Jeffrey LewisSenate: Restore NFIRE KV

David Ruppe at Global Security Newswire got ahold of the Senate Approprations report.

The NFIRE Kill Vehicle is ba-aaaaack:

The Ballistic Missile Defense System [BMDS] Interceptor program element consists of the NFIRE program and the KEI program.

Because these programs have no related program elements, the Committee recommends the realignment of the NFIRE program to the Ballistic Missile Defense Technology Program Element. This accounts for $13,706,000 of the reduction to the BMDS Interceptor PE.

The Committee directs the Missile Defense Agency to complete development and mission integration of the deployable NFIRE Kill Vehicle [KV]. The Committee urges the Agency to collect near-field data for critical missile defense interceptor risk reduction with the Kill Vehicle.

MDA had originally agreed to remove the kill vehicle—which MDA was going to slam into a ballistic missile to collect really near field infrared data—in favor of a German laser communications terminal.

Take a hike, Gerry.

The House appropriated the full amount in the BMDS Interceptors program element.

We’ll see how “Trey” Obering responds to Senatorial urges.


  1. Stephen Young (History)

    I disagree w/ your interpretation (from your quote in Ruppe’s story) that moving NFIRE to the BMD Tecchnology program from BMD System Interceptor as a sign they are serious about making it a foundation for a space-based interceptor.

    If you look at the rest of the Technology programs, it is a hodgepodge of stuff (Center for Optical Logic Devices; High Density Power Supplies Using Silicon Carbide; Massively Parallel Optical Interconnects for Microsatellites Applications; Advanced RF Technology Development; Multiple-Target-Tracking Optical Sensor-Array Technology (MOST); Porous Silicon; SiC Thick Film Mirror Coatings) that seem not to be direct weapons.

    So, while the Committee’s instructions are certainly worrying, I think the move is inocuous.

    The key question is whether the Committee’s instructions from last year, that MDA shall take action to ensure that the KV will NOT hit the warhead, still apply.