Annex D. Space And Missile Defense Technologies
Army Science and Technology Master Plan (ASTMP 1997)

2. National Missile Defense

A U.S. Defense Acquisition & Technology Memorandum dated 9 April 1996 designated National Missile Defense (NMD) an ACAT 1D program and directed BMDO to form a Joint Program Office.

The NMD program will focus on achieving and maintaining technical readiness and reduce the time it would take to field a BMD system in response to emerging Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) threats to the United States. This section describes the major NMD elements managed within the Army, which include a Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI); a Ground-Based Radar Prototype (GBR-P); and Battle Management, Command, Control, & Communications (BMC3). USASSDC continues to provide research and technology matrix support to these system elements.

Near-Term Objectives
  • Develop test elements of initial NMD System within three years
  • Conduct integrated system test at USAKA in FY99
  • Conduct EKV sensor/interceptor flight tests at USAKA in FY97-99
  • Support capability to deploy within three years of decision

The GBI element is developing, demonstrating, and validating the technology and components for a state-of-the-art, low cost, lightweight, non-nuclear hit-to-kill missile to intercept and destroy enemy Intercontinental Ballistic missiles during the midcourse phase of flight. The current focus of GBI includes the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) and the Payload Launch Vehicle. EKV seeker fly-by tests are planned for FY97 to demonstrate seeker operation in the actual engagement environment and reduce risks for subsequent intercept flight tests.

The GBR-P is a solid-state X-Band phased array radar that will resolve the critical technology issues associated with development and deployment of a NMD-GBR and to provide the primary fire control sensor to support integrated NMD system testing. The critical issues include discrimination, target object map, kill assessment, and electromechanical scan. The GBR-P development will leverage off the ongoing THAAD Demonstration/Validation Radar Program and includes algorithm development, real-time software, and hardware-in-the-loop simulations. The GBR-P software development will modify and expand on software common with the THAAD Radar and incorporate unique NMD requirements for resolution of NMD-GBR technology issues.

The BMC3 element provides the overall Site-Level command and control required for coordinated integrated planning and execution of NMD operations. The BMC3 is a distributed system consisting of processors, software, man-machine interfaces, and communications media. It is built on an open system framework that will use, where possible, existing hardware and software. As a result, the BMC3 element will adapt to various threats, NMD architectures, contingency deployment options, and evolving operational requirements. The main objectives of the BMC3 element are to develop prototypes to validate the necessary Site-Level command and control structure, to develop the communications architecture for all of the information flows for the NMD system, and to serve as the vehicle for NMD system integration.

A concept known as the U.S. Army’s Kinetic Energy Anti-Satellite (KE ASAT) program is intended to provide the United States with the capability to interdict hostile satellites. The KE ASAT consists of missile and weapon control subsystems. The major components of the missile subsystem are the booster, kill vehicle, shroud, and launch support system. The weapon control subsystem is composed of a battery control center and a mission control element which performs readiness and engagement planning, command and control.

The military advantage provided to potential enemies by space systems is no longer a future or potential threat. It must be considered a fact of life today. The work done by both the Army and the Air Force on the KE ASAT program has laid the technical foundation for a viable contingency operational capability.