Jeffrey LewisAnother Caucasian, Gary

Okay folks, we are back. If I could trouble you, oh friends of wonk, please pass the word around. Send e-mails, bring it up over white russians, what-have-you.

Friend of Wonk Allen Thomson wins a prize for big catch—the Missile Defense Agency is planning to install a forward-based X-band Radar in the Caucasus:

“The mobile/transportable sensors inventory will be increased with the addition of three forward-based X-band Radars (one in Europe, one in East Asia, and one in Caucasus)..”

AT also noted that a reference to a Caucasian radar in a presentation by Phil Jamison, from the Office of Missile Defense Policy.

So, which country will host the FBX? Chatter seems to center on Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Late Update: MDA Spokesman Rick Lehner says MDA failed to update the fact sheet. They’ve pulled it to be updated; you can view the original here .

Comments

  1. Anna (History)

    Glad to have you back! Regarding the X-band Radar courtesy of the MDA – something tells me that the Russians will be just thrilled to have it right next door! (…Not!) Also, the Jamison link doesn’t work. 🙂

  2. Jeffrey Lewis

    Thanks. Should work now.

  3. Allen Thomson (History)

    I’ve been trying to figure this out these past few days, and the current best guess is that Azerbaijan, with its in-place Caspian Guard military agreement with the US, is the most likely. Caspian Guard includes a couple of air/marine radar surveillance sites, so it would not seem to be too much of a stretch to plunk an FBX-T on one of of them.

    But who knows?

  4. Rick Lehner, Missile Defense Agency (History)

    Please note that the briefing is from April 2005. Lots of old info in it, including possible locations for foward-based X-band radars. Remember that these radars are designed not to be permanent, but can be air-lifted to wherever they are needed to support missile defense. As such, there are no plans for possible locations. The only radar that is built so far is currently in Japan. Also, briefing notes use of early warning radars at Clear, AK and Otis AFB, MA. These are no longer planned in the missile defense architecture.

  5. Vicenzo (History)

    Some days, you eat the radar. Other days, the radar eats you.

    Welcome back.

  6. Allen Thomson (History)

    Please note that the Block 2008 fact sheet on the MDA page http://www.mda.mil/mdalink/pdf/blk08.pdf is dated 05/2006, which would be two months ago.

  7. Rick Lehner, Missile Defense Agency (History)

    I know, my fault, fact sheet was written based on FY06 funding request back in spring of 2005 and when all the fact sheets were updated this past spring I didn’t make the changes. Is being updated now.

  8. JJ (History)

    Looks like the http://www.mda.mil/mdalink/pdf/blk08.pdf link is now dead/no longer exists.

  9. Jeffrey Lewis

    Here is the full text before the update.

    Block 2008 Development

    Block 2008 represents the period of development for calendar years 2008 and 2009. Block 2008 will continue developing existing capabilities and provide new capabilities that will be added to those fielded in Blocks 2004 and 2006. The following
    are critical program areas additions that are expected to be developed for the Ballistic Missile Defense System in Block 2008:

    Boost Phase Development

    * Airborne Laser: Continue development and completing ground and flight test with the installed High Energy Laser; conducting a lethal system demonstration (shooting down a ballistic missile in flight).

    * Kinetic Energy Interceptor: Continue development, including international cooperation done through the international industry development program.

    Midcourse Phase Development

    * Ground-based Midcourse Defense: – Increase Ground-Based Interceptor inventory with up to 38 at Ft. Greely, Alaska.

    * Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense: – Increase Engagement Destroyer inventory to 15. – Increase Standard Missile-3 interceptor inventory to 55.

    Terminal Phase Development

    * Increase Terminal High Altitude Air Defense missile inventory to 24.
    * Increase PATRIOT Advanced Capability-3 missile inventory to 712.

    Sensors

    * Fixed site sensors inventory will be increased with the addition of modified Early Warning Radars at Thule, Greenland and Otis, Massachusetts.

    * The mobile/transportable sensors inventory will be increased with the addition of three forward-based X-band Radars (one in Europe, one in East Asia, and one in Caucasus) and the initial Space Tracking & Surveillance Satellites. Command, Control, Battle Management, and Communications

    * Upgraded consequence management and mitigation tools.
    * Enhanced Ballistic Missile Defense System protection capability.

    * Command, Control, Battle Management, and Communications suites for the Combatant Commanders at European Command and Central Command, upgrades to Command, Control, Battle Management, and Communications suites at Northern Command, Strategic Command, Pacific Command, the Joint National Integration Center, and the Pacific Command Area of Responsibility.

    * Full Global Integrated Fire Control with improved sensor management. This initial capability is located at European Command.

    06-FS-0021
    05/2006

    It is also still in the Google cache.

  10. Rick Lehner, Missile Defense Agency (History)

    Updated fact sheet will be back on MDALink today, as soon as our computer folks can upload it.

  11. Rick Lehner, Missile Defense Agency (History)

    Updated Fact Sheet with changes to FBX-T locations and deletion of Clear and Otis AFB radars

    MDA Fact Sheet
    Block 2008 Development

    Block 2008 represents the period of development for calendar years 2008 and 2009. Block 2008 will continue developing existing capabilities and provide new capabilities that will be added to those fielded in Blocks 2004 and 2006. The following are critical program areas additions that are expected to be developed for the Ballistic Missile Defense System in Block 2008:

    Boost Phase Development
    •Airborne Laser: Continue development and completing ground and flight test with the installed High Energy Laser; conducting a lethal system demonstration (shooting down a ballistic missile in flight).
    •Kinetic Energy Interceptor: Continue development, including international cooperation done through the international industry development program.

    Midcourse Phase Development
    •Ground-based Midcourse Defense:
    -Increase Ground-Based Interceptor inventory with up to 38 at Ft. Greely, Alaska.
    •Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense:
    -Increase Engagement Destroyer inventory to 15.
    -Increase Standard Missile-3 interceptor inventory up to 55.

    Terminal Phase Development
    •Increase Terminal High Altitude Air Defense missile inventory up to 24.
    •Increase PATRIOT Advanced Capability-3 missile inventory to 712.

    Sensors
    •Fixed site sensors inventory will be increased with the addition of a modified Early Warning Radar at Thule, Greenland.
    •The mobile/transportable sensors inventory will be increased with the addition of two transportable forward-based X-band Radars and the initial Space Tracking & Surveillance Satellites.

    Command, Control, Battle Management, and Communications
    •Upgraded consequence management and mitigation tools.
    •Enhanced Ballistic Missile Defense System protection capability.
    •Command, Control, Battle Management, and Communications suites for the Combatant Commanders at European Command and Central Command, upgrades to Command, Control, Battle Management, and Communications suites at Northern Command, Strategic Command, Pacific Command, the Joint National Integration Center, and the Pacific Command Area of Responsibility.
    •Full Global Integrated Fire Control with improved sensor management. This initial capability is located at European Command.

  12. JJ (History)

    New one’s up there now.

  13. Allen Thomson (History)

    It’s perhaps worth noting that, should Iran someday acquire ICBMs capable of reaching the US and base them in the central portions of the country, the firing arc that reaches both coasts of the US quite neatly emcompasses Baku.

  14. Allen Thomson (History)

    > the firing arc that reaches both coasts of the US quite neatly emcompasses Baku.

    I probably should have made this a little more explicit:

    If MDA is thinking about using a GMD-like system to defend the continental US against ICBMs fired from Iran, the Caucasus is where they should place an FBX. And the vicinity of Baku seems to be a particularly sweet spot in the Caucasus area.

  15. Allen Thomson (History)

    If anyone here has access to Jane’s Defense Weekly, it would be interesting to see what the rest of the article says.

    http://www.janes.com/regional_news/americas/news/jdw/jdw060727_1_n.shtml

    Jane’s Defense Weekly
    27 July 2006

    Caucasus considered as base for US missile sensor
    By Nathan Hodge JDW Staff Reporter
    Washington, DC

    The US Missile Defence Agency (MDA) has identified the Caucasus region as one possible location for placing mobile sensors for its ballistic missile defence system.

    Rick Lehner, an MDA spokesman, told Jane’s the region would be a “good location for a small X-band radar to provide tracking and discrimination of missiles launched from Iran.

    “Our job is to put forth optimum locations for radars so that we can make missile defence as effective as possible,” Lehner said. “That does not mean radars or other equipment will be placed in those locations; it’s just that, in our opinion, it’s the best location. MDA doesn’t make the decision on locations, especially those outside the US.”

    113 of 461 words

    [End of non-subscriber extract]

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