trials of the interceptor missile, with five hits and one miss. The missile was first tested in November 2006.
     
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  13. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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  14. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Agni-III could be modified for use as anti-satellite weapon, says DRDO chief - Indian Express

    Agni-III could be modified for use as anti-satellite weapon, says DRDO chief

    An anti-satellite missile that can put in the leaage of countries like the US and China is feasible with Agni III intergrated with a satellite kill vehicle, according to DRDO Chief and Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister V K Saraswat.

    Delivering a lecture on ‘DRDO, the Challenges Ahead’ at Air Marshal Y V Malse Memorial Lecture at the University of Pune, Saraswat said, “Developing such a missile is feasible if Agni III and BMD (ballistic Missile Defence) kill vehicle are integrated. The effective range, which is about 1400-1500 km, is sufficient to engage a satellite.”

    Air Chief Marshal (Retd) P V Naik and Air Marshal (Retd) Bhushan Gokhale were also present on the occasion.

    India has been reportedly developing an exo-atmospheric kill vehicle that can be integrated with the missile to engage satellites. Only the US, Russia and China have developed such anti-satellite weapon.
     
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  15. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    US anti satellite systems

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    http://www.missiledefenseadvocacy.org/web/page/954/sectionid/557/pagelevel/4/interior.aspx[/url]

    Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV)


    The Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) is the intercept, or kill component, of the Ground Based Interceptor (GBI), the weapon element of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense System. The EKV mission is to engage high-speed ballistic missile warheads in the midcourse phase of flight and to destroy them using only the force of impact. There is no weapon or explosive element of the EKV.
    Each EKV consists of an infrared seeker used to detect and discriminate the incoming warhead from other decoys and other objects. The EKV has its own propulsion, communication link, discrimination algorithms, guidance and control system and computers to support target selection and intercept. The EKV is continuously updated with the latest information from the control center.


    [​IMG]
     
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  17. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    India Developing 'Kill Vehicle' to Knock Enemy Satellites Out of the Sky | Popular Science

    India Developing 'Kill Vehicle' to Knock Enemy Satellites Out of the Sky


    Beware, enemies of India: Star Wars are back in fashion. With perennial (and nuclear armed) foe Pakistan always teetering on the brink of political collapse and neighboring regional superpower China taking greater strides into space technology, India has announced that it is developing an exo-atmospheric "kill vehicle" that will knock enemy satellites out of orbit.

    The program was proudly announced as part of India's ballistic missile defense program, a division of India's Ministry of Defense. However, in a briefing last week defense officials admitted lots of work on the project is yet to be done. Like, almost all of it. The kill vehicle (read: missile of some kind) will be guided by a laser, which will lock onto the offending satellite and keep the kill vehicle on a solid interception course. Neither the laser nor the kill vehicle actually exists yet, but be forewarned: India will put a dent in your space capabilities at a time and place as yet undetermined.

    Of course, India isn't the first state to dabble in space-based defenses or satellite-slaying technologies. Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative -- the now infamous "Star Wars" -- proposed to arm a series of ground- and space-based stations with interceptor missiles (for defensive purposes only, of course). In 2007 China brazenly launched a ground-based missile into the atmosphere to demonstrate its ability to destroy satellites, creating a mess of orbital debris when it blew apart an aging weather satellite. The U.S. also used a ship-based missile to incinerate one of its own spy satellites in 2008, as its decaying orbit was threatening to send it crashing down to Earth with toxic materials on board.

    So exactly whose satellites might India be protecting herself from? Pakistan, India's most reliable nemesis, isn't exactly running a robust space program. More likely the world's largest democracy is a bit wary of the world's largest military-minded single-party ruled "republic" right across the Himalayan range. Whatever the reasoning, putting weapons in space has never been a popular topic in the international community; we likely haven't heard the last word on this.
     
  18. utubekhiladi

    utubekhiladi The Preacher Elite Member

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    what a great thread...,


    keep going
     
  19. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    India Contemplates Anti-Satellite Vehicle Integration with Agni-III Ballistic Missile - Defence Now

    India Contemplates Anti-Satellite Vehicle Integration with Agni-III Ballistic Missile

    India’s varied missile capabilities are catching up to be at par with those of the US and China, as talks revolve around integrating the Agni-III ballistic missile with a satellite kill vehicle. According to DRDO Chief V K Saraswat, India is considering the feasibility of developing an anti-satellite missile which will lend a superior edge to India’s missile power. It would involve the development of lasers and an exo-atmospheric kill vehicle.

    During a speech regarding DRDO’s upcoming challenges and defence projects, DRDO Chief Saraswat touched upon the crucial issue of the anti-satellite vehicle, a capability which hitherto lies with the U.S, Russia and China. The development of an anti-satellite vehicle is feasible if the Agni-III missile and the Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) kill vehicle are integrated. The DRDO Chief added that the effective range, which is about 1400-1500 kilometers, is sufficient to engage a satellite. India is known to have been developing an exo-atmospheric kill vehicle that can be integrated with the missile to engage satellites.

    In the recent past, DRDO Chief V.K Saraswat has stated that India had all the building blocks necessary to integrate an anti-satellite weapon to neutralize hostile satellites in low earth and polar orbits. The Agni series of missiles already contained the propulsion module and a kill vehicle already existed in principle although it had not been formalized. According to DRDO, the Indian Ballistic Missile Defence Program can incorporate the anti-satellite weapon development. India purports development of anti-satellite weapons for electronic or physical destruction of satellites in both LEO or Low Earth Orbit (2,000 kilometers altitude above earth's surface) and the higher GEO-synchronous orbits.

    In an earlier statement, Dr. Saraswat said that while work on individual components of the system is going on, the anti-satellite (A-Sat) weapon will be built and tested only if and when the country needs it. He added that India must not lag behind in terms of space security. In addition, India has conducted many successful tests of its ballistic missile defence system wherein an "attacker” ballistic missile at an altitude of 120 kilometers was destroyed with an interceptor missile.

    Besides discussing the issue of ant-satellite weapons, DRDO Chief also talked of other crucial defence projects like the creation of a new engine besides the upgradation of Kaveri engine. While upgrade of Kaveri engine can continue, a new engine with variable cycle can be developed for the indigenous Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA). He added that advanced integrated controls, reduced infrared signatures, advanced avionics, stealth materials such as radar absorbing paint, advanced composites and hypersonic materials are some areas that need further development. Besides, areas such as network centric warfare need attention just as urgently as means of combating nuclear biological warfare need to be developed.
     
  20. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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  21. LETHALFORCE

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    http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Exo..._Role_In_Latest_Missile_Defense_Test_999.html

    Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle Plays Key Role In Latest Missile Defense Test

    [​IMG][

    A Raytheon Company Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) demonstrated successful two-stage flyout on June 6, 2010 during the latest test of the Missile Defense Agency's Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system.
    During this non-intercept mission, Raytheon's EKV met all test objectives, gathering critical data on kill vehicle performance that will improve the fidelity of its simulation models.

    "This test once again demonstrates the reliability and quality of Raytheon's Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle," said Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president. "The knowledge we gained will strengthen our nation's shield against threat ballistic missiles."

    The test began at 3:25 p.m. PDT when the two-stage ground-based interceptor lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base. Carrying an operational EKV payload, the GBI measured performance data for the new two-stage design as well as how an operationally configured EKV operates under stressing boundary conditions.

    The EKV is the intercept component of the GBI, which is the weapon element of the GMD system. Its mission in the defense of the nation is to engage high-speed ballistic missile warheads in the midcourse phase of flight and to destroy them using only the force of impact or hit-to-kill.

    EKV consists of an infrared sensor in a flight package used to detect and discriminate the incoming warhead from other objects. The EKV also has its own propulsion, communications link, discrimination algorithms, guidance and control system and computers to support target selection and intercept.

    The Raytheon-developed X-band radar, the primary payload of the sea-based X-band radar, and the AN/TPY-2 radar actively participated in this test by tracking, discriminating and assessing.

    "Once again, Raytheon radars demonstrated exceptional performance in this critical test of U.S. missile defense capability," said Karen Kalil-Brown, Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems vice president of National and Theater Security Programs.
     

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