WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Riki Ellison, Chairman and Founder of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA), www.missiledefenseadvocacy.org,
has released a statement on the shortcomings of the Ground-Based
Midcourse Defense (GMD) system in its ability to protect the U.S.
homeland. Ellison is one of the top lay experts in the field of missile
defense in the world. His comments are the following:
"The protection of the United States
from the threat of ballistic missile attack is a critical national
security priority" was a statement released by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
earlier this year. Secretary Gates' statement was part of the
introduction of the Ballistic Missile Defense Review (BMDR), the
Department of Defense's current policy on missile defense. That policy
lists six priorities, with the number one priority being "The United States will continue to defend the homeland against the threat of limited ballistic missile attack."
Of the $8.24 billion or 1.2% of the 2011 Defense budget requested by the President for the Missile Defense Agency, 16.3% or $1.35 billion
of it goes towards the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system that
is responsible for protecting our homeland against ballistic missile
The primary long-range limited ballistic missile threats to the U.S. homeland are seen to be from North Korea and Iran.
Both countries continue to test and develop the range and quality of
their ballistic missiles. The GMD system would also have the inherent
capability of defending the U.S. homeland against future missile
proliferation from rogue states as well as an accidental launch from Russia, China, or other countries with nuclear long-range ballistic missile capabilities.
Next month the 30th Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI) is scheduled to be placed into a silo at Fort Greely, Alaska.
Thirty is the total number of operational, deployed GBIs the Secretary
of Defense and the President want in place for the protection of the
U.S. homeland against a limited ballistic missile threat. The previous
President and the same Secretary of Defense had requested over 50 GBIs
for this same mission.
In order for the GMD system to equally protect the U.S. homeland with confidence, including the eastern U.S. from Iran
and threats to the east, the Department of Defense must develop, test
and deploy an eastern architecture of sensors, radars and forward based
interceptors. Also, the GMD system must prove out and test its
capability to provide much greater confidence so that there is equal
trust in each of the thirty interceptors. There has not been a
successful GBI test in almost two years and the new version of the kill
vehicle that is carried on most of the GBIs has not yet had a successful
intercept test. The GMD system today must shoot three or four
interceptors in order to gain high confidence that it will intercept a
single incoming ballistic missile threatening our homeland
replacement, modernization and upkeep of all the GBIs must be continued
to give confidence in the system as these systems age and are stationed
in harsh environments. With continued robust testing of the GBI needed
and the upcoming termination of the first missile field at Fort Greely,
which holds the six oldest GBIs, it would seem that between now and 2030
a lot more than the five GBIs that are being requested by the
administration will be needed.
SOURCE Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance