This html article is produced from an uncorrected text file through optical character recognition. Prior to 1940 articles all text has been corrected, but from 1940 to the present most still remain uncorrected. Artifacts of the scans are misspellings, out-of-context footnotes and sidebars, and other inconsistencies. Adjacent to each text file is a PDF of the article, which accurately and fully conveys the content as it appeared in the issue. The uncorrected text files have been included to enhance the searchability of our content, on our site and in search engines, for our membership, the research community and media organizations. We are working now to provide clean text files for the entire collection.
In the near future, the Standard missile launched here from the USS Vicksburg (CG-69) will be capable of destroying tactical ballistic missiles, Patriot-style. Spearheaded by the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization, this new program will integrate the Navy’s Aegis ships with other systems in the thick of theater ballistic-missile defense.
At the same time these missiles proliferate, they are becoming increasingly more accurate. During the Gulf War their effect was primarily political, and not much more than a nuisance for military planners. As the global positioning system becomes widely acceptable during this decade, however, accuracy is expected to improve from today’s hundreds of meters to only tens of meters. This means that five to ten Scuds could blanket a pier where ships are offloading, or seriously disrupt a critical airfield, either of which could have a significant impact on military operations. At the same time, intelligence agencies report increasing availability of weapons of mass destruction (chemical, biological, and nuclear) to just those Third World nations that might consider using them. Thus, the threat is becoming more profuse and widespread, more accurate, and potentially more damaging to political and military interests. It will require a multifaceted and multitiered response.
Protection From the Sea
In response to the spectacular duels between Scud and Patriot missiles broadcast live during Operation Desert Storm, the United States has made a major and last- lng commitment to theater ballistic-missile defense (TBMD) for deployed U.S. forces, friends, and allies. That Commitment became more strategic in nature when we sent Patriot missiles to Israel and thus prevented escalation of the war. As soon as we realized that Saddam Husain had changed the tactical and strategic equation by acquiring and preparing to use ballistic missiles, we renewed °ur efforts toward achieving effective theater missile defense. Basing ballistic-missile defensive systems in ships sea clearly provides a new dimension that will ensure tlle safe insertion of land-based systems and complement 'heir capability once they are in place.
Defined and funded by the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization, this new and significant effort is an integral Purt of the ongoing theater missile defense program, which eUcornpasses improvements to the Patriot system, devel- °Pment of the next-generation theater high-altitude air de- fense/ground-based radar (THAAD/GBR) system, and adVanced space-based cuing. Sea basing would employ listing Aegis ships with their SPY radars and vertical 'aunch systems, together with modified Standard missiles. The theater missile defense units, both at sea and ashore, w°uld exchange real-time targeting data to permit maximum theater-wide coordination and efficiency.
Navy ships could provide the primary response for a 'heater commander-in-chief faced with a tactical ballistic- fissile threat. Aegis cruisers and destroyers would first c°ntribute relatively close-in area defense of fleet conCentrations, debarkation ports, coastal airfields, amphibious objective areas, and the expeditionary forces as they 8° ashore. This limited capability would then evolve later 'his decade into a much wider defense of joint forces, cities vital assets, and inland regions within an entire theater °f operations. Eventually, it could provide a sea-based c°mponent of a multinational global-protection system, Warding U.S. interests, friends, and allies over a wide region.
The tactical ballistic-missile threat is real and growing, h°th in the number of weapons and in the political and Military effects of their use. More than 20 countries have ballistic missiles today, and according to projections, nearly TO win acquire or produce their own by the end of the ^cade. Among the most numerous are the relatively short- fnge (120-kilometer), low-apogee SS-21, the 300-, and hOO-kilometer range Scud variants, the longer-range NODONG-1 under development in North Korea, and the very- '°ug-range (up to 3,000 kilometers) CSS-2 being marketed by China. As launchers and missiles become more and fore available to the Third World, which is a product of 'he breakup of the Soviet Union, the vast majority of the 'hreat inventory will be in the 600-kilometer range or below. Consequently, defensive efforts must be focused initially on these more abundant shorter-range, lower- aPogee weapons.
A recent study has shown that ballistic-missile protection is one way the Navy can exploit its current unchallenged command of the sea to achieve regional stability on land. In 26 of 37 different potential-conflict scenarios involving tactical ballistic missiles, the preferred attack trajectories were over international waters. Even with a nominal theater missile-defense capability, nearly 60% of the world’s major population centers can be protected from the sea. The powerful yet unobtrusive presence of naval forces can deter or defuse a worsening future crisis, even if the scenario includes the threatened use of ballistic missiles.
In the Mediterranean, for example, Aegis ships could protect Italy and southern Europe against TBM attacks from North African nations such as Libya, and deter or defeat most firings in the Middle East. In Southwest Asia, ships in the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf would provide a substantial defensive capability lor coalition partners in case of renewed hostilities by Iraq, or if threatened by Iran. During the Gulf War, several Aegis ships actually tracked Scuds enroute to Riyadh or Jubayl, but the weapon systems were not yet capable of engaging them. In NATO, sea basing in the North Sea, the Baltic, or the Adriatic and Black seas would provide more effective defense against the residual tactical ballistic-missile capability of the former Soviet Union. In the Western Pacific, protection for South Korea or U.S. forces in Japan could be accomplished best by sea-based defenses in the vicinity of potentially hostile countries. Sea basing brings unique naval capabilities to theater missile defense that complement other forces and provide much greater flexibility in strategic and tactical planning.
Clearly, naval forces may provide the only on-scene capability in some scenarios. Situations are under evaluation in which insertion of Marine expeditionary forces or follow-on Army and Air Force units will require protection from the sea. As a campaign develops, protection of forces rapidly advancing along the coast, or conducting amphibious counterattacks may be feasible only from theater missile defense firing units offshore.
— TMD Airlift Requirements
(Six Fire Units)
(Four Firing Batteries)
Land Based Total
Naval Battle Group
STRATEGIC DEFENSE INITIATIVE ORGANIZATION
Deploying Missile Required Sorties
Forces Capacity C-5 C-17 C-14I C-130
Deploying land-based systems such as Patriot and THAAD to a crisis area overseas will require the permission of host countries, time to transport and set up equipment, and the sealift and airlift capacity to deliver the ve hides and personnel to the scene. During the Desert Shield buildup, all these factors combined to ensure that the first Patriot battalion of six fire units was on duty five-and-a- half weeks after receiving the alert order. Subsequent fire units arrived an average of once every five-and-a-half days through a combination of airlift and sealift. Projections indicate that future THAAD batteries will require only five equivalent C-5A sorties to deploy, as opposed to the current 21 required for a single Patriot fire unit.
Nevertheless, we actually have increased our lift requirements, because to defeat ballistic missiles, the THAAD system requires Patriot missiles to defend against aircraft or cruise missiles. Competition will be keen for scarce airlift during the opening days of a crisis. Extending initial tactical ballistic-missile protection from the sea will provide the operational and logistics flexibility essential for success in many potential scenarios.
Why Sea-Based TBMD?
Why should the nation invest in putting TBMD in ships at sea? The rationale is straightforward:
► Ballistic-missile protection will be essential in future regional contingencies.
► Naval forces may be the only assets available in certain locations or political scenarios.
► Sea-basing costs are relatively attractive because of the large prior investment in the Aegis fleet and its supporting infrastructure.
>• A viable, multitier capability can be achieved fairly quickly.
In 1991, the Naval Research Advisory Committee and the Lincoln Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, under the direction of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, and Acquisition, conducted separate studies aimed at evaluating possible naval roles and capabilities. That summer, the Defense Science Board completed an in-depth look at TMD. All three studies concluded that the Navy had a substantial role to play.
Normally, the Navy is already forward-deployed at or
near potential flashpoints and can move to a crisis are3 quickly. Naval forces can arrive early and remain on station indefinitely to deter a TBM attack. Ships are inherently mobile and can influence a wide area; they provide a high level of survivability and self protection. While ships at sea are not vulnerable to such TBM attacks today- projections indicate that terminal guidance capability and increased accuracy may provide a nominally effective threat shortly after the turn of the century.
Naval forces are ideal for employment where no other U.S- forces are present or to avoid the liabilities and uncertainties foreign bases ashore- Naval theater ballis' ; tic-missile defense can go into effect without the invitation or permission of f°r' eign leaders and with reduced risk of retaliatory attack or capture. Sea-based theater missile defense would provide imme- i diate, visible support of allies and act as 3 catalyst for increased cooperation among future coalition part' ners. It could protect vital interests from the sea by way of optimum positioning for over-water and coastal enemy tactical ballistic-missile trajectories. Further, by basing fir' ing units at sea, we may enjoy more political flexibility with the rules of engagement than we do when we employ defensive launchers based ashore on foreign soil. P°' tential collateral damage caused by intercepts over protected areas and occasional errant defensive missile flights make the case for intercepts over water. In addition, defensive systems on ships at sea do not trigger the same day-to-day local political or environmental concerns as mobile or fixed installations ashore, whether they are overseas or at home in the continental United States.
Aegis ships with TBMD capability bring full logistics and technical support with them. No more personnel arc required than today, and established training courses arc modified easily to include TBMD considerations. Once land-based systems are in place and operating, Aegis ships would continue to provide a complementary capability’ including potential cuing of land-based radars and the ability to reposition in order to improve look angles and engagement trajectories.
The sea-based TBMD initiative builds on the existing- extensive Aegis fleet. More than $40 billion has already been invested in building the 22 vertical-launch-equipped Aegis cruisers and the more recent Aegis destroyers (2d authorized to date). Trained crews, experienced technical agencies, logistics support, and related infrastructure are
aH paid for and operating. Further, the development of Standard Missile 2 Block IV is progressing steadily and should reach initial operational capacity by the middle of 'he decade. Ammunition depots, rework facilities, under- "'ay replenishment ships, and the entire missile-logistics system are already handling the vertical-launch canisters ht day-to-day fleet operations. From the big-picture perspective, for approximately 10% of the existing investment in the Aegis fleet, the nation can reap a substantial return by modifying these existing assets to perform this
new mission. , .
The Navy’s obvious role here is to provide defense of debarkation ports, coastal airfields, and amphibious objective areas for expeditionary and follow-on land-based forces. Equally important is early defense of sea and air lines of communication, supporting infrastructure, com- mand-and-control nodes, population centers, and other "aluable political and military assets. In fact, as reiterated hy the Defense Science Board, protection by sea-based defense may be the critical factor in enabling planned strategies in a number of different scenarios.
Sea-based TBMD enjoys broad political and military Proceedings / June 1993
support. The Navy leadership and the director of the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization have formed a strong alliance and defined an aggressive naval TBMD program. Clearly, they have focused on the goal of the Missile Defense Act of 1991 to “provide highly effective Theater Missile Defenses to forward deployed and expeditionary elements of U.S. Armed Forces and to U.S. friends and allies.” Sea basing can fulfill several objectives of this act, which directs the Department of Defense to:
> Aggressively pursue the development of advanced TMD systems with the objective of deploying such systems by the mid-1990s.
>• Develop deployable and rapidly relocatable advanced TMD systems.
>■ Establish cooperation with friendly and allied nations.
The Secretary of the Navy, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, and Acquisition, the Chief of Naval Operations, and the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Resources, Warfare Requirements, and Assessment (N8) have strongly endorsed the SDIO initiative and are moving to accelerate the Navy program. In a 4 June 1992 memorandum, the Secretary of the Navy directed acceleration of Navy project management and planning efforts, including immediate submission of a program plan, acceleration of initial operational capa-
Fielding a Theater Ballistic-Missile Defense
By Commander John E. Carey, U.S. Navy
Ironically, what the world did not see during the spectacular intercepts of Iraqi Scud missiles by U.S. Army Patriot missiles during Operation Desert Storm has had an even bigger impact on the future of ballistic-missile defense. Aegis ships—the cruiser Mobile Bay (CG-53) and others—tracked Scuds from hundreds of miles away with the precision required to support missile intercepts. But none of those ships was equipped with a missile capable of intercepting the high-flying ballistic threat.
As a result, the U.S. Navy convened an antiair warfare working group to study the possibilities of modifying existing at-sea combat systems for theater ballistic-missile defense (TBMD). At the same time, several Department of Defense study groups, including the Defense Science Board, met to discuss the future capability of the nation in general to counter ballistic missiles. Each study reached the same conclusion: our existing Aegis ships, with vertical launching systems, SPY-1 radar, and the SM-2 Block IV variant of the Standard Missile, provided excellent integrated combat systems that—with some modifications— could provide a significant counter against the ballistic missile threat in a relatively short time.
Such a Navy effort is now underway. It includes nearly 50 cruisers and destroyers and takes advantage of ships already equipped with SPY radar, vertical launch system, and the command, control, and communication system necessary for TBMD. Repair parts, technical agencies, formal classroom training, and Navy personnel themselves are already in place and operating. The plan relies on an existing investment of more than $40 billion and accelerates development efforts to achieve real combat capability in just a few years.
Aegis/SM-2 Block IV A
Initial efforts focus on modifying the Aegis SPY radar and weapon-control system software to enhance tactical ballistic-missile detection, provide continuous tracking, and calculate engagements. Without changes to the transmitter or other hardware, SPY radar software changes can schedule the correct wave forms at higher altitudes in order to enhance detection opportunities and track ballistic threats. Weapon- control software modifications will calculate the fire-control solution, predict intercept points, appoint target priorities, launch missiles, and coordinate missile uplink commands with the SPY radar.
The Aegis display and command- and-decision systems will be modified to display these target tracks together with the engagement envelopes calculated in the weapon- control system.
After extensive land-based testing, the new software will be ready for the final phase of computer program development—at- sea testing, which includes missile firings. This process will ensure that the tactical programs are debugged and mature upon delivery to the fleet. A planned user operational evaluation system in 1997 will enhance the capability to respond to a crisis situation. Full initial operating capability is planned for a few years later. All 22 vertical-launch-equipped Aegis cruisers and all Arleigh Burke (DDG-51)-class Aegis destroyers (26 authorized through fiscal year 1993) could receive the Aegis/SPY radar modifications.
In order to provide an interceptor capable of killing ballistic missiles, the Standard Missile Block IV is slated to undergo modification. Currently in full-scale development, the SM-2 Block IV provides a missile with the range and kinematic performance required fof the TBMD mission. Warhead, seeker, and fuse changes will be required. Warhead changes will capitalize on the ongoing Patriot missile design efforts intended to improve upon its Desert Storm performance. An adjunct infrared seeker is planned for the Standard to minimize miss distance during the terminal phase of the engage-
bility, and the approval of necessary requirements documentation to formalize the acquisition process.
During May 1992, the House Armed Services Committee was the first of the four key defense committees to endorse spending “not less than $90 million for exploration of promising concepts for naval TMD, including modification to the Aegis weapon system and enhancements to the Standard Missile interceptor.” The committee also directed the organization to assess the near-term contribution and cost effectiveness of exoatmospheric capabilities, including Standard missiles with kick-stage rocket motors and a light exoatmospheric projectiR (LEAP) hit-to-kill vehicle.
The House Appropriations Committee agreed, and stated in its report that “Navy TMD programs should be accelerated and provided with increased budget support within SDI.” It also noted that it “strongly supports an increased role for the Navy in providing TMD. . and recognizes sea-based “advantages in mobility, flexibility, sustainability, and coverage.” The appropriations committee re-
ment. Fuse improvements will account for faster closing velocities between the ballistic target and the interceptor. Navy officials anticipate that the SM-2 Block IV Standard, modified as a TBMD interCeptor (now designated SM-2
Slock IV A) will retain its full capability against aircraft and cruise missiles in order to provide the fleet with a multimission missile. The Aegis weapon-control system "'ill select the modes of missile op- emtion appropriate for the specified larget and transmit a command to launch system.
The SM-2 Block IV A and the Aegis system software modifications will provide an antiballistic- missile capability similar to that provided by the most advanced upgrades planned for the Patriot system. Like Patriot, SM-2 Block IV A and Aegis will provide the lower tier of a two tiered sea-based defensive system capable of defending debarkation ports, airfields, and troops ashore.
To provide a higher-altitude, longer-range interceptor, the Navy plans to build upon the ongoing Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO) technology effort to develop a lightweight exoatmospheric projectile (LEAP). Like other ongoing interceptor efforts, this projectile emphasizes a kinetic kill vehicle. As ballistic missiles fired from longer ranges reenter the atmosphere, their increased speed makes existing fragmentation warhead technology less effective. The hit-to-kill concept strives to smash the mass of the kinetic kill vehicle into the target at high speed, while the inbound ballistic missile is still in the upper atmosphere. Homing accuracy comes from an infrared seeker and miniaturized rocket motors to divert or adjust the position of the kill vehicle before intercept. The SDIO technology effort has focused on reducing the size and weight of these vehicles and improving their performance to make them suitable for use on board Standard Missile-sized launch vehicles. Some of the nation's key defense contractors are involved with the LEAP work, including three of the biggest aerospace defense firms: Rockwell International, Hughes, and Boeing. All three contractors have built and tested LEAP vehicles. Upper atmosphere flight tests are ongoing.
The Navy Standard missile is an attractive LEAP launch vehicle.
The SDIO has started a Navy LEAP flight-test program in order to gain a better understanding of it. The Phase I flight test program will use SM-2 Block II (Terrier) launch vehicles to propel the LEAP and a “kick stage” rocket motor into the exoatmosphere. In September 1992, the USS Richmond K. Turner (CG-20) validated the concept of the Standard Missile launch vehicle by sending up a Terrier round with a payload built to the dimensions and weight of a real LEAP.
Phase II of the Navy LEAP flight-test program, currently scheduled to begin in 1995, will use the SM-2 Block IV Standard as the launch vehicle.
While LEAP is a potential upper-tier sea-based interceptor with great promise, the SDIO is working with the Army and Navy
Port “strongly supports aggressive exploration of promising concepts for Naval TMD” because of relative cost effectiveness of naval systems and upgrades that can be fielded more quickly.” _
Subsequently, all four congressional defense committees formally approved initiation of Navy TMD at not less than $90 million in fiscal year 1993. The appropriations hill provided full funding.
Support for Navy TBMD has been embraced quickly by industry teams, who see this new initiative as capitalizing on existing production-line investments by modifying existing weapon systems and missiles. It keeps engineering teams together and goes a long way toward preserving defense-related jobs. Navy TBMD enjoys strong, wide-based support throughout the Department of Defense, Congress, and within the defense community at large. Allied navies in Europe and the Western Pacific already are expressing interest in coming involved.
Saddam Hussein’s use of Scud missiles in the Gulf War woke up national political and military planners. Future
SM-2 Block IVA for TBMD Common Missile for ATBM / ASCM Defense
to ensure that ultimately the best interceptor becomes incorporated into the Aegis weapon system. Another sea-based upper- tier candidate is the Army’s theater high-altitude area defense (THAAD) missile. Like LEAP,
THAAD uses hit to kill technology to destroy ballistic missiles.
Cost and operational analyses are evaluating all the sea-based, upper-tier options.
Long-Range Ballistic-Missile Targeting
We could target long-range exoatmospheric interceptors in a variety of ways. Sensor netting, which employs computers to compare, correlate, and fuse the data from different sensors with different angles on the target, has great promise. The Navy already has developed one such system called cooperative engagement. Through a high-speed data network, it shares radar measurement data between different units, a capability more important than sharing track positional data, like Link 11. Cooperative engagement, or systems like it, could enhance theater ballistic-missile defense by giving all shooters (Aegis ships, Patriot units, and
THAAD) the benefit of a composite, multisensor detection and tracking system. For example, during Desert Storm, ships tracked Scuds from a side aspect, detecting a large target. Meanwhile, the Patriot radars worked hard to acquire a much smaller head-on aspect target. Should a sensor netting system such as cooperative engagement become a part of the TBMD architecture, all shooters would reap the benefits of an apparently much larger target through sensor netting and cueing. Cueing is one sensor “telling” another sensor where to “look” through the data network. The SDIO and the Navy plan to conduct Aegis-to-Patriot cuing experiments in the near term. Alternatives to sensor netting, including a plan to double the range of the SPY radar on board
Aegis ships, are still viable options.
Other assets that may assist in long-range targeting include national space- based sensors, such as the defense support program satellites and aircraft- mounted sensors. Although they are still in early stages, infrared seekers installed on board AWACS, E-2, or P-3 type aircraft, will enhance the theater commander’s'ability to make early TBM detections—and turn early warning into targeting.
These complementary efforts, an area-defense capability built upon the SM-2 Block IV A, a greater theater capability built upon THAAD, LEAP, or some other variant, and continued work to develop sensor netting and improve satellite and airborne targeting support, can provide a layered defense of land targets from Aegis ships at sea. Such a multitiered system could give the nation much greater flexibility in deploying a theater ballistic-missile defense capability during the current decade and beyond.
Commander Carey is currently the Navy program integration officer in the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization.
I ] 1 I
regional contingencies will see potential enemies threaten to use or actually fire ballistic missiles. The proliferation of these missiles, possibly armed with weapons of mass destruction, and their increasing accuracy highlight a growing requirement for capable, flexible, and sustainable defensive systems. Naval forces can play a crucial and unique role in littoral areas by providing ballistic-missile protection from the sea, while follow-on forces are deploying ashore. This ability provides an on-scene rapid response that is highly mobile and can remain on station indefinitely. Such a capability could extend to a wide- ranging defense—up to and including the sea-based corn' ponent of a global protection system.
The nation has made a broad-based commitment, and the Navy’s Aegis fleet provides the means to achieve a forward-deployed defense fairly quickly. This new and significant sea-based theater ballistic-missile defense promises to provide the nation an extremely effective capability for a relatively modest cost.
Captain Rempt is assigned to the Theater Defense Directorate within th6 Strategic Defense Initiative Organization.