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US Japan To Integrate BMD IT Networks

By Martin Sieff, UPI Senior News Analyst
Washington (UPI) Jan 18, 2006
Japan and the United States are going to take another giant step in integrating their ambitious and visionary ballistic missile defense programs this year: The two countries have now agreed to integrate their information networks on missile defense by the end of fiscal 2006, Japan's Defense Agency chief Fukushiro Nukaga said Friday.

After working out details such as the roles of Japan's Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. military in the initiative, the two countries are expected to sign an agreement possibly in summer, according to Nukaga, who made his comments during a visit to Moscow.

Speaking to reporters in the Russian capital, Nukaga stressed the importance of developing capabilities for the early detection of a missile launch and for the accurate tracking of a missile to effectively counter a ballistic missile attack, the Kyodo news service reported. He therefore cited the need for linking the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force's radar warning system and U.S. satellites and radars.

While Japanese financial and industrial resources and high-tech capabilities provide a hugely welcome boost for U.S. BMD program planners, the need for Japan to develop highly effective early warning capabilities is even more urgent than it is for the United States.

Japan's population density is vastly greater than that of the Untied States and, consequently, the Japanese population is far more proportionately potentially vulnerable to ballistic missile attack. Further, the close proximity of North Korean and Chinese launch sites to Japan's home islands make the already short early-warning time for any effective BMD response far shorter for Japan than for the United States.


Lockheed wins $57m Aegis contract

The U.S. Navy has awarded Lockheed Martin $57.3 million under an existing contract for Aegis Combat System engineering, installation and integration on new U.S. Navy destroyers, as well as upgrades for Aegis-equipped cruisers and destroyers already in service, the company announced Tuesday.

As the U.S. Navy's Combat System Engineering Agent for Aegis, Lockheed Martin is responsible for the shipboard installation, integration and test of all combat system elements on all Aegis-equipped ships in the U.S. Navy, as well as those in Japan, Spain, Norway and Korea.

"The complexity of putting a front-line warship to sea relies on teamwork among the Navy, the shipbuilder and Lockheed Martin as the combat system engineering agent," said Orlando Carvalho, vice president and general manager

of Lockheed Martin's business in Moorestown, NJ. "The Aegis reputation for working every time, all the time is built on a very deliberate process of designing, building and testing at multiple phases during the initial construction, shipboard installation and lifetime support."

The Aegis Weapon System is the world's most ambitious sea-borne anti- ballistic missile system. It integrates the AN/SPY-1D(V) radar, the Mk 41 Vertical Launching System and a family of U.S. Navy missiles with its own command-and-control system. Aegis is at the heart of the U.S. Navy's sea-based missile defense system, one of the first operationally deployed components of the nation's layered network of defenses against cruise and ballistic missile attack.

Currently, Aegis Weapon Systems are on 76 cruisers, destroyers and frigates in service around the world. Plans are currently underway to install the system on more than 25 additional U.S. and international destroyers and frigates.


Lockheed SBIRS satellites head for burn up

Time appears to be running out for Lockheed Martin's ambitious Space-Based Infra Red Systems-High satellite program, which was intended to replace the current fleet of DSP satellites for the early detection of ballistic missile launches.

Lockheed Martin has delivered the sensors for the classified satellites, and the payload for the first dedicated satellite is already in thermal vacuum testing. However, Defense Industry Daily reported Monday that the program is being scaled back and may soon be replaced entirely by an entirely new Overhead Non-Imaging Infrared (ONIR) missile-warning satellite system.

"The Lockheed program has had more than its share of difficulties," DID said. "Its costs grew from $4 billion to $11-12 billion, and the launch date slipped from 2002 to 2009, but SBIRS has thus far been viewed as a problem program with no alternative. "

However, DID noted, "That status may be changing." For the existing DSP satellites are proving more durable and lasting significantly longer than was expected, cutting down on the urgency of replacing them with the still problem-plagued SBIRS-H system.

Also C4ISR Journal has reported that SBIRS is being scaled back from at least five to no more than three satellites (and possibly two), due to technical difficulties that have proven "intractable."

The journal reported that the U.S. Air Force will seek congressional approval next year to begin work on the ONIR satellite system instead. ONIR will utilize more advanced sensor and software technologies, "but will not be as ambitious as SBIRS in terms of performance requirements. It will also dump the ADA programming language that is the basis of SBIRS current software, in favor of more modern programming languages," DID said.


ITT wins $57m MDA contract

ITT Industries has announced it has received a contract from the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command for lethality testing and criteria development for the Missile Defense Agency.

Under the cost-plus contract worth an estimated $57 million, ITT will provide analysis, validation and development support for the MDA's kinetic energy and directed energy missile defense systems, Space Daily and Thomson Dialog NewsEdge reported Tuesday. The work will be carried out by ITT's Advanced Engineering and Sciences division and the contract is for one-base year with four additional one-year options, they said.

ITT will carry out tests and analyses on threat missile systems, lethality testing and high fidelity models in order to define kill modes, determine lethal damage requirements and to develop and validate criteria for interceptor components from initial computational analysis through development, the company said.

These tests and analyses will provide weapon developers and the MDA's missile defense architecture planners with information to help them design solutions to defeat hostile missiles equipped with weapons of mass destruction, the reports said.

Source: United Press International

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