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Bush And Abe OK Faster BMD Cooperation

US President George W. Bush (L) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe walk together 18 November 2006 at the Sheraton Hotel in Hanoi. This is the first meeting between the two leaders since Abe took office in October 2006. Photo courtesy of Mandel Ngan and AFP.
by Martin Sieff
UPI Senior News Analyst
Washington DC (UPI) Nov 21, 2006
It's official: The United States and Japan are boosting their already strong cooperation on ballistic missile defense development. New Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President George W. Bush publicly announced their commitment to further accelerating the speed of the program after holding bilateral talks Saturday while attending the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi, Japan's Kyodo news agency reported.

"We agreed to strengthen and accelerate cooperation in ballistic missile defense and we will instruct our foreign and defense ministers to study this matter," Abe said after the meeting.

"Strengthening our alliance is good not only for Japan and its neighbors but also for the entire world," he said.

Abe said he had held "meaningful talks" with Bush during their working lunch, Kyodo said.

The meeting was an important one since it was their first since Abe succeeded Prime MInister Junichiro Koizumi in September. Over the previous five years, Koizumi had built U.S.-Japanese relations to their closest levels in decades and had single-handed pushed through a far-ranging commitment to purchase the most advanced U.S. BMD defenses for densely populated Japan and eventually to produce them under license.

The Hanoi meeting confirmed that Abe was determined to maintain the same very close ties with Washington and with the Bush administration.

"The relationship between Japan and the United States is strong and we will keep it that way," a pleased Bush said. "The strong relationship between our two countries is good for the security of the East."

Tokyo and Washington, which began joint missile defense research in 1999, initially planned to deploy in Japan ground-based Patriot Advanced Capability 3 interceptors by next March and sea-based Standard Missile 3 interceptors by March 2008. But North Korea's Oct. 9 nuclear test and missile launches in July prompted the two sides to speed up the deployment, the Kyodo report said.

The successful Abe-Bush meeting followed a preparatory meeting Thursday in Hanoi between Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. After that meeting, Aso said he and Rice had agreed in principle that bilateral BMD cooperation should be accelerated, as reported in BMD Watch Nov. 17. -0- Northrop Grumman C-band radar in demand for missile tests

Northrop Grumman announced Friday that the use of its C-band radar is being expanded in ballistic missile testing.

"This fall, the Northrop Grumman-developed C-band radar for the U.S. Navy participated in the successful test of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, marking the first time a Navy Strategic Systems Program radar has been used by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to optimize data collection and enhance mission success," the company said in a statement.

Northrop Grumman said the role that its C-band radar played in the highly successful Sept. 1 ground-based interceptor test reflected the model's widespread and robust use. The company regularly uses "this extremely mobile radar, year-round, to collect data on Navy ballistic missile tests in both the Pacific and Atlantic Test Ranges," the statement said. "As a trusted supplier of transportable large-dish radars, Northrop Grumman has demonstrated the ability to rapidly relocate large radar systems worldwide to remote land locations and aboard sea-based platforms on demand."

Northrop Grumman said the use of the C-band radar in the Sept. 1 test demonstrated "the company's ability to bring a radar on-line to a sea-based platform in a short timeframe."

"Within three weeks of a request for additional assets, Northrop Grumman -- under the direction of the U.S. Navy Strategic Systems Program Office -- relocated the Navy Mobile Instrumentation System (NMIS) C-band radar from Cape Canaveral, Fla., to California and installed the radar system aboard the Navy ship USNS Pathfinder. The ship was then positioned approximately 600 miles off the coast of California to track the interceptor flight," it said.

"This disassembly, ground transport, reassembly and installation of the Northrop Grumman developed radar aboard the USNS Pathfinder within a three week window demonstrates Northrop Grumman's ability to respond to rapid real-world situations requiring high-performance discriminating radars," said Frank Moore, vice president of the Northrop Grumman Missile Defense Division. "The valuable data collected from this additional radar asset will further enhance MDA's ability to thoroughly analyze system performance and build confidence in future flight tests."

The radar successfully tracked the GMD interceptor from the point it broke the horizon, throughout separation and intercept. Data is being combined with information from other sensors to provide a thorough analysis to MDA of all aspects of the test to make adjustments to ensure future mission success. Northrop Grumman described the NMIS C-band radar as "n instrumentation radar used normally for data collection and Navy missile testing, under contract to Navy SSP." "The company has also developed mechanically steered radars to support major U.S. weapons -0- Klotz honored for Minuteman upgrades

The deputy head of the U.S. Air Force Space Command has won a prestigious award for his success in modernizing U.S. Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile force, the American Forces Press Network reported Monday.

Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz, vice commander of Air Force Space Command, received the 2006 Gen. Thomas D. White U.S. Air Force Space Trophy Friday at the Air Force Association's National Symposium on Space and Air Force Ball in Los Angeles.

"The trophy is awarded for the most outstanding contribution to the nation's progress in aerospace during the calendar year," AFPN said.

Gen. Klotz won the award for his achievements during his tour of duty as the commander of the 20th Air Force at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., and vice commander of AFSPC based out of Peterson AFB, Colo., the report said. During that time, Klotz directed the operations, maintenance, security and support of the main U.S. ICBM force. The 20th AF force included 500 Minuteman III missiles and more than 9,500 people, AFPN said.

"While General Klotz was in command, 20th AF completed deactivation of the Peacekeeper intercontinental ballistic missile; conducted a multi-faceted modernization of the nation's Minuteman III ICBM force, ensuring it remains an effective and secure weapon system through the year 2020 and beyond," AFPN said.

"Gen. Klotz has masterfully led the command during a period of transformation of space missions," said Robert E. "Bob" Largent, AFA national chairman of the board,. Klotz "inspired the evolution of both the space and missile missions to become responsive and invaluable to warfighters," Largent said according to the report.

Source: United Press International

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US, Japan Boost BMD Cooperation
Washington (UPI) Nov 20, 2006
The United States and Japan are going to accelerate their BMD cooperation, Japan's foreign minister said. Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso told reporters in Hanoi Thursday that he and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had agreed to speed up the already close cooperation on ballistic missile defense between their two countries in order to boost regional security in Northeast Asia, the Kyodo news agency reported.

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