A weekly compilation of articles

Article Citations Below Are Gathered From Published Journals and Newsletters Which Are Held In the BMD TIC Collection. These Materials May Be Protected By Copyright Restrictions.


September 17, 1999



Some Hill Officials Skeptical Of New CIA Threat Assessment. Aerospace Daily, Sep 13, 1999, p 399

The CIA's latest National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) is old news, according to some lawmakers and defense committee aides. The agency, in an unclassified version of the NIE released last week, said that during the next 15 years the US "most likely will face ICBM threats from Russia, China & N. Korea, and possibly from Iran & Iraq." But some lawmakers say they had already learned as much from last year's Rumsfeld Commission.

Descriptors, Keywords: CIA threat assessment NIE national intelligence estimate

UPDATE: Sep 17, 1999, No. 01


BVRAAM Competitors Trade Fire. Aerospace Daily, Sep 17, 1999, p 434

Competitors for the UK's Beyond Visual Range Air-To-Air Missile (BVRAAM) program traded fire this week with Raytheon Co., promoting the team of British Aerospace and Matra BAe Dynamics and claiming its proposal is the best solution. At the same time Raytheon unveiled the Extended Range Air-to-Air Missile Plus (ERAAMplus), which incorporates new technology from the US AMRAAM program.

Descriptors, Keywords: BVRAAM ERAAM air-to-air missile Raytheon

UPDATE: Sep 17, 1999, No. 02


In Orbit: Imaging Satellites. Aviation Week & Space Technology. Smith, Bruce A., Sep 13, 1999, p 19

The US Army is considering using its THAAD radar to warn commanders if they are about to be imaged by a foreign satellite. The X-band radar can be used to precisely image a satellite, including where the optics are pointing, said Peter Cerny, the deputy director for space technology at the Army's Space and Missile Defense Command. The Army wants to begin a demonstration program to assess how well such a system would work. Although THAAD radars would be needed for their primary mission, which is guiding missile defense interceptors, there are likely to be enough of the systems deployed in a war scenario to also conduct space surveillance, Cerny said.

Descriptors, Keywords: THAAD Radar Space Surveillance Satellite Imaging

UPDATE: Sep 17, 1999, No. 03


Beginning The Process Of Change For The ABM Treaty. BMD Monitor, Sep 17, 1999, p 10

National Security Advisor Samuel 'Sandy' Berger described the meeting between Pres Clinton and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in New Zealand last week as "non-combative." Topics included modification of the ABM Treaty and ratification of the START-II Treaty. Meetings also included US Sec of State Strobe Talbott and other US and Russian officials.

Descriptors, Keywords: ABM START-II treaty Clinton Putin Berger Talbott

UPDATE: Sep 17, 1999, No. 04


Laser Tests Show Improvement In Beam Control In Turbulence. BMD Monitor, Sep 17, 1999, p 5

A three month laser experiment at White Sands Missile Range, NM, has shown how a beam-control system can transmit a laser beam over a long, nearly horizontal path to a moving target. The system can also correct for the distorting effects of optical turbulence in the atmosphere. The experiment, conducted by the Directed Energy Directorate at AFRL, can help support research currently being done on the Airborne Laser (ABL).

Descriptors, Keywords: laser beam control test

UPDATE: Sep 17, 1999, No. 05


Patriot PAC-3 Positioned To Be First Fielded Lower Tier TMD System. BMD Monitor. Roosevelt, Ann, Sep 17, 1999, p 1

A second successful intercept in as many attempts by the Patriot PAC-3 missile on Sept 16 means the program is positioned to move into Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) with soldiers expected to receive the full upgraded PAC-3 system, including the missile, in the fourth quarter of 2001. The program is scheduled to go before the Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) in October.

Descriptors, Keywords: PAC-3 intercept test

UPDATE: Sep 17, 1999, No. 06


ABL Restructuring, Update At Industry Briefing. BMD Monitor, Sep 17, 1999, p 4-5

The Airborne Laser (ABL), designed to shoot down theater ballistic missiles during boost phase, was the subject of an industry briefing last week at Albuquerque, NM. Mary Jackson, director of contracts for the ABL program office at Kirtland AFB, discusses the program and its progress to date in this lengthy article.

Descriptors, Keywords: ABL industry briefing Jackson

UPDATE: Sep 17, 1999, No. 07


1999 NIE Paper: Missile Warning Time May Be Limited. BMD Monitor, Sep 17, 1999, p 15

The intelligence community continues to say it may not be able to provide much warning of an ICBM threat, according to the unclassified version of the latest national intelligence estimate (NIE). Report, by the National Intelligence Council, is entitled, "Foreign Missile Developments and the Ballistic Missile Threat to the US Through 2015."

Descriptors, Keywords: CIA threat assessment NIE national intelligence estimate

UPDATE: Sep 17, 1999, No. 08


SBL Joint Venture Team Chief Demystifies Process. BMD Monitor, Sep 17, 1999, p 6-7

Barry Waldman, who leads the joint venture of Boeing, TRW & Lockheed Martin in supporting the development of the Space Based Laser (SBL), was a featured speaker at an industry briefing in Albuquerque, NM, last week. Waldman explains how the joint venture operates and how the program is proceeding. Table of FY2000 SBL Funding Status is included at end of article.

Descriptors, Keywords: SBL joint venture Waldman funding

UPDATE: Sep 17, 1999, No. 09


Administration Endorses Alaska Site For NMD. Defense Daily. Keeter, Hunter and Wolfe, Frank, Sep 13, 1999, pp 3-4

According to James Rubin, State Department spokesman, the Clinton administration would back the initial deployment of a NMD system to a site located in Alaska. The Clinton administration has also affirmed that the key political stumbling block for the development and deployment of NMD, the ABM Treaty, would have to be altered if an NMD system is to be deployed.

Descriptors, Keywords: deployment NMD Alaska site ABM Treaty

UPDATE: Sep 17, 1999, No. 10


PAC-3 Intercept Clears Way For LRIP Decision. Defense Daily. Keeter, Hunter, Sep 17, 1999, pp 1-2

The Army's PAC-3 missile scored its second consecutive hit-to-kill demonstration against a Hera target , fulfilling a key requirement from Congress and making it possible for PAC-3 to move into Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP).

Descriptors, Keywords: PAC-3 Hera target hit-to-kill demonstration LRIP

UPDATE: Sep 17, 1999, No. 11


Japan Aims To Boost Ballistic Missile Research Funds. Defense News. Usui, Naoaki, Sep 20, 1999, p 24

The Japan Defense Agency wants a $45b budget for 2000, an increase of 1.6 percent. The budget increases by more than 50 percent the amount earmarked for ballistic missile research for the U.S. Navy Theater Wide Defense System components which Japan is responsible for.

Descriptors, Keywords: Japan Ballistic missile research Navy Theater Wide

UPDATE: Sep 17, 1999, No. 12


NMD Canister System Passes Launch Test. Defense News, Sep 20, 1999, p 43

Northrup Grumman will begin delivery in November of 11 launch canisters to Boeing for use in the National Missile Defense (NMD) program.

Descriptors, Keywords: NMD Northrup Grumman Boeing Canisters

UPDATE: Sep 17, 1999, No. 13


NATO Urges Joint Futuristic Research Effort; Study: Collective Research Needed In Biotechnology, High-Powered Electrical Systems. Defense News. Barrie, Douglas; Hill, Luke, Sep 20, 1999, p 1, 74

A new NATO report, Land Operations in the Year 2020, has spurred the study of directed-energy weapons, electromagnetic guns, and next generation weapons. The report, not yet released to the public, recommends that all 19 allied armies begin now to coordinate their research. The report also speculates on what the applications of such technology might be like.

Descriptors, Keywords: NATO Research Future weapons Cooperation

UPDATE: Sep 17, 1999, No. 14


North Korea Could Deliver Nuke To 'Most Or All' Of US. Defense Week. Donnelly, John, Sep 13, 1999, pp 1, 14

A senior US intelligence official stated last week that North Korea's latest missile may be capable of delivering a nuclear warhead with some degree of accuracy just about anywhere in the US. The statement about North Korea's Taepo Dong 2 was perhaps the most immediate and alarming finding to emerge from last week's release of the 1999 national intelligence estimate on missile threats to America.

Descriptors, Keywords: missile threat North Korea US NIE Taepo Dong 2

UPDATE: Sep 17, 1999, No. 15


Pentagon To Conferees: Restore MEADS Funds. Defense Week, Sep 13, 1999, p 9

In a formal appeal to the upcoming House-Senate defense appropriations conference, the Pentagon has urged lawmakers to fund the MEADS program. In July the House blocked a $48.6m FY 2000 funding request. The request passed in the Senate, and appropriators are to meet in conference to settle differences in the two bills.

Descriptors, Keywords: FY00 defense appropriations conference funding MEADS DoD

UPDATE: Sep 17, 1999, No. 16


Majority Leader Urged To Reject Appeals For Senate To Ratify CTBT. Inside the Pentagon. Costa, Keith J., Sep 16, 1999, pp 5-8

In a Sept 9 letter to Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS), 52 former cabinet officers, Pentagon officials and lawmakers have urged the rejection of all appeals for the Senate to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). According to the letter's signatories, the treaty, which Pres Clinton signed in 1996, is "inconsistent with vital US national interests." Copy of letter and signatures is included with the article.

Descriptors, Keywords: CTBT treaty Lott

UPDATE: Sep 17, 1999, No. 17


To Stave Off Congressional Cuts, DoD Says MEADS Now 'Fully Funded'. Inside the Pentagon. Dupont, Daniel G., Sep 16, 1999, pp 1, 18-19

In a Sept 13 memo sent to the chairmen and ranking minority members of the four congressional defense committees, UndSecDef (A&T) Jacques Gansler makes it clear that DoD has now added funds to the Pentagon's spending plan to pursue MEADS beyond the current risk-reduction effort.

Descriptors, Keywords: MEADS funding Gansler

UPDATE: Sep 17, 1999, No. 18


National Security Panel's 1st Report Predicts Increasing Terrorism. Inside the Pentagon. Castelli, Christopher J., Sep 16, 1999, pp 19-24

American soil will likely be bloodied by deadly terrorism in the 21st century and the US military will be called upon frequently to deal with security crises, says a report prepared by a national security commission chartered by the Pentagon. The report is the first of three that will be produced by the commission, which is co-chaired by former Sens Gary Hart (D-CO) and Warren Rudman (R-NH). Complete text of report is reprinted at end of article.

Descriptors, Keywords: terrorism commission Hart Rudman

UPDATE: Sep 17, 1999, No. 19


China's Search for a Modern Air Force. International Security. Lewis, John Wilson, Xue Litai, Sep 01, 1999, pp 64-94

The authors (members of Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation) trace the evolution of current PRC strategy and conventional air power versus strategic weaponry. The article details the historical and organizational changes occurring during this process. They write that "repeated contradictions" in policy "plagued all conventional weapons programs and count among the main causes in the chain of air force program failures." They see a turning point as having occurred prompted by two factors: First, the US's 199's Gulf War victory "shattered Beijing's complacency" and showed China as vulnerable to "surprise attacks deep into the nation's heartland". Second, regarding a possible conflict with Taiwan, the "stark reality" was that the air force "was not ready for combat." The PRC then saw missiles as the chief tool in threatening Taiwan. In this, they saw that in "any military showdown across the strait, air power and defense against air strikes would hold the key to victory or defeat."

Descriptors, Keywords: PRC Taiwan China Air Force TMD Missile Conventional Weapon

UPDATE: Sep 17, 1999, No. 20


Who's Behind China's High-Technology "Revolution"? International Security. Feigenbaum, Evan A., Sep 01, 1999, p 95-126

Subtitled "How Bomb Makers Remade Beijing's Priorities, Policies, and Institutions," this article traces the background and effect of the "863 program" (named from its March 1986 origin). The author writes that the US Strategic Defense Initiative was viewed in the PRC as "the main piece of evidence" that even as moves were being made nearer to a market economy, state-directed planning continued to be essential wherever there was both significant R&D risk and "comparatively long lead times from research to application, commercial viability, and deployment." Also, the gap between military and civilian organizational cultures would best be bridged by "the out-and-out diversification of the strategic weapons elite". The author writes that 863's organizational structure "has reshaped China's entire R&D system". The resulting structure now "blends cooperative with authoritative mechanisms." The article describes 863's current state and raises questions for the future.

Descriptors, Keywords: PRC Strategic Weapon Industry Market State Planning Technology Economy 863

UPDATE: Sep 17, 1999, No. 21


US Navy Prepares For First Flight Test Of NTW. Jane's Defence Weekly. Seigle, Greg, Sep 15, 1999, p 13

The fledgling Navy Theater Wide (NTW) missile defense program is expected to conduct its initial flight test by the end of this month, according to US Navy officials. As one of the first steps in developing the Aegis Leap Intercept (ALI) concept for NTW, the US Navy is testing the separation capabilities of the first and second stages of its three-stage Standard Missile, the SM-3 officials said. The test for NTW are also expected to focus on the SM-3's control mechanisms, such as its divert and attitude control system. The initial test of NTW begins a planned series of more than 50 navy TMD missile tests over the next two or three years, US Navy officials said.

Descriptors, Keywords: Navy Theater Wide NTW Aegis Leap Intercept ALI Testing

UPDATE: Sep 17, 1999, No. 22


Industry Lines Up For Major US Space Deal. Jane's Defence Weekly. Bender, Bryan, Sep 15, 1999, p 6

US defense industry is lining up for a $2b competition to both link together and improve the USA's primary space forces, including USSPACECOM and NORAD in Colorado and the US Strategic Command (STRATCOM) in Nebraska. Teams led by TRW, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon are expected to bid on the Integrated Space Command and Control (ISC2) program, which will shape US space warfare capabilities well into the 21st century. The project also calls for links with space reliant systems such as the SBIRS constellation, a future NMD system and TBMCS, the USAF's premier airborne command and control network.

Descriptors, Keywords: Integrated Space Command and Control ISC2 Contract TBMCS Theater Battle Management Core System Space Warfare

UPDATE: Sep 17, 1999, No. 23


World Gets Wise To Pyongyang's Nuclear Blackmail - Part One. Jane's Intelligence Review. Umbach, Frank, Sep 01, 1999, pp 33-36

According to a Russian source, North Korea has drawn two major lessons from the Indian and Pakistani nuclear tests: if the second most populous country in the world feels it necessary to opt for a nuclear option, smaller and economically weaker countries such as North Korea have to rely even more on a nuclear guarantee for their own national security, and despite economic sanctions and other forms of punishment, India and Pakistan may benefit ultimately from going nuclear. In this light, Pyongyang hopes to receive more concessions by using nuclear black mail. Although North Korean conventional forces suffer from chronic shortages, Pyongyang is trying to modernize its ground and air forces by importing high-tech weaponry from abroad, which is being acquired through its missile exports.

Descriptors, Keywords: North Korea Launch Site China Pakistan Nuclear Cooperation Map North Korea Ballistic Range

UPDATE: Sep 17, 1999, No. 24


Control Regimes Fail To Stem The Spread. Jane's Intelligence Review. Lennox, Duncan, Sep 01, 1999, pp 50-54

Article concludes that the threat for a new millennium will most probably be an asymmetric one, aimed at putting economic and political pressure on governments not to interfere in prescribed regions of influence. The problem facing all governments today is how to apportion reducing defense budgets to counter these very diverse threats. To develop an effective defense against the new threat spectrum will require quite different equipment and training. There is a need to develop systems that will successfully be able to intercept and destroy ballistic and cruise missiles as well as manned aircraft. The capability to attack missile systems before they are launched will also be required, as will the ability to provide early warning and shelters for the general public.

Descriptors, Keywords: WMD Proliferation Hatf 4 Photograph Possible Taepo Dong 1 Bloodlines Agni Photograph Russian AS-17

UPDATE: Sep 17, 1999, No. 25


What Threat? The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Zhang, Ming, Sep 01, 1999, pp 52-57

The author (Director of the Asia Research Institute in Virginia and a consultant to the Non-Proliferation Project of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) addresses the PRC's current nuclear strength and doctrine. He writes that "China's nuclear forces are few and primitive" compared to those of the US, and that the PRC's "nuclear doctrine is clearly in line with the concept of limited deterrence based on second-strike forces that would retaliate only if the nation suffered a nuclear attack by another country." "For now," he writes, "China is not an enemy. It can even be a partner." (This article is one of several in this issue of the Bulletin on the theme of "Today's China.")

Descriptors, Keywords: US PRC China Taiwan Nuclear Deterrence TMD

UPDATE: Sep 17, 1999, No. 26


One to Watch. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Arkin, William M., Sep 01, 1999, p 72

In the Bulletin's "The Last Word" commentary page, the author discusses Boeing's recently proposed concept for a Common Aero Vehicle (CAV), as well as the Refly, "a reusable, sub-orbital, 'precision-strike' mini-spaceplane" that could carry CAVs . The author writes that plans for such "exotic" weapons "constantly fester, soaking up valuable dollars and providing mostly fictional images of military solutions to future challenges." Nonetheless, "given the symbolic prohibition on the development of new nuclear weapons, and the emerging regard for unmanned global air strikes, CAV is one to watch."

Descriptors, Keywords: USAF Boeing Common Aero Vehicle CAV Refly Reentry Reusable

UPDATE: Sep 17, 1999, No. 27