Monday, March 6

MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY COMPLETES SUCCESSFUL RADAR TRACKING TEST

Heard from a friend from last week's missile defense system test, but have not heard anything about it in the media. With the growing threat from Iran, this is a very timely and newsworthy and the country deserves to be kept up to date on the progress. It seems that military related achievements are just not newsworthy in today's PC, anti-military culture. Shame.
Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry A. "Trey" Obering, Missile Defense Agency director, announced the successful completion of a test today involving the tracking of a target missile with an upgraded early warning radar located at Beale Air Force Base in northern California that is being incorporated into the Ballistic Missile Defense System.

A long-range Strategic Targets System (STARS) rocket was launched at 7:09 a.m. Alaska Standard Time (11:09 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) from the Kodiak Launch Complex on Kodiak Island, Alaska. The rocket was successfully tracked by the Beale AFB radar during the exercise, and target data, including a weapon task plan (firing solution), was successfully transmitted to the Joint National Integration Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. where it was inputted into the Command, Control, Battle Management and Communication system. No interceptor missile was launched during the exercise, but the test did include the launch of a simulated interceptor from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. using performance data from previous interceptor launches.

The early warning radar at Beale AFB has been a part of the United States ballistic missile early warning system since 1980, and is operated by the Air Force Space Command. Upgrades to the early warning radar included the replacement of electronic hardware and computer software. The hardware modifications included replacing existing computers, graphic displays, communication equipment, and the radar receiver/exciter in order to better identify and provide more precise tracking of a ballistic missile launched against the United States. The radar is part of an extensive network of land and sea-based radars now being developed and deployed to detect and track ballistic missiles, and to provide targeting information to interceptor missiles through the command and control system. Over the next several years, existing early warning radars in the United Kingdom and Greenland will also be upgraded for the missile defense mission.
A friend who works on the project suggested I check these web sites out for more information. I'm no rocket scientist, but I love this stuff. Any engineers out there that want to comment, email me.
MDA Website - http://www.mda.mil
Overview - http://www.mda.mil/mdalink/pdf/bmdsbook.pdf
Recent Test - http://www.mda.mil/mdalink/pdf/05news0015.pdf
Also, here's a non-MDA website he suggested that has lots of good information and perspectives: http://www.missilethreat.com/.