SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10826]
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT
FOR FISCAL YEAR 2005H.R. 4200
OVERSIGHT OF PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED PROGRAMS
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED EIGHTH CONGRESS
STRATEGIC FORCES SUBCOMMITTEE HEARINGS
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TITLE IIRESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, TEST, AND EVALUATION
TITLE XGENERAL PROVISIONS
TITLE XXXIDEPARTMENT OF ENERGY NATIONAL SECURITY PROGRAMS
TITLE XXXIIDEFENSE NUCLEAR FACILITIES SAFETY BOARD
FEBRUARY 25, MARCH 18, 25, 2004
STRATEGIC FORCES SUBCOMMITTEE
TERRY EVERETT, Alabama, Chairman
MAC THORNBERRY, Texas
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
HEATHER WILSON, New Mexico
ROB BISHOP, Utah
MICHAEL TURNER, Ohio
MIKE ROGERS, Alabama
TRENT FRANKS, Arizona
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSILVESTRE REYES, Texas
JOHN SPRATT, South Carolina
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California
KENDRICK MEEK, Florida
TIM RYAN, Ohio
Bill Ostendorff, Professional Staff Member
Hugh Brady, Professional Staff Member
Katherine Croft, Staff Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Thursday, March 25, 2004, Fiscal Year 2005 National Defense Authorization ActBudget Request For Missile Defense Programs
Thursday, March 25, 2004
THURSDAY, MARCH 25, 2004
FISCAL YEAR 2005 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTBUDGET REQUEST FOR MISSILE DEFENSE PROGRAMS
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STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Everett, Hon. Terry, a Representative from Alabama, Chairman, Strategic Forces Subcommittee
Reyes, Hon. Silvestre, a Representative from Texas, Ranking Member, Strategic Forces Subcommittee
Christie, Hon. Thomas P., Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, Depatment of Defense
Dodgen, Lt. Gen. Larry J., USA, Commander, Space and Missile Defense Command
Kadish, Lt. Gen. Ronald T., USAF, Director, Missile Defense Command
Christie, Hon. Thomas P.
Dodgen, Lt. Gen. Larry J.
Everett, Hon. Terry
Kadish, Lt. Gen. Ronald T.
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCDOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Documents submitted can be viewed in the hard copy.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
FISCAL YEAR 2005 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTBUDGET REQUEST FOR MISSILE DEFENSE PROGRAMS
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Strategic Forces Subcommittee,
Washington, DC, Thursday, March 25, 2004.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10 a.m., in room 2212, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Terry Everett (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
OPENING STATEMNET OF HON. TERRY EVERETT, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM ALABAMA, CHAIRMAN, STRATEGIC FORCES SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. EVERETT. The subcommittee meets today to receive testimony on the fiscal year 2005 budget request for missile defense programs. It is a pleasure to welcome our guest witnesses this morning: Lieutenant General Ron Kadish, Director of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA); Lieutenant General Larry Dodgen, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command; Honorable Tom Christie, Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, Department of Defense.
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Gentlemen, we look forward to your testimony.
We have a great deal of ground to cover today, and I want to allow each of our members an opportunity to ask as many questions as possible, so I will be brief. Likewise, I ask our witnesses to please be brief with any prepared remarks. The entirety of your written testimony will be entered into the record.
General Kadish is here today to cover the Missile Defense Agency's budget request for 2005. That request is for $9.1 billion and includes various programs and elements supporting the concept of layered defenses. These include ground-based, midcourse, descent, Aegis to Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD), airborne laser, kinetic energy interceptors and Theatre High Altitude Arial Defense (THAAD).
In December of 2002 the president announced the decision to begin building an initial capability by the end of 2004. General Kadish and his team at the Missile Defense Agency have been working very hard to make this initial defensive operation a reality. The event represents a most significant milestone, building upon the concept first announced by President Reagan a little over 20 years ago.
The interceptors are scheduled to be placed on alert this fall at Fort Greely, Alaska. Our members will be interested in hearing of your progress in fielding this initial capability as well as receiving an update on the status of other programs.
General Dodgen, from the Army's Space and Missile Defense Command, will cover the Army's $1 billion request for the Patriot system, the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 PAC3 missile and the Medium Extended Air Defense system known as MEADS.
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The Honorable Thomas Christie will provide the Department of Defense's perspective on testing of missile defense systems.
Mr. Christie, I know we all look forward to hearing your views on this topic, especially as it relates to fielding the initial defense operation capability later this year.
Let me recognize my good friend and colleague Mr. Reyes, the ranking member.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Everett can be viewed in the hard copy.]
STATEMENT OF HON. SILVESTRE REYES, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM TEXAS, RANKING MEMBER, STRATEGIC FORCES SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. REYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And welcome to our distinguished panel here.
And as we know there has been strong bipartisan support on this committee for a missile defense program, especially in the defenses against short-and medium-range missiles.
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But national missile defense has been, I think, more divisive. While we all want a missile defense that works, I know that some of my colleagues are concerned as I am that rushing something into the field just to meet an arbitrary date on a calendar is not something we can strongly endorse. In every other program, we insist on event-based progress. The system moves ahead when it is ready and, most importantly, when it has proven itself.
Putting a dot on the calendar and saying, ''By this date, we declare it operational,'' is like saying my kid will go to college on this date, no matter whether he has finished high school or is only in the third grade.
Beyond that, though, I am with you, Mr. Chairman. I look forward to hearing about the issues facing both the MDA and Army programs, and particularly, how the integration of Patriot and Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) is going.
I want to thank you for the opportunity to say these comments. And I now yield back to you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. EVERETT. General Kadish, the floor is yours.
STATEMENT OF LT. GEN. RONALD T. KADISH, USAF, DIRECTOR, MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY
General KADISH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Page 9 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The National Missile Defense Act of 1999 established that it is the policy of the United States to deploy as soon as technologically possible an effective national missile defense system capable of defending the territory of the United States against limited missile attack.
I am pleased to report to you today that we are on track to do just that in this calendar year. Our direction from the President is to develop the capability to defend the United States, our allies and friends, and deploy forces against all ranges of missiles and all phases in flight.
Beginning in 2001, we proposed the development of a single integrated ballistic missile defense system. We are building over time layered defenses to enable us to engage in all phases of a missile's flight and make it possible to have a high degree of confidence in the performance of missile defense systems. Our program is structured to deal with the enormity and the complexity of this task.
Our budget request continues to implement that guidance in two ways. First it continues an aggressive research and development effort to design, build and test elements of a single integrated ballistic missile defense system in an evolutionary way, and second, it provides for modest fielding of this capability over the next several years. We are requesting $9.2 billion to support this program of work in fiscal year 2005, which is approximately a $1.5 billion increase over the fiscal year 2004 request.
About one billion covers costs associated with continued fielding of the first ground-based mid-course defense element, the Aegis BMD sensor and command-and-control and battle management installations for the test bed and the Block-Four alert configuration. And about $500 million of that will allow us to purchase long lead items required for evolutionary capability improvements in block 2006.
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In other words, about $1.5 billion in fiscal year 2005 supports the Block-Four initial configuration and the activities to place the BMD system on alert and for further system improvements in 2006. About $7.7 billion lays the RDT&E foundation for the continued evolution of that system.
This budget, in my opinion, is consistent with the approach I have described in many previous hearings.
Last year, we made it clear that this initial capability inherent in the test bed would be very basic. We also emphasized that instead of building a test bed that could be used in an emergency, we would field more interceptors, put them on alert and continue to test.
As of today, despite some setbacks, we are basically on track to do just that.
So with an evolutionary capabilities-based acquisition approach and our aggressive RDT&E program, we can put capability into the field, test it, train with it, get comfortable with it, learn what works well and what does not, and improve it as soon as we can.
Again, this is a unique, unprecedented capability in its early stages that we will continue to mature. We have to strike a balance between our need to continue to test and develop missile defense and our goal to provide effective defenses where there are none today.
I believe we have struck that balance in this budget and continue to do both starting this year.
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We are working with Admiral Ellis and the war fighting community to ensure that we can do both of these efforts. Once the system is placed on alert, we will continue to conduct tests concurrently, to gain even greater confidence in the operational capability that we have.
We are working very closely with Mr. Christie and the operational test community. As our tests are planned, executed and evaluated, the BMD combined test forcewhich brings together representatives from across the testing communityis combining requirements for both development and operational capability testing.
There are approximately 100 operational test personnel embedded in all facets of missile defense planning and execution who have access to all of our test data. They have the ability to influence every aspect of our test planning.
The missile defense program helps define the capabilities and limitations of the system. The thousands of tests we conduct in the air, on ground and in the laboratory with our models and simulations help us identify problems so we can fix them and highlight gaps so we can address them. This accumulated knowledge has and will continue to increase our confidence in the effectiveness of the potential improvements in the system.
The research and development program is working. We have focused on the development of the most promising near-term elements, namely ground-based, midcourse and Aegis. Terminal High Altitude Aerial Defense, or THAAD, is progressing very well and will add capabilities to engage in late midcourse and terminal layers. Achieving capability in the boost phase as soon as practicable would be revolutionary, and it would be a high-payoff improvement to the BMD system.
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In this budget we increase investment in the development of the boost phase layer. Two program elementsthe directed energy airborne laser capability and the kinetic energy hit-to-kill capabilityrepresent parallel paths and complement each other in this effort.
Interest among our foreign governments and industry in missile defense has risen considerably over the past year. Because geography and allied partnerships count, we are undertaking major initiatives in the international arena in this budget. We will begin in fiscal year 2005 to expand international involvement in the program by encouraging foreign industry participation and investment in the development of complementary boost-and ascent-phase components.
In December 2003, the government of Japan became our first ally to allow its intent to invest more than $1 billion in a multi-layered BMD system, basing its initial capability on upgrades of Aegis destroyers and acquisition of the SN3 and Patriot3 missiles. We have also concluded important agreements with the United Kingdom.
Mr. Chairman, thanks to the tens of thousands of talented and dedicated people across this country, America's missile defense program is on track. The Missile Defense Agency is doing what we told Congress we would do, and your support, in particular this committee's support, has been critical to the progress we have made.
Our test and analysis will give us confidence that we can take the first steps toward initial defensive operations while we continue to prove out our new technologies and increase the system's competence through realistic testing.
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I continue to believe there are tremendous benefits and unprecedented technology improvements that we could put in the field in manageable increments, provide some defense where there is none today, to learn about it, gain more experience with it and improve it over time.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of General Kadish can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. EVERETT. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF LT. GEN. LARRY DODGEN, USA, COMMANDER, SPACE AND MISSILE DEFENSE COMMAND
General DODGEN. Mr. Chairman, Congressman Reyes and distinguished Members, thank you for the opportunity to appear before this important panel and for your ongoing support to the Army. This committee has been a great friend of the Army, particularly in the efforts to field missile defense forces for this nation.
Mr. Chairman, as we speak, Army men and women are training to operate the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system being deployed at Fort Greely, Alaska. During the past few months, an initial cadre of GMD brigades and a subordinate GMD battalion were activated. Once initial defensive capabilities are stood up, these soldiers will stand as part of the joint team in our nation's first line of defense against any launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile toward our shores. I am proud to represent them; meeting their needs in training and support is our highest priority.
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In addition to deploying the GMD system, the Missile Defense Agency, the Army and other defense agencies and services have focused attention on improving theater air and missile defense systems, both GMD and Tactical Missile Defense (TMD) systems are vital to protecting our homeland, deployed forces, friends and allies. Air and missile defense is a key component in support of the Army's core competency of providing relevant and ready land power to combatant commanders as part of the Joint Force.
Today I have been asked about, and I am happy to focus on, the Army's fiscal year 2005 budget submission for air and missile defense systems. The President's budget presented to Congress last month included approximately $1.4 billion that the Army proposes to use to perform current Army Air and Missile Defense (AMD) responsibilities and focus on further development and enhancement to both terminal-phase and short-range air and missile defense systems.
In short, the Army and the missile defense community are continuing to improve the ability to intercept and destroy air, theater and cruise missile threats.
The fiscal year 2005 budget request includes accelerating the development and fielding of medium extended air defense system, MEADS, capabilities into Patriot in a cost-efficient manner. The Patriot/MEADS capability is designed to counter theater ballistic missile threats in their terminal flight phase as well as cruise missiles and other air breeding threats.
These systems, along with the planned fielding of the Terminal High Altitude Air Defense System and other joint programs, will be an unprecedented umbrella security for deployed U.S. forces, friends and allies well into the future.
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Mr. Chairman, since the debut of the Patriot Air Missile Defense System in combat during Operation Desert Storm, the Army has continued to implement a series of improvements to address the lessons learned.
During Iraqi Freedom, we saw the improved Patriot Configuration3 system, including the effective use of the GEM missilethe Guided Enhanced Missileand the Patriot Advance Capability3the PAC3 missile. There is no doubt that during Iraqi Freedom, Patriot saved lives by defending against Iraqi ballistic missile attacks.
The Patriot system remains the Army's premier theater, air and missile defense system. PAC3 is the latest evolution of the phase material change improvement program to Patriot.
Combining developmental testing and operations, this program has allowed for the development and deployment of the PAC3 missile. This brings a new high-velocity, kinetic, hit-to-kill, surface-to-air missile with the range, accuracy and lethality necessary to effectively intercept and destroy more sophisticated ballistic missile threats.
The Patriot PAC3 research, development and acquisition budget request for 2005 is $687 million. This budget request continues the minimum necessary Patriot development to keep the system viable as we pursue acceleration of MEADS capabilities, procures 108 PAC3 missiles and purchases spares for the system.
MEADS is a trinational, co-development program with Italy, Germany and the United States. Once fielded, MEADS will provide linkage to the Army's fully networked battle command capabilities and serve as a bridge from the current to the future force. Further, it will enable interdependent network-centric warfare, support interoperability with the Army's future force, as well as Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), and fully support joint operating concepts.
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The MEADS system is transformational. It offers significant improvement in strategic deployability and tactical mobility. This system uses a netted distributed architecture with modular and configurable battle elements allowing it to integrate with other Army and joint centers and shooters. These features and capabilities will allow MEADS to achieve a robust 360-degree defense against all airborne threatstheater ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles and manned aircraft.
This year's budget includes $264 million for continuing MEADS design and development.
Recently, the Armyafter approval by the defense acquisition executiveembarked on a path to merge Patriot and MEADS programs. In so doing, the Patriot/MEADS Combined Aggregate Program, or CAP, was established.
The purpose of CAP is to achieve the objective MEADS capabilities through incremental fielding of MEADS major end items into Patriot.
Mr. Chairman, by combining the research and development resources available to both the Patriot and MEADS programs, the Army is able to accelerate incremental fielding of transformational MEADS capabilities into the force.
This fielding approach reduces sustainment costs while delivering increased anti-missile defense capabilities across the force earlier. This approach offers the most efficient use of limited valuable resources and gains the maximum flexibility in regard to funding and changing needs of the war fighter.
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The Patriot MEADS program is one of the Army's highest priorities. The Army and the entire missile defense community continue to strive to improve our nation's missile defense capabilities. The Army's fiscal year 2005 budget request for Patriot/MEADS contains approximately $1 billion to address the terminal phase ballistic missile defense threat.
By establishing CAP, the joint integrated air and missile defense architecture will become more robust as MEADS enhancements are integrated into the existing system.
Simultaneously, lessons learned from the present missile defense capabilities will be incorporated into the MEADS follow-on system. We are confident that this path will provide our service members, our allies, our friends and our nation the most capable air and missile defense system possible.
The Army is relevant and ready, fighting war on terrorism, deployed in Southwest Asia and elsewhere, and deterring aggression throughout the world while transforming to meet future needs. With its responsibility for GMD and Patriot MEADS, the Army is an integral part of the joint team to develop and field the Ballistic Missile Defense System. The Army has stepped up to land-attack cruise missile defense challenge by aggressively developing the architecture and systems necessary to defeat the emerging threat.
We are taking full advantage of integrated fire control to fully enable the kinematic ranges of joint missiles.
Page 18 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The fiscal year 2005 budget proposal continues the transformation of the Army's missile defense force to support Army Future Force, the Joint Integrated Air Missile Defense System and the BMDS.
I appreciate having the opportunity to speak on these important matters, and look forward to addressing your questions.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of General Dodgen can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. EVERETT. Thank you, General.
Mr. Christie, the floor is yours.
STATEMENT OF MR. THOMAS CHRISTIE, DIRECTOR, OPERATIONAL TEST AND EVALUATION, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
Mr. CHRISTIE. Mr. Chairman, Congressman Reyes, and distinguished members of the committee, I also appreciate this opportunity to appear before you today and to discuss with you where we stand with respect to testing of the Ballistic Missile Defense System, or BMDS.
I continue to strongly support the construction and integration of the BMDS test bed. This test bed will provide the elements that make up the initial defensive operations, or IDO architecture.
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While I am very encouraged by the improved testing environment and capability that the test bed will provide, I am even more pleased with the increased emphasis on system integration and user involvement that I have seen over the past year.
Strategic Command (STRATCOM) and Northern Command (NORTHCOM) are developing tactics, techniques, and procedures for operating this system.
The Missile Defense Agency and the element program offices are making the developmental tests more realistic. They are ground testing with the available system hardware and software, and involving soldier operators to the degree possible.
As I have said in the past, this system must be built and must be put in the field before we can properly test it.
The Missile Defense Agency is still building it. We have just begun to ground and flight test some of the system components in a tactical configuration. General Kadish is restructuring the BMDS test program in 2005 to focus on further characterizing and evaluating the performance envelope of the IDO capability. This testing will be more operationally realistic in that test scenarios will include more complex target presentations and engagement geometries. It also will provide a better understanding of the IDO end-to-end performance capabilities.
The Missile Defense Agency continues to be proactive when it comes to testing. General Kadish has adopted a test, find, fix and test philosophy. This approach provides a higher likelihood of finding design and workmanship problems early in the program.
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The decision to exploit the test bed elements for an initial defense operational capability has required some substantive changes in test planning. Test objectives have shifted from demonstrating component capabilities to demonstrating integrated system capabilities.
My staff and I remain involved on a daily basis with the Missile Defense Agency and the BMDS program offices in order to ensure that operational test issues are addressed in that testing.
I have recently sent forth, for your review, the master test plan for the Block04 BMDS, along with the developmental master test plans for the four major elements: GMD, Aegis, ABL and THAAD.
While statute prohibits me from having any authority or responsibility for developmental testing, we are involved in an advisory role in the development of these plans.
Aegis and GMD are the two primary elements of the test bed that will comprise the near-term capabilities of the IDO. In both the GMD and Aegis programs, operational testers are involved in ensuring that developmental testing addresses as many of the operational objectives as possible.
The Navy's operational test agency, Operational Test Evaluation Force (OPTEVFOR), is advising the Aegis missile defense program on how to make their testing more realistic without compromising important developmental test goals. The GMD program's combined test force effectively integrates the operational testers into the program development activities, and the test design and planning activities.
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The service operational test agencies are working jointly and in concert with my office to independently advise MDA and the GMD combined test force on test plans, and they are independently evaluating all ground and test flight data.
My office has reviewed and approved the operational test objectives for the last three GMD-integrated flight tests. The operational test agencies, in close coordination with my office, have developed a characterization plan that provides the basis for continuous operational assessment of demonstrated BMDS capability, as it is baselined in 2004, and for each block as it matures.
The Missile Defense Agency has supported this effort, and I am pleased with their openness and cooperation with my office and with the Service Operational Test Agency. We have agreed on the data sources that will support both Missile Defense Agency and operational capability assessments. This will help ensure that test planning will address both developmental and operational objectives.
While the operational test community would place less emphasis on component-level test results, we do agree that such testing can provide a robust characterization and insight into individual component and subsystem performance.
Realistic operational testing requires integration of all the internal and external system elements, including operator personnel employing approved tactics and doctrine in accordance with their training in order to accomplish mission planning and engagement through kill assessment.
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When integrated system performance is not confirmed by integrated level system testing, the burden of combining component performance into system performance falls to models and simulations.
Modeling and simulation are not a good substitute for integrated system testing. However, when modeling and simulation are used to provide context to integrated system hardware in the loop tests, they can help to overcome test limitations and give a more composite and complete picture of mission capability.
I feel that MDA is acting responsibly in using models and simulations to estimate system performance, but would caution that since the system is still in development, model-based estimates almost always contain uncertainty.
Fielding the test bed provides an opportunity to gather operational data on system performance, safety, survivability, reliability, availability and maintainability. We should expect these data to drive system enhancements.
The challenge will be achieving a defensive posture that is flexible enough to accommodate the changes to hardware, software and processes that will be necessary to maintain a highly available BMDS system while still supporting a comprehensive test program that is designed to mature, improve and demonstrate mission capabilities through continued development.
In summary, let me say that for years my office has advocated more comprehensive developmental testing leading up to realistic operational testing.
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Specifically, we have encouraged programs to do more hardware and software in the loop testing early on during system integration in order to avoid problems typically found during operational testing of complex network weapon systems.
The system integration laboratories being employed by the Missile Defense Agency and its elements are in fact addressing this important aspect of system maturation. The test bed is adding flexibility and complexity to the flight test programs that will pay dividends in the future. The commonality of architectural components between the test bed and the operational system poses management challenges, but should speed the integration of new capabilities as they are confirmed through testing.
Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, my staff and I continue to work with General Kadish and his staff to ensure that the capabilities and limitations of the Ballistic Missile Defense System are well characterized as the system proceeds in development and testing.
This concludes my opening remarks, and I welcome your questions.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Christie can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. EVERETT. Thank you, gentlemen.
You can expect questions today on the GMD and the Airborne Laser (ABL), as well as the kinetic energy interceptors. There is considerable interest from members of the committee on that.
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I will follow my usual practice of batting clean-up, and we will allow each member ten minutes on questioning in hopes that we can not have the five-minute rounds where everybody gets eight or nine minutes to start with.
So I will recognize my ranking member, Mr. Reyes, to start with.
Mr. REYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And gentlemen, again, welcome and thank you for your testimony.
My first question, General Kadish, goes to the ABL, the airborne laser. You were here asking for a second airplane, and now we see in the budget that the airborne laser is set up to be canceled. What exactly happened with that? What prompted that? And more importantly, what do we see in the future for the ABL?
General KADISH. Well, Congressman Reyes, I would like to maybe change the characterization of the program to be set up to be canceled to something different than that, because that is not what we intended to do, but you got that impression.
Mr. REYES. All right.
General KADISH. What we ended up having with the airborne laseryou are right, we did ask for a second airplane and to further continue the development of that effort.
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However, in the execution of this very complex and revolutionary effort to put a laser on an airplane and have it shoot down missiles at long range, we ran into some technical difficulties with the last 20 percent of the effort. We are in the last phases of putting the airplane together. So we began missing our schedule milestones in that last 20 percent.
And I took a look at the program intensely in the final months of last calendar year to see what we needed to do to make sure we could improve our chances of success and put more emphasis on the near-term events that we have to accomplish to be successful.
What we determined to do was restructure the program to focus on getting first lightthat is, get the laser to work on the groundand second, to put the optical train in the air and begin to test fly it.
At the same time, those uncertainties in our ability to meet schedule gave us pause as to whether or not we should continue to spend money and buy the second airplane that was authorized during this time period. And we set up the idea that we will wait for the progression of the program to meet those milestones, and if we meet them, we will come in and ask for the second airplane again in the process.
There is no reason to believe, at this point in time, that we cannot accomplish what we set out to do with the airborne laserthough it has taken more time, and it is taking more money, than we expected it to. So, that is the situation we face.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And I just might point outI don't mean to overstate this or make it look too trivial, but if you think about what we are trying to do with that airplane, to shoot down, using directed energy, a ballistic missile in its boosting phases of flight, and the technical challenges to do that, it is monumental what we have accomplished so far. And we are not that far from proving whether it will or will not work, but we need more time.
And one of the major challenges, if I could just point your attention to that wall over there, I am trying to hold that beam of laser light as steady as I can. Now, the airborne laser has got to do that over hundreds of miles to shoot down that missile.
Now, we have all the hardware there. We have all the talented people we could find to put it together. And we are just having a little trouble meeting the schedules to do so at this point in time.
But I will also say, we are not going to proceed with the balance of this program as we envision it with the second aircraft until we are confident that it is worth the taxpayers' investment.
Mr. REYES. And that leads me into my second question. As you heard in my opening statement, there are a number of concerns with the ground-based missile defense system and the fact that we are deploying it and our strategy is to simultaneously test for effectiveness and some people have called it fine tuning.
Given the experience that we have had in the past with the Patriot system, with THAAD, as you just mentioned and very eloquently explained, the difficulty with the ABL.
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Two questions. First, how would you rate the GMD system in terms of complexity with those three other programs? And second, given the experience that we have had with these three programs where we have done a considerable amount of testing, investing and re-evaluating and reconfiguring and all those kinds of things that testing is designed to do, how do we justify deploying GMD in that context without doing testing beforehand?
And Mr. Christie, I would like for you to comment.
General KADISH. Well, let me start by reminding you that we are not trying to build individual elements as we started Patriot 3 and even THAAD User Operational Evaluation System (UOES), you will recall, as autonomous parts of a missile defense system. What we are trying to do is make an integrated system against all ranges of threats, and that is a very, very difficult challenge and, in fact, unprecedented in many ways.
So the complex idea of what GMD is againstlong-range missilesis about the same complexity as we have against short-range missiles if you are doing the engagements of outer space like THAAD and even in the atmosphere.
Mr. REYES. Which our experience has shown have been considerable.
General KADISH. Considerable. But over the last three years, we have made significant progress in demonstrating the technical capability to do so. We demonstrated in Patriot 3 in the atmosphere we can do it. And I think our efforts were validated in the combat use of that system in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
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THAAD we put back into development, and we are getting ready later this calendar year and next to start an aggressive flight test program again.
In the GMD program, we have five out of eight intercepts that repeatedly demonstrated we could actually intercept intercontinental-range warheads.
And I would point out when you look at the complexity with the Israeli Arrow system, we have more tests today on GMD than the Arrow did when the Israelis put Arrow on alert to defend Israel.
So the principles of hit to kill and the basic technologies are very complex, but we have proven that we can make them work. And now our challenge is to make them work as a system.
And that is what we are doing with the test bed that we put together and started building over two and half years ago. And as Mr. Christie said, when we get the test bed up, we have inherent operational capability, and we are going to use the test bed to test as well as to protect the country if the need should arise. And it is that concurrent use of the test bed that I think is the power of making sure we can do this long-term.
It is a little long answer, but the complexity is there. We have demonstrated our confidence that we can do this mission. We were building the detesting and the operational networks to make it happen. And we are working hard to put it all together.
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I don't know if Mr. Christie has anything to add.
Mr. CHRISTIE. Well, I would like to add to that that, as I stated in my statement, that I fully support building and putting in place this test bed, in fact, the test bed and its various components. This is not a cheap undertaking, and it takes time.
Many of those components respond to criticism from my office going back about four years ago. And the test bed, once put in place, as far as testing is concerned, will provide a much more operationally realistic context in which to fly the flight test.
We will have different geometries than what we have had before. We will remove many of the other artificialities that I have, in fact, criticized General Kadish's program for, which was a natural progression that he had in early testing. But we have to have the test bed to characterize how this system will work then.
The issue, of course, is in the fact that the test bed once put in place will also provide an emergency operational capability.
Mr. EVERETT. Mr.Bishop?
Mr. BISHOP. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General Kadish, having not had the opportunity of meeting you before, I had some timidity about the questions I am going to ask you today, but I looked at your bio and I realized that anybody who received a master's degree from my alma mater and spent a couple of years at Rhein-Main can't be all that bad.
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General KADISH. I agree with that, Congressman.
Mr. BISHOP. I appreciate that.
I would actually like to ask you a couple questions, six to be precise, about page 29 of your testimony in a program that is called the Russian-American Observational Satellite program, or the acronym RAMOS.
For the record, as well as for maybe the rest of the committee, this is, as I understand it, the program originally discussed in the Reagan administration, the first Bush administration initiated it. When the current administration withdrew from the ABM (Anti Ballistic Missile) Treaty, which I agree with that strategy, the President pledged cooperation with the Russians in the area of missile defense.
As I understand, there are two significant areas over the past 10-plus years of this program, first in scientific cooperation and exchange in which we have gained a great deal of helpful scientific data, as well as intelligence in this interchange, and second, the political trust and cooperation that has been hopefully not lost with it.
I understand that Mr.Wynne, who is the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, recently received a letter from Mr. Dmitriyev, the chairman of the Russian Federation Committee on Defense and Technical Cooperation with Foreign Nations. I have only seen the translation of that, not the actual letter. I am assuming it does exist.
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I guess the first question is have you actually seen this letter?
General KADISH. Somebody gave it to me late last evening and I quickly looked at it, a translation of it. Yes, I have, Congressman.
Mr. BISHOP. But not the actual letter.
General KADISH. Not the actual letter, no.
Mr. BISHOP. With your assumptions, did the letter indicate a support by the Russians for the RAMOS program, as the translation I saw did?
General KADISH. It did. And I didn't read it in detail, but I think it also pointed out the difficulties we were having in negotiating the agreements and recognized that we are still interested in a broad range of cooperation with the Russians beyond the RAMOS program.
Mr. BISHOP. General, would it be possible to supply the committee or me with a copy of the original letter? We will request it anyway.
General KADISH. I suggest you do that, sir, and then it will go through the process. But I don't see any reason personally why that shouldn't happen.
Mr. BISHOP. Number four in this process there, the reason for the termination of the RAMOS that we received was the lack of support from the Russians in a couple of areas. In the translation that I saw, from their support, they claim that they still have intense interest in this program, that the only two areas left as far as the negotiations were an element in which they saw the United States as being unilateral in their removal from that.
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If indeed, that translation is accurate and the Russians still have an intense support of this particular program, are you prepared to reinstate this program?
General KADISH. I think we will always look at whether or not we did the right thing in regard to the RAMOS program.
The difficulties we have with RAMOS, if I could just put it in an historical context that even you mentioned, we were trying to get this program together and off and running for over eight and a half years.
And it is not like this was an arbitrary time frame we picked. We ran into a series of issues with the Russians that were not within MDA's ability to close in terms of taxes and liabilities and other things, as well as we were getting ready to commit a large amount of dollars to the program without the underlying agreements being in place.
So there was going to be a significant delay in any case in the overall program. And when we looked at what the outcome could be for the science and the benefits over another 10-year period, we believed that it would probably be in the Russians, as well as our best interest to refocus efforts in other areas that are more current and more beneficial to both of us.
Mr. BISHOP. Well, then let me ask a final question on that area. But let me ask one other question before I get to your last comment.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Would it be possible to accommodate the Russians with a scaled-back version of the RAMOS program?
General KADISH. It is always possible to look at that type of effort. But I believe, and I think there are others in the department as well, that other than the specifics of RAMOS in that particular technology area, infrared satellites for warning, we have many other opportunities that we could have with the Russians to further both our agendas in missile defense that are on the table and we are actively undergoing negotiations.
Mr. BISHOP. Well, I appreciate you saying that because in Mr. Wynne's letter to Mr. Dmitriyev, the conclusion was, ''We also look forward to continuing discussions on areas of missile defense cooperation that would bring greatest mutual benefit to our nations,'' which is what I think I hear you saying
General KADISH. And we mean that, Congressman.
Mr. BISHOP. Well, I guess the question I would then have is that with the concept of the factors and the termination letter, as well as that last statement, if, after 10 yearsand I think $103 million we spent on RAMOS so farif we are indeed ready to terminate the only program that fits in this category, is there indeed something substantial in the pipeline that you can share with me now that we are ready to start?
And do the Russians really have any sense of optimism on something in the future if we stop this program in the middle of it, in which they clearly indicate their willingness to move forward?
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General KADISH. Well, first of all, we had a willingness to move forward for many years, and we weren't able to close on the issue. But I had the opportunity to have discussions with Mr. Dmitriyev and another representative of the Russian government last October on these very issues. And as a result of that conversation and a few events subsequent to that, we believe that there are very viable alternatives that the Russians and the United States would be very interested in pursuing and, in fact, are pursuing at the staff level now.
And the experience we had with RAMOS has actually laid the groundwork for those further discussions on a new area of work. And I am confident we will continue that and accelerate them as much as we are allowed to in the process. And I know it has the support of both President Bush and President Clinton because that is why I was there talking to them at the time.
So I don't know what else to say about RAMOS. We are very interested in the Russian cooperation. The particular program we had worked out did not seem to be fitting either of our needs at the time and it didn't seem to have a good rationale that just because it was the only one we had at the time that it should continue.
Mr. BISHOP. General, it may be fair to say that there are some of us, and I am one, who is particularly interested in this particular program for a whole bunch of reasons, some of which are parochial, but a whole bunch of reasons for this particular program.
And, once again, in the translation of the correspondence I have seen so far, it does not bode well necessarily to substantiate the arguments that our side has used in the termination of that program.
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If it is at all possible to continue on with this program, I would see there is some benefit that could be substantial down the road, which is one of the reasons why I would be very much interested in once again seeing an official letter, because mine has only been a translation. I would like to verify the accuracy of that particular translation that I have seen.
And with that, Mr. Chairman, I didn't want to expand my ten minutes into 12, so I am under significantly, aren't I?
Mr. EVERETT. I appreciate it.
Mr. BISHOP. Okay.
Thank you, General, I appreciate your answers.
General KADISH. Thank you.
Ms. SANCHEZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Hello, gentlemen. Good to see especially you again, General Kadish.
I have two lines of questioning that I hope you can help me with today.
While, General, you mentioned earlier that you really see this as a total encompassing project or program of both space-based and land-based and a whole array of situation, I guess I am a bit more limited, maybe, in my thinking, in that I really break this down into a couple of areas, one, the space-based area, and the other, the land-based area, which of course we have a lot more history with through the Army. And I think both of them, from my perspective, have some major problems with them.
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Let me ask you a question about the space-based, and then I want to talk a little bit about the deployment that we are doing actually up in Alaska.
I am actually really concerned about weaponizing space at this point. Mostly I am concerned about it because I don't think that the American people really understand that this is actually going on, or that we are considering it.
I don't think that there has been much public debate to it. I don't think this Congress has really debated it very much. And I think it might have some benefits, but it also poses a lot of risks. And in looking at the budget, I think that there is about $10 million toward research specifically on space-based kinetic energy test beds. And then, supposedly, this research is to lead to on-orbit testing in the 2010, 2011 time frame, with an experimental constellation in 2012.
One of the reasons I think we do need to have more debate about what we are doing with the space-based issue is that you might just have $10 million today in this, but the ramp-up to get this done, to have this limited experimental constellation by 2012, I mean, we are talking, I think, hundreds of millions if not over billions of dollars.
And given the financial constraints that we have as a people right now, the deficit spending that is just going crazy, the Medicare bill that is not even put into our budget yet, et cetera, this is a major concern for us to be actually thinking that we are going to get, by 2012, to this type of a constellation system.
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. SANCHEZ. So, I guess, how do we know that doing this space-based bed isn't really a jumping off point for weaponizing space?
General KADISH. Well, the definition of weaponizing space has always been troubling to me in terms of discussing it. So let me just, from a philosophical standpoint, point out that this is a defensive system with no offensive capability from a weapons standpoint. So if somebody uses spaceand all our engagements are in space, by the wayto attack us, they have weaponized space, and we are defending ourselves against it.
But having said that, right now our focus in building this integrated missile defense is terrestrial. And it will continue to be because that is where we can reduce the risk in the overall performance of the system, understand the technology better and deal with it in the environment that is on the ground and at sea.
So all except for the $10 million that you pointed out in this next year budget goes to that effort. So that is our focus.
Ms. SANCHEZ. And what is your estimate of this ramp up that will take us to a 2012 experimental constellation?
General KADISH. We put some money in the five-year program to show that if we decide to move into the space as a test bed to do interceptors that we would have some resources to do that. But I can assure you before that happens, Congress and the Administration will have ample opportunity to debate whether that is a good idea.
Page 38 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But right now we don't need to put interceptors in space to do what we need to do for missile defense now.
But we should never, in my opinion, disregard that someday we may need to do that or it would be in the best interest of the country to do that. And rather than start from behind, we need to just study it and look at it all the time, at least at some level. And that is what we are doing.
Our main use of space today is from a sensor standpoint. In fact, we just talked about RAMOS earlier. RAMOS was to put two satellites up and experiment with them.
So from a sensor perspective, we need it a lot and are using it today, but from an interceptor perspective, we have some very low-level investment in study activity and experimentation.
Ms. SANCHEZ. So as somebody who leads our national missile defense area, do you have the back-of-the-envelope numbers as far as what that ramp-up would be? I mean, you are mentioning it
General KADISH. We have, we have
Ms. SANCHEZ. Where are the numbers, where can I find them?
General KADISH. For the record, I can give you the actual page numbers of where that is. I don't have them with me today.
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Ms. SANCHEZ. I don't think I saw estimates in the page numbers.
General KADISH. I think it is just an out-year funding stream, starting in 2005. And I think we had some last year as well, or in this year's budget.
So it is hard to give an estimate that has high confidence without knowing exactly what you are going to do, to begin with. So you need to study money and the other efforts early on to define that so you can provide a cost estimate with some amount of veracity.
Ms. SANCHEZ. I agree with the comments you just made, but it is also true that I think you need to start with some sort of an estimate. Otherwise you really can't begin to compare what the path is you are going down compared with all the rest of the needs that we have in the United States.
The second question I have for you all is with respect to the testing that has gone on and the test bed and the construction and operational facility that we are putting in.
You mentioned earlier that we have five of eight tests that have been successful. I kind of chuckle at that, because we know when the missile's going to be shot, we know its trajectory, we know its location, we have a little beeper on it that tells us, ''Here I am. Here I am. Come get me.'' It goes much slower than anything that would be coming at us if we anticipate that, in fact, North Korea or somebody else would shoot something at us. I don't really call that necessarily successful.
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But having said that, can you give me the status of the sensors for the GMD test bed? Is the sea-based X-band radar ready? When will it be ready? And how would we declare operational capabilities without having those radars ready?
General KADISH. Well, let me see if I can take apart the question that you have.
I guess I would strongly disagree with you about your characterization of the success of our testing activities. It is a major accomplishment to do what we have done. Nobody else in the world has done it, in terms of the hit-to-kill demonstration of the technology.
Ms. SANCHEZ. You would agree, General, that it is not a real case scenario. I mean, that is not really the way
General KADISH. But that is not the point.
Ms. SANCHEZ. North Korea is not going to call us up and say, ''Let me tell you, at 2:01 tomorrow morning I am shooting something at you 10 times faster than what you have been testing.''
General KADISH. I believe that once we begin to use the test bed, that that capability will be inherent in the overall test bed. And that is one of the reasons why we want to build a test bed is to eliminate some of the artificialities that you pointed out. But those things are necessary for not only accomplishing the test program, to gain confidence in the outcomes, but also for safety and environmental reasons.
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But let me turn to the Sea-based X-band radar (SBX) part of the question. The SBX is currently about 50 percent complete. It is on schedule, and in fact, in certain areas, earlier than what we had planned. And we believe that at the end of next calendar year we should have that radar into the test program. And as soon as that happens, it will be available because it has an inherent operational capability.
The radars that we are using for the initial capability are adequate for the overall test program and operational capability that we expect to have at the end of this calendar year. The SBX is an improvement to that, not a substitute for those radars.
Mr. EVERETT. The gentlelady's time has expired.
Ms. Tauscher, since we are giving 10 minutes, I think it is probably better that we break at this point. And unfortunately, we have a series of four votes as I understand it, which means that we will be there probably 35 or 40 minutes. I apologize for that. You know, that is the way things are around here.
We will meet back here as soon as the voting procedure is over.
Mr. EVERETT. Thank you, gentlemen, for waiting.
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The hearing will come to order.
Ms. Tauscher, I think it is your turn.
Ms. TAUSCHER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General Kadish, General Dodgen, Mr. Christie, thank you so much for being here.
I am very concerned and deeply disappointed that we find ourselves in a situation where we effectively are rushing to deploy a system that by I think most measurements has had a few tests that I could only characterize as being graded on a curve; that we are no longer compelled to pursue a 100 percent solution for every possible attack scenario, as it says in the testimony; that we are willing to deploy something without a test bed that has never been operationally tested to anybody's satisfaction, we are only using simulations.
And it appears to be, unfortunately, that we are rushing to deploy it and claim that we have deployed it and have pictures taken and backs clapped to meet a date that has artificially been put out by the administration for political reasons.
Now, I am for a national missile defense that works. And I am certainly for one that is fiscally responsible. I am afraid that we don't have either right now. And I find myself in a situation where I am doubting significantly whether the administration can be trusted with the information they provide us.
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And I feel deeply concerned that they trot people like you out who have tremendous service and tremendous loyalty to this country to represent a point of view that is more ideologically driven than it is by fact.
You know, this is no different than the Medicare numbers. This is no different than a lot of things that we see in here that just cannot be supported by facts. And it is a lot of money to be spent to rush this deployment when we cannot get this wrong.
So, General Kadish and Mr. Christie, I find myself looking at this approach. And I don't know of another weapons system that we haven't flown before we bought it. And I think this is such a crucial last defense against a missile attack, as I said we really can't learn from our mistakes because if the system doesn't work, we have a heck of a problem on the other end.
Why should this committee invest over $9.1 billion this year when we have only a threshold where 95 percent used to be not good enough, but now 90 percent is good enough? And what are we doing to get more confidence in the systems that we are going to fund?
And, to Mr. Christie, can you tell me how many other programs have achieved initial defensive operations without a full system test?
General KADISH. Well, Congresswoman, let me start out by commenting on a couple of issues before I answer the questions.
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I would like to clarify the idea that we are rushing and there is a date certain for deployment this year.
First of all, there have been four presidents and ten Congresses that have asked us to proceed with missile defense. And we have been investing in this for a lot of years. And we are now to the point where I believe the technology is going to support having a capability to defend the country where there is zero capability today.
The second thing is, I would like to clarify this idea of a date certain for the operation of the test bed and initial defensive operations.
A few years ago, when we postulated the test bed, we indicated that some time in the September time frame of 2004, we were going to have the test bed capability. And when we changed to have an operational capability at the same time, we did not change that date. And that was for two reasons.
One was that we need a date for people to work to. And second, we needed to measure ourselves as to what the progress would be in an enormous complex activity.
Other than within MDA, setting that date for our own internal management process, I do not believe any other date has been postulated that we must meet just because that's what the calendar went by.
We are trying very hard to accomplish all the tasks on an event base that will get us within the time frame we originally planned for this, which is the fall of this year.
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I can tell you today that my estimate as of this morning was that we were within 60 days of that date in accomplishing our basic test bed and operational capability. And we are working hard with the using commands to understand how to actually put a very unprecedented, complex system on alert throughout all the steps.
So the date certain idea of this being an arbitrary date, I would disagree with. And if we don't make it, it will be a disappointment to me, in the sense of the management failure to some degree, but we will do it when we are able to do it, in accordance with our plan.
Ms. TAUSCHER. General Kadish, can I just interrupt you for a second? Can we just have a little gentlemen's bet here? I will bet you a cup of coffee at Starbuckswhich costs about $5 these daysthat there will be a picture taken in Alaska, before the election, of a deployed system. Politically, that is exactly what this administration wants. And if that happens, then I think that we are in really tough shape.
General KADISH. I can't speak to the politics of that type of thing. We have been working hard for over six years now in the GMD element toward this date. And I think if you review my testimony even four years ago, I was saying in the calendar year 2005 would be the time frame we were going to do this, and September-October of this year is pretty close to that. And that was fiscal year 2005, not calendar year 2005.
But be that as it may, we are working hard to get the job done as we understand it. And the confidence we have in the system, I would characterize this as being a once in a generation type of development weapon system that comes along and could change the military balance so significantly that it warrants a fly as you buy strategy rather than a fly before you buy type of activity in traditional weapons systems terms.
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And that is basically what we are doing, trying to put on alert. And I might add, part of the development of such a revolutionary weapons system is not only the technology required for such a thing, but the tactics, techniques, procedures and strategies of the people using this capability.
We never had a defensive system of this nature. And it is something new that has to be developed in use at the same time as we are developing the technology to use it. And that is why we have got to test and improve the system over time rather than waiting for some vision of it to be built and tested the way we normally do in terms of our traditional weapons system.
Our procedures in the department for normal weapon system programs are designed to replace something else, an airplane with an airplane, a tank with a tank, and they are very good at making sure that that replacement through the operational test process, through our oversight process, is as good or better than what we are replacing, and rightly so.
But when you have a revolutionary capability like missile defense, where none exists today, we need a different way of managing and looking and developing it. And I believe we struck that balance in the way we put this program together. I don't know if Mr. Christie has anything.
Ms. TAUSCHER. Well, I do want to have Mr. Christie speak. But I can tell you that I think that for every reason you have just described, the fact that we have never done it before, that it appears so hard to do, that the science is very difficult and there are so many different moving parts to this, that it is an enormous investment, that there are tremendous political, geopolitical concerns about just doing this, period, that we had to abrogate a treaty that I was for amending, not abrogating, for all of those reasons, slow walkingI am not saying that we don't make big investments and that we don't take the leadbut doing this with a lot more care and a lot more opportunity to know that we are actually not biting off more than we can chew, I think is a better policy than the one that we have adopted for this.
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Mr. CHRISTIE. Add to General Kadish's comments, I go back to my statement that we are building this test bed to a great extent as a result of criticism of our office, that it will provide us with an ability to test this system in a much more realistic environment than we have had.
We have been criticized for some of the artificiality. We had to build, buy, and build this test bed and put it in place. And in so doing, there will be an inherent capability there. Now, how capable that is, is another issue, and that will be addressed in the building.
General Kadish makes the point that this system is, you know, revolutionary; it is not replacing an existing system. We have been through this before with other systems on a much smaller scale perhaps. (JSTARS) Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, for example, was deployed in the first Gulf War when it was only a prototype. We had not even entered full-scale development. It was then deployed in the Bosnia situation, where the operational test was done as part of the deployment.
So we have done this kind of thing before. We have done it with satellites. You have to build a satellite, you have to put it in orbit, in order to do the testing. And I think that is what is happening here. And I think also the fact that we have had several tests postponed, which I am a little concerned about, is reflective of the fact that we are not rushing into something. This is a development program, and it is test, find problems, fix them before you go test again. And that is what we are doing.
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Mr. EVERETT. The lady's time has expired
Ms. TAUSCHER. Thank you.
Mr. EVERETT. We are going to have votes every 40 minutes for the rest of the day, and we can stay here as long as I feel that it is useful to do.
General Kadish, I do appreciate your comments about the Israelis, and their deployment of the Arrow missiles. I think there is a great parallel to be drawn there.
I also think that the Israelis know something about life and death, and about protecting their country. And that is the reason they deployed those Arrow missiles. We have done much more testing with the TDM than the Israelis had done with the Arrow missile when they deployed it.
I also find it regrettable that members would insinuate that general officers would salute and lie for the Administration. I know that is not true. And I apologize to you for the committee, that some members would insinuate that.
Ms. TAUSCHER. With all due respect, Mr. Chairman
Mr. EVERETT. No.
Ms. TAUSCHER. I am sitting right here, and I don't need you to apologize for me.
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Mr. EVERETT. If you don't mind, I did not interrupt you during your 10 minutes, and I would respectfully ask that you do not interrupt me during my 10 minutes. You will have a chance to reply later.
Much of what we have heard here today is editorial opinion. I was in the newspaper business for 33 years. It is not factual. It is editorial opinion. And it is not based on good science, it is not based on precedent or anything else.
Putting that aside for the moment, I am concerned about the ABL. I have seen some cost estimates of it costing an additional billion dollars. I am also concerned that we may need to start looking for something to complement ABL or a backup to ABL. I think the committee ought to take a close look at that.
But, if you would, talk to me a minute about the ABL.
General KADISH. Mr. Chairman, I think you brought up two very good points about the fact that the ABL works in the boost phase, which is very important to us. It was prohibited by the treaty that we work there for a long time. And it is also a revolutionary technology.
We did, and have put together in the ABL program a cost increase because it has taken longer than what we thought it was going to be. And I believe that we have in our budget somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 billion more allocated to the program to make sure that we have the ability to either decide it works or it doesn't work.
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So, it is very expensive, but it would revolutionize not only missile defense, but warfare if we could make that weapon system work.
Point number two, you bring up a very good point about the fact that there maybe should be a backup alternative in case we run into an unsolvable technical problem with such a revolutionary technology. And that, in fact, is what we did by awarding a contract this past year and putting in the budget a kinetic energy hit-to-kill approach for boost phase that we call the Kinetic Energy Interceptor (KEI).
So that is a parallel path in boost phase, different technology than the ABL, that would complement the ABL if both of them succeeded, but would certainly be a risk reduction if ABL did not succeed.
Now, I don't want to leave you the impression that I am concerned that we are not going to succeed on ABL. The risks are high, but there is nothing that we see from any of the experts in this country today that says that we cannot do this and make it work to the extent that we have expected for a number of years.
But it is going to be harder than we thought. So we put in the money to take it to the next level, to make sure that we have done everything we can to make sure that this thing can go together and work.
But because it is high risk, we decided to start a parallel effort in the KEI boost effort, to make sure that we have an alternative that could be either a replacement for or a complement to a directed energy activity like ABL.
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Mr. EVERETT. How sure are we that this new initiative would work?
General KADISH. That is one of the problems we have today, Congressman, because I can't tell you whether either one of them is going to work. But we have to work on them together and get them to the point to make that decision based on data and our risk assessment of going forward.
If I could tell you today that ABL was going to work with certainly, I would say that we may not need as much emphasis on the KEI boost effort, and certainly the other way around. But in either case, I cannot tell you that today.
Mr. EVERETT. I am in the mind that we possibly should take some 6.2 money and put it perhaps at Huntsville or somewhere to take a very close look at this. And I would like to meet with my counterpart, Mr. Reyes, at some point and also with you to talk about doing that.
We spent an awful lot of money on ABL. We have had some notable disappointments concerning the ABL, notwithstanding the fact that we understand the complexity of the problem as illustrated by you earlier.
So I think that we may be talking to you a little bit later to see if you have any ideas about some 6.2 money that we can possibly direct tosee, I don't want to get down the road a year or two years or three years, four years from now and for us to decide that the ABL or the new initiative is not working and we have to start over from scratch. That really puts us in a huge hole.
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So I will probably be asking for some guidance from you about something that we might be able to do with some 6.2 money from the committee to take a look at this.
General KADISH. I will be happy to, Mr. Chairman.
I might add one more thing concerning the ABL cost approach. It is certainly expensive, as you pointed out, the cost growth, but when you measure it against THAAD, for instance, we have spent, I thinkI would have to make sure the numbers are rightbut when we did the THAAD program in the UOES (User Operational Evaluation System) part, there were somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 billion or $4 billion we spent on it getting the flight tests toward the end of 1999.
And then we put it into another development activity that we are going to start flight testing again later this year and certainly next year, and that is another $4 billion that we invested in THAAD.
So this is not unprecedented within the missile defense effort. And I think we need to look relatively speaking at how we have done some of the other efforts along this line in terms of cost.
Mr. EVERETT. Mr. Christie, do you have anything to comment along those lines?
Mr. CHRISTIE. Well, with THAAD, as you recall we had a lot of problems with THAAD early on and there was an assessment, I guess, that we had sort of rushed to failure. And so, the Missile Defense Agency backed up and said let's do this thing right, we have found a lot of problems. And I think the course of action on THAAD is the right one.
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ABL, I can't comment on that at this point in time. I just haven't been that close to that program, as far as its technical capabilities, other than to understand there are technical hurdles to be overcome before making a decision to proceed with big dollars.
Mr. EVERETT. General Dodgen, on THAAD?
General DODGEN. Having been in Joint Theater Missile Defense Planner (JTMPD) at the time that THAAD was testing, there were some failures. But ultimately, before it went into further development, it was successful. And the reengineering is going to make it a much better system when it comes out. And so the Army is very optimistic about the THAAD and its performance and looking very closely at it over the next 1218 months.
Mr. EVERETT. When is the next test?
General KADISH. The next test of THAAD?
Mr. EVERETT. Yes. I am sorry.
General KADISH. I will have to get the exact date, but we have a nonintercept first flight of the interceptor, I think, scheduled for September or October.
General DODGEN. And you know the capabilities it brings in the battle space it operates in will add another layer to our defenses, which is something we really seek dramatically, Congressman, as you well know.
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Mr. EVERETT. I thank the gentlemen.
Mr. REYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I wanted to pursue a little bit on THAAD because it is a program that I have very closely monitored and support. And when it was undergoing its initial failures, a lot of those failures, correct me if I am wrong, were quality control failures, a plug that wasn't put right, a wire that was frayedI forget what the actual issues were.
So it wasn't the technology itself. It was quality control issues that ultimately became issues.
General Dodgen, remember a couple of days ago, I asked you the status on the report on fratricide issues, because we got a briefing, I guess, about a year ago. And my concern, as I expressed to you, was making sure that we know what went wrong and how do we fix it and those kinds of things. And you assured me that the report was, I think
General DODGEN. Congressman, yes, if I may comment. Any fratricide is regrettable to any military man and we certainly believe that all of them are avoidable.
The operational environment in Iraqi Freedom was even more complicated than I experienced as a battalion commander in Desert Storm, with the addition of a very higher OPTEMPO (Operations Tempo) in the air space and in new threats.
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So for that reason, Central Command (CENTCOM) is doing a very thorough investigation into those incidents, as are other services and other governments. And I believe that is on track in the near future to be released.
The first priority will be to give the notification to the families. And once that is done, I am sure we would be more than happy to come forward and give you all the details publicly.
Mr. REYES. Okay. Good, because that I think is common and vitally important to make sure we have it in the context of lessons learned and to fix them.
General DODGEN. There will be no stone unturned on that one.
Mr. REYES. Thank you, General.
The other question that I hadand I want to associate myself with the comments of the Chairman in the context of making sure that, whether it is ABL or the national missile defense system or anything that cost millions and billions of dollars, takes a great amount of money and effort invested.
And I would point out we recently had a very good example of that with the canceling of the Comanche. The program started in 1983, and after spending billions of dollars, we wind up canceling that program.
Page 56 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And I think the questions that are asked, not just by me, but other members of the committee, trying to get at the thinking or the strategy in deploying a system that hasn't been fully tested, a system that would, in effectand I don't want to mischaracterize what I think Mr. Christie said, but one that would be further improved after deployment by doing testing, and that a system like that is better than no system at all.
My concern is that we have a system out there that gives us a false sense of security and that does not have the capabilities that it is intended to.
So I just wanted to make sure that all of you three gentlemen understood the perspective from where members are coming to you on this issue and why, frankly, the tough questioning. Because, we just went through the Comanche. And the reality of it is that it is a highly complex, technology-driven system, and there are a lot of questions as to whether or not it is a good idea to field it and then test it.
So, I don't know if you want to comment on that. I just wanted to make sure you understand that perspective.
General KADISH. Congressman Reyes, I want to assure you, at least on my behalf and the people in MDA, that we share the same concerns that you and the committee have on these issues.
However, we wouldn't be proposing what we are doing if we didn't believe that it was the right thing, given all the things that we know at this point in time, and we can always improve our management processes.
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We are concerned about cost. And I think if you go back to 2001 in terms of the actions that have been taken by the department and MDA, we canceled the Navy area program, we restructured Space-based Infrared System (SBIRS) Low, we restructured ABL, we ended the RAMOS program, and there are many other things that we have done over the past few years to make sure that we were using our resources properly without extending it unnecessarily.
And in regard to whether or not the people would have a false sense of confidence in the system, I can also assure you that to the best of our technical ability, we are making sure that the combatant commanders and our political leaders from the secretary on down, understand what it is we have, and I can assure you it is not being overstated.
Mr. Christie and others will always be there to remind us when they have a different opinion.
Mr. REYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. EVERETT. I thank the gentleman.
You mentioned SBIRS Low. And of course, we see a problem with SBIRS High also, and we will probably have some meetings with General Lord and Secretary Teets a little later to discuss that.
The situation as I see it, is while we have some tremendous problems in both ABL and SBIRS High, we can't fail. I don't see any options, particularly with SBIRS High. And that is the reason I want to try to put some 6.2 money somewhere, to back up what is going on with ABL and the new initiative that you mentioned.
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We will have a number of written questions for you that we will submit for the record, but our problem is that we are going to have, like clockwork, votes about every 40 minutes, and with the agreement of my ranking member, I think we will adjourn this session.
And thank you for being here.
[Whereupon, at 12:22 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]