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BMD Watch: BAE develops JETEYE for DHS

File photo: 767 JETEYE.
by Martin Sieff
UPI Senior News Analyst
Washington (UPI) Aug 15, 2006
BAE Systems announced Monday that it had entered Phase III of the DHS program to protect U.S. commercial airliners. BAE Systems' JETEYE system is based on the U.S. Army's Advanced Threat Infrared Countermeasures system to protect military aircraft against infrared guided-missile threats.

The new system is designed to protect U.S. civilian airliners. It was flown and tested against simulated man-portable air defense systems, or MANPADS, on an American Airlines Boeing 767 in late 2005, the company said.

During the 18-month Phase III program, JETEYE will continue flying on the same American Airlines 767 and will also fly on an ABX Air cargo aircraft to continue the reduction of the potential cost to the airline industry by streamlining system installation, reducing aerodynamic drag, and improving reliability and maintainability, BAE said in a statement.

"We took technology that protects the lives of our service men and women every day and integrated it in a system that has proven its effectiveness on a commercial platform," said Burt Keirstead, BAE Systems program director for JETEYE in Nashua, N.H. "A key tenet of the Phase III program is to refine the technology, improving reliability and minimizing cost."

The company is well on its way to exceeding a DHS requirement of 3,000 hours' mean time between failures, Keirstead said.

BAE Systems said it had delivered more than 14,000 infrared countermeasure systems worldwide -- more than all other companies combined. The company was selected by U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2004 to adapt proven military technology to protect commercial aircraft against shoulder-fired missiles. -0- Senior Japanese official backs pre-emptive strike doctrine

One of Japan's top serving defense officials has publicly advocated the possible need for pre-emptive strikes against enemy bases preparing missile attacks.

"Radically speaking, to defend our country, it might be more suitable for us to strike enemy bases," said Nobuki Kawamura, the director of planning and programming at the Japan Defense Agency's policy bureau, according to a report Monday on defensenews.com. "But right now, in the current situation, we don't have enough capability to attack enemy bases. We do have the air in-flight refueling tanker, but our F-15s are mainly for defense and they don't have the capability to attack (North Korea)."

But Kawamura said that situation might change in the future.

"However, for the future, we should have such capabilities, not exactly prohibited by our Constitution but mainly due to policy selection. As of now, government policy is that we don't have such capability and it is too early to discuss this option," he said.

Over the past year, BMD Watch and its sister BMD Focus column have monitored the dramatic development of Japan's ambitious ballistic missile defense program. Since North Korea's successful test of six short-range missiles on July 4 this year, and its unsuccessful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile type Taepodong-2 that same day, these columns have monitored a new willingness in the mainstream Japanese media to discuss the possibility of pre-emptive strike options against such threats in the future. Kawamura, however, is the highest level serving Japanese defense official to have weighed in publicly in advocating such a policy. Therefore his comments mark a significant milestone in the debate.

Defense News reporters Wendell Minnick and Sam Jameson commented, "The recent 61st anniversary of the dropping of two atomic bombs on Hiroshima on Aug. 6 and three days later on Nagasaki, however, does not appear to have affected Japan's enthusiasm for BMD and possible pre-emptive strike options, which could see Japan launching air strikes against targets in North Korea." -0- Russia's Borei missile subs hit snags

Russia has run into yet more technical problems with its new "Borei Class" of ballistic missile nuclear subs, Strategy.Page.com reported Sunday.

The launching of the first SSBN, or "boomer" sub in the class, the Yuri Dolgoruky, has been put off from late this year to early next year, the report said. Construction of the Yuri Dolgoruky began 10 years ago, but money shortages and technical problems have slowed progress.

The second ship in the class, the Alexander Nevsky, is also nearing completions. Construction on the third, the Vladimir Monomakh, began earlier this year. Russia wants to have about a dozen of these boats to replace the Delta IV class SSBNs that are currently in service. The Delta IVs are getting old, and have only about a decade of useful service left, StrategyPage.com said.

The Borei's are closer in design to the Delta IVs than to the more recent and much larger Typhoon boats. The Boreis are 558 feet long and 44 feet wide. Their surface displacement is 15,000 tons and each one will carry 12 Bulava Sea Launched Ballistic Missiles, or SLBMs, the report said.

Work on the Yuri Dolgoruky was delayed for several years because the first missile being designed for it did not work out. A successful land-based missile, the Topol-M, was quickly modified for submarine use as the Bulava. However, because the Bulava was a larger missile, each Borei class sub will be only be able to carry 12 instead of 20 of them, StrategyPage.com said. Each Borei sub also has four torpedo tubes, and 12 torpedoes or torpedo tube launched missiles.

StrategyPage.com's James Dunnigan also noted that each Borei would be particularly expensive to build, having a price tag of $2 billion each. "This high cost, by Russian standards, is partly because many factories that supplied parts for Russian subs were in parts of the Soviet Union that are not now within the borders of present day Russia. So new factories had to be built."

Dunnigan concluded that it would take Russia at least 10 years to build 12 such subs.

Source: United Press International

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General To Recommend US Missile Defense Sites In Europe Soon
Huntsville AL (AFP) Aug 15, 2006
The head of the US missile defense agency said Tuesday he expects to make recommendations in a matter of months on where to position interceptor missiles and radar in Europe to best protect against the threat of Iranian missiles.







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