U.S. Begins Fielding Missile Interceptor Planned for Basing in Europe

None

Global Security Newswire Staff
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
April 24, 2014, 9:34 a.m.

The United States has be­gun field­ing a new mis­sile in­ter­cept­or that is planned in the short term to be de­ployed in Ro­mania and the Medi­ter­ranean.

The U.S. Navy is now de­ploy­ing the Stand­ard Mis­sile 3 Block 1B in­ter­cept­or, which is de­signed to des­troy short- and me­di­um-range bal­list­ic mis­siles, pro­du­cer Ray­theon Co. an­nounced in a Wed­nes­day press re­lease.

“The SM-3 Block 1B’s com­ple­tion of ini­tial op­er­a­tion­al test­ing last year set the stage for a rap­id de­ploy­ment to theat­er,” Ray­theon Mis­sile Sys­tems Pres­id­ent Taylor Lawrence said in provided com­ments. “The SM-3’s highly suc­cess­ful test per­form­ance gives com­batant com­mand­ers around the world the con­fid­ence they need to counter the grow­ing bal­list­ic mis­sile threat.”

But the fu­ture of the second-gen­er­a­tion in­ter­cept­or in­cludes some un­cer­tainty. The Pentagon’s Mis­sile De­fense Agency re­cently re­vealed to In­side De­fense that it had de­cided to post­pone for one year plans to seek con­gres­sion­al ap­prov­al for a mul­ti­year pro­duc­tion deal with Ray­theon. The de­cision came after the agency de­term­ined it can­not yet show a re­li­able fund­ing stream for the Block 1B mis­sile, a sus­tained mil­it­ary need or a stable design.

A re­cent re­port by Con­gress’ in­tern­al aud­it­or re­com­men­ded delay­ing full pro­duc­tion un­til it is de­term­ined wheth­er changes to the mis­sile in­ter­cept­or’s design are war­ran­ted, fol­low­ing an in­ter­cept at­tempt last year in which a launched Block 1B failed to per­form.

The Block 1B mis­sile is slated for de­ploy­ment on four Ae­gis-equipped U.S. mis­sile des­troy­ers home-por­ted in Rota, Spain, and be­gin­ning in 2015 at a site cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion in Ro­mania.

The planned field­ings form the second phase of the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s “phased ad­apt­ive ap­proach” for European mis­sile de­fense.

The fi­nal phase of the plan will in­volve field­ing an even more-ad­vanced SM-3 in­ter­cept­or in Po­land in the 2018-2020 time­frame.

The an­ti­mis­sile sys­tems will be in­cor­por­ated in­to an evolving NATO bal­list­ic-mis­sile shield that has been por­trayed as de­fend­ing against a pos­sible mis­sile at­tack from the Middle East. More re­cently, though, some East­ern European al­li­ance mem­bers have sug­ges­ted the sys­tem could be­come a means of de­ter­ring a newly mil­it­ar­ily re­sur­gent Rus­sia.

What We're Following See More »
TAKING A LONG VIEW TO SOUTHERN STATES
In Dropout Speech, Santorum Endorses Rubio
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

As expected after earlier reports on Wednesday, Rick Santorum ended his presidential bid. But less expected: he threw his support to Marco Rubio. After noting he spoke with Rubio the day before for an hour, he said, “Someone who has a real understanding of the threat of ISIS, real understanding of the threat of fundamentalist Islam, and has experience, one of the things I wanted was someone who has experience in this area, and that’s why we decided to support Marco Rubio.” It doesn’t figure to help Rubio much in New Hampshire, but the Santorum nod could pay dividends down the road in southern states.

Source:
‘PITTING PEOPLE AGAINST EACH OTHER’
Rubio, Trump Question Obama’s Mosque Visit
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

President Obama’s decision to visit a mosque in Baltimore today was never going to be completely uncontroversial. And Donald Trump and Marco Rubio proved it. “Maybe he feels comfortable there,” Trump told interviewer Greta van Susteren on Fox News. “There are a lot of places he can go, and he chose a mosque.” And in New Hampshire, Rubio said of Obama, “Always pitting people against each other. Always. Look at today – he gave a speech at a mosque. Oh, you know, basically implying that America is discriminating against Muslims.”

Source:
THE TIME IS NOW, TED
Cruz Must Max Out on Evangelical Support through Early March
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

For Ted Cruz, a strong showing in New Hampshire would be nice, but not necessary. That’s because evangelical voters only make up 21% of the Granite State’s population. “But from the February 20 South Carolina primary through March 15, there are nine states (South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, and North Carolina) with an estimated white-Evangelical percentage of the GOP electorate over 60 percent, and another four (Texas, Kansas, Louisiana, and Missouri) that come in over 50 percent.” But after that, he better be in the catbird’s seat, because only four smaller states remain with evangelical voter majorities.

Source:
CHRISTIE, BUSH TRYING TO TAKE HIM DOWN
Rubio Now Winning the ‘Endorsement Primary’
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Since his strong third-place finish in Iowa, Marco Rubio has won endorsement by two sitting senators and two congressmen, putting him in the lead for the first time of FiveThirtyEight‘s Endorsement Tracker. “Some politicians had put early support behind Jeb Bush — he had led [their] list since August — but since January the only new endorsement he has received was from former presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham.” Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that fueled by resentment, “members of the Bush and Christie campaigns have communicated about their mutual desire to halt … Rubio’s rise in the polls.”

Source:
ARE YOU THE GATEKEEPER?
Sanders: Obama Is a Progressive
1 days ago
THE LATEST

“Do I think President Obama is a progressive? Yeah, I do,” said Bernie Sanders, in response to a direct question in tonight’s debate. “I think they’ve done a great job.” But Hillary Clinton wasn’t content to sit out the latest chapter in the great debate over the definition of progressivism. “In your definition, with you being the gatekeeper of progressivism, I don’t think anyone else fits that definition,” she told Sanders.

×