The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) did not request additional funding in its fiscal year 2017 budget request for any additional Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) batteries in light of North Korea’s long-range ballistic missile test last weekend, according to MDA Director Vice Adm. James Syring.
Syring said during a Tuesday briefing that though additional THAAD batteries were not requested, they were not off the table “in any respect.” Syring said MDA is looking at two THAAD tests in the 2017-2018 timeframe against an intermediate range ballistic missile that would be similar to what the United States could expect from either North Korea or Iran. The United States and South Korea put out a joint statement following Saturday’s test saying they were discussing the feasibility of putting a THAAD on the Korean Peninsula as soon as possible.
MDA’s $7.5 billion request for FY ’17 would represent a nearly 10 percent decrease from the $8.3 billion enacted last year. The $370 million THAAD request represents a 17 percent drop from the $448 million provided last year. The request provides for 24 THAAD interceptors sand one radar training device. By the end of FY ’17, MDA will deliver 61 additional THAAD interceptors to the Army for a total of 205 interceptors delivered. MDA also requests $270 million for THAAD developmental efforts.
MDA’s request would also bring steep cuts to research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) funding for Ground Based Midcourse Defense (GMD), Special Programs, Israeli Cooperative Programs and Aegis SM-3 Block IIA Co-Development. MDA’s $862 million RDT&E request for GMD would be a 32 percent cut from last year’s $1.3 billion enactment. MDA, overall, requested $1 billion for GMD, according to its budget overview book. Syring said MDA planned to deploy 44 ground-based interceptors (GBI) by the end of FY ’17.
Syring said MDA plans to perform a GMD intercept test in November with a Capability Enhancement-II (CE-II) Block 1 against an ICBM. He said it would be the longest-range target MDA has ever intercepted with GMD. He declined to say what the speed of intercept would be.
MDA’s $322 million RDT&E request for Special Programs represents a potential 20 percent drop from the $400 million provided last year. Israeli Cooperative Programs face a 62 percent RDT&E cut this year with MDA’s $104 million request. The program received $268 million last year. Israeli Cooperative Programs, over the next five years, face a drop in funding as MDA expects to request not more than $112 million annually over the next five fiscal years.
MDA’s $106 million RDT&E request for Aegis SM-3 Block IIA Co-Development would be 63 percent less than the $173 million provided last year. MDA also expects this year to be the final year of funding for Aegis SM-3 Block IIA Co-Development.
MDA’s request does provide a budget boost for Aegis Ashore Phase III procurement. MDA’s $57 million request for Aegis Ashore Phase III would be 47 percent more than the $31 million enacted last year. Syring said Aegis Ashore is being considered for foreign military sales (FMS), and that countries have expressed interest, but he declined to provide specifics.
Also notable among MDA budget items is the $274 million requested for the Redesigned Kill Vehicle (RKV) that agency spokesman Rick Lehner said is known in a budget quick reference card as Improved Homeland Defense Interceptors. The $274 million request is a nearly 2 percent decrease from last year. Syring said a RKV flight test is still schedule for late 2018. MDA should also begin RKV deployment in the 2020 timeframe, Syring said.
MDA is requesting $630 million for European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) Phase 3. This includes the deployment of a second Aegis Ashore site in Poland, upgrade of the Aegis BMD weapon system and delivery of a new SM-3 variant, the Block IIA. Aegis Ashore construction for the Poland site is scheduled to begin in FY ’16, with a technical capability declaration by the end of calendar year 2018.
MDA requests $514 million in procurement for Aegis BMD. MDA will procure 35 Aegis SM-3 Block IB missiles in FY ’17, for a total of 247 SM-3 Block IB missiles procured by the end of FY ’17. MDA will deliver 39 SM-3 Block IB missiles to the fleet for a delivery total of 146 missiles. MDA requests $73 million in O&M funding for Aegis BMD. It also requests $106 million in FY ’17 for SM-3 Block IIA development.
MDA requests $26 million for AN/SPY-1 refurbishment. MDA and the Navy plan to field the refurbished antennas onboard selected Aegis DDG Flight I and II ships starting in the FY ’22 timeframe.
MDA requests $491 million to develop, deploy, test and sustain the AN/TPY-2 radars, the Upgraded Early Warning Radars (UEWR) and the Cobra Dane radar. MDA also requests $440 million to complete development and fielding of Spiral 8.2-1, which will enhance C2BMC track, discrimination and battle management capability to integrate additional space sensors and sustain current Spiral 6.4 C2BMC global capability.
MDA requests $514 million for Aegis BMD. MDA will procure 35 Aegis SM-3 Block IB missiles in FY ’17, for a total of 247 MS-3 Block IB missiles procured by the end of FY ’17. MDA will deliver 39 SM-3 Block IB missiles to the fleet for a delivery total of 146 missiles.
MDA requests $69 million for Sea Based X-band (SBX) radar. It also requests $162 million to continue development of the Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR).
MDA requests $20 million in the BMD Space program for the Space-based Kill Assessment (SKA) experiment. The commercial host expects to launch the SKA network in FY ’17. MDA also requests $32 million for Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS) satellite operations and sustainment.
MDA requests $72 million for the Multi-Object Kill Vehicle (MOKV), which Syring said is not a “full program” and that MDA is continuing to refine industry concepts and evaluate the program’s future based on those concepts. Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Senior Fellow Thomas Karako said Wednesday MOKV is still very early in the conceptual phase while the focus remains on RKV.
MDA also continues previous year efforts in co-producing the Iron Dome defense system with Israel in the FY ’17 budget. Additionally, $42 million in procurement was requested for Iron Dome, according to a budget reference card.