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. US And Japan Plan New Missile Defense Base

Washington and Tokyo are currently planning a joint working arrangement under which the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force would be able to ask for technical assistance from the U.S. military if it encounters problems, allowing it to minimize costs, Kyodo said, citing its Defense Agency source.
by Martin Sieff
UPI Senior News Analyst
Washington (UPI) Dec 05, 2006
The Japanese Defense Agency plans to build a new joint U.S.-Japanese interceptor base, the Kyodo news agency reported Monday. "The Defense Agency is considering building a joint Japan-U.S. facility in Nagasaki Prefecture to maintain interceptor missiles used in a ballistic missile defense system based in the prefecture," Kyodo said, citing a source in the Defense Agency.

"The facility would be located on a filled-in area off the coast near the U.S. Navy's Hariojima ammunition depot in Sasebo," the report said.

Japan and the United States have been cooperating closely on missile defense since 1999. The partnership was really established and greatly expanded during the five year premiership of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi who stepped down in September. But Koizumi's handpicked successor, current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has publicly vowed to accelerate the joint BMD program.

Kyodo said the two countries have already been "working for some time on a data network to make the missile defense system operational." However, the plan for the interceptor maintenance facility is the first weapons-related facility to be revealed so far, the Japanese news agency said.

Kyodo said the U.S. Standard Missile-3, which the U.S. Navy already uses on its Aegis class destroyers and cruisers, and which Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force plans to deploy as well, is designed to intercept and destroy incoming ballistic missiles in space at altitudes of 120 miles to 180 miles.

However, the United States and Japan are working on development of a new, three-stage SM-3 that could reach much higher altitudes, Kyodo said.

A senior MSDF official told Kyodo said the new Nagasaki base was required because of the complexity of the SM-3.

"According to the source, although the agency is considering joint use of the facility and equipment, each country would maintain its own missiles," Kyodo said.

Washington and Tokyo are currently planning a joint working arrangement under which the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force would be able to ask for technical assistance from the U.S. military if it encounters problems, allowing it to minimize costs, Kyodo said, citing its Defense Agency source.

The Kyodo report also noted that the joint U.S.-Japanese BMD system was designed to operate in a two-tiered, or two-stage manner.

First the sea-launched SM-3s would be fired to try and intercept incoming ballistic missiles in space. Then, ground-based Patriot Advanced Capability-3 or PAC-3, batteries would be fired to try and destroy any remaining missiles in their final phase of flight after they had re-entered the earth's atmosphere. -0- India prefers Pad to Patriot

India's Defense Research and Development Organization now wants to build another missile that could intercept warheads and missiles far closer to ground level, the India Defense Web site, or india-defense.com, reported Saturday.

The DRDO is riding high after the successful interception and destruction of a test ballistic missile by their upgraded new Prithvi anti-ballistic missile interceptor on Nov. 27 over the Bay of Bengal.

Within a week of that achievement, India's top ballistic missile scientist Vijay Kumar Saraswat told a press conference Saturday, "Within the next three to four months the DRDO is planning to carry out another missile interception in the endo-atmospheric zone," india-defense.com reported.

Saraswat, who is Chief Controller of India's missile program and project director of India's air defence missiles, was also outspoken in announcing that India definitely would not seek to buy the already developed U.S. Patriot PAC-3 system or the Israeli Arrow. "We are only at the beginning and at this stage co-development or outright acquisition cannot be counted on," he said, according to the report.

Saraswat's comments appear to deal a mortal blow to U.S. hopes of selling the Patriot PAC-3 in large numbers to India. As our companion BMD Focus column reported last week, India's UPA-Congress government has resisted U.S. efforts to get New Delhi to buy the Patriots. There have also been unsubstantiated reports that Russia has quietly supplied India with its own S-3000 anti-ballistic missile interceptors until the Indians can home-develop an ABM of their own to face the nuclear ballistic missile threat from neighboring Pakistan.

Saraswat acknowledged, however, that it would still be several years before India could confidently deploy its own home-built anti-ballistic missile defense system.

"He admitted that the Pad was still a technology demonstrator and said it would need another half-a-dozen tests to validate it as a missile shield," india-defense.com said.

Saraswat also revealingly acknowledged that India wanted to follow the examples of the United States and Japan in trying to develop a two-tier, or two-layered BMD system with both "exo-atmospheric and endo-atmospheric interception capabilities to match short-reaction threats."

The DRDO's upgraded Prithvi therefore will be expected to play the role of the sea-launched SM-3 missiles in the U.S. missile defense system and eventually the Pad will play the role of the U.S. Patriot PAC-3. -0- Russia tests BMD interceptor

Russia Tuesday announced the successful test of one of its anti-ballistic missile interceptors.

A spokesman for Russia's Space Forces said the interceptor was launched from a test range that Russia still uses in the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan in Central Asia, according to a report Tuesday from the RIA Novosti news agency.

"The launch was conducted to check the missile's capabilities and prolong its operational life," Alexei Kuznetsov said, according to the RIA Novosti report.

The interceptor did not destroy any ballistic missile in flight but that had never been part of the test, Kuznetsov said. He said the test was fully successful and the interceptor, which RIA Novosti described as an "anti-missile," fulfilled its required performance parameters.

Kuznetsov also said that a silo-based interceptor or anti-missile had previously been test-launched in November 2004.

"Russia's missile defense system, which is deployed around Moscow, is part of the Space Forces. It comprises anti-missile systems, radars, command posts, silo launchers, and a data transfer system," RIA Novosti said.

"The missile defense system operates in an automatic mode and can detect ballistic targets, both on its own and on command from an attack warning system. It can intercept and destroy ballistic missile warheads," the Russian news agency said.

Source: United Press International

Related Links
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Russia Fires Missile To Test Out National Defence System
Moscow (AFP) Dec 05, 2006
Russia fired an interceptor missile on Tuesday to test out the country's missile defence system, a spokesman for Russia's space forces said Tuesday. Russian forces "carried out the launch of an interceptor missile from the Sary-Shagan range" in Kazakhstan, Alexei Kuznetsov, the spokesman, was quoted by ITAR-TASS news agency as saying.

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