Archive: Missile Defense

A General Atomics Predator. Photo: General Atomics

Predator UAVs Detect, Track Ballistic Missile In Test

Two Predator B unmanned planes built by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI) detected and tracked a ballistic missile target during a test in the Pacific in late June, GA-ASI said Aug. 15. The remotely piloted aircraft, equipped with Raytheon [RTN] Multi-spectral Targeting Systems-B (MTS-B) electro-optical infrared turrets, participated in the test “as part of […]


Hypersonic Glide Vehicles Challenge U.S. Defenses, STRATCOM Chief Says

HUNTSVILLE, Ala.—Hypersonic glide vehicles (HGV) under development by potential adversaries will require the United States to devise new ways to detect and defend against such advanced threats, the head of U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) said Aug. 16. Research and development on HGV weapons is “challenging our planning calculus” because it can “complicate our sensing and […]

A Ground-based Midcourse Defense interceptor launch.
Photo: Missile Defense Agency.

GMD Missile Defense System Needs More Oversight, Group Says

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), a longtime critic of U.S. missile defense programs, recommends in a new report that the Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system receive greater oversight to help it overcome its history of reliability problems. Eager to deploy GMD, the President George W. Bush Administration quickly fielded the […]


Lockheed To Test Small Interceptor Against RAM Targets

Lockheed Martin [LMT] plans to fire its Miniature Hit-to-Kill (MHTK) interceptor at airborne targets in the coming months in hopes of persuading the U.S. Army to buy the lightweight weapon to counter rocket, artillery and mortar (RAM) threats, according to a company representative. The first company-funded test will probably occur in November or December against […]

MDA logo

MDA Faces Growing Budget Squeeze, Report Says

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is plagued by shrinking budgets and growing responsibilities that are increasingly hurting its ability to conduct the research and development needed to modernize the nation’s missile defenses, according to a report released July 29 by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). The agency’s budget, which peaked at […]

Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) falls under the Missile Defense Agency's (MDA) umbrella. Photo: MDA.

Ex-Military Leaders Oppose Downgrading Missile Defense Job

Eleven former U.S. military leaders are urging lawmakers to nix a provision in the Senate version of the fiscal year 2017 defense authorization bill that would repeal a requirement that the head of the Missile Defense Agency be at least a three-star officer. In a June 24 letter to Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jack […]

Iron Dome in action.
Photo: Rafael Advanced Defense Systems

U.S. Senators Urge $601 Million for Israeli Missile Defense

Thirty-seven U.S. senators have signed a letter urging leaders of a House-Senate conference committee to provide more than $600 million for Israeli missile defense programs in the fiscal year 2017 defense authorization bill. The July 26 letter, led by Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), endorses the $601 million level put forth in […]

Patriot air and missile defense system.

Lockheed Enters Patriot Radar Replacement Fray

Lockheed Martin [LMT] on Friday tossed its hat into the still-unofficial program to develop an upgrade to Patriot missile defense radars. The Army on July 6 issued a request for proposals for a research-and-development effort called the lower tier air and missile defense (LTAMD) capability, which seeks to integrate a gallium nitride array antenna onto […]

Iron Dome in action.
Photo: Rafael Advanced Defense Systems

Israel Developing Sea-Based Iron Dome

Israel is developing a naval version of its land-based Iron Dome system to defend its offshore gas fields against short-range rockets. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced in late May that the Israeli Navy had successfully completed a test aboard a Sa’ar-5 corvette of a prototype of the sea-based Iron Dome, known as Tamir Adir […]

A Standard Missile (SM)-2 missile being launched from a naval vessel. Photo: Raytheon.

South Korea Requests $65 Million In SM-2 Block IIIB Standard Missiles And Containers

The State Department approved a possible $65 million Foreign Military Sales (FMS) request to South Korea for SM-2 Block IIIB Standard missiles, containers and support. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of the potential sale on July 1. The possible sale includes major defense equipment (MDE) of 17 SM-2 Block IIIB Standard Missiles […]