Failure to Separate

Jul 10, 2013, 15:26 ET from Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance

WASHINGTON, July 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Riki Ellison, Chairman and Founder of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA),, comments on the recent failure of the Ground Based Interceptor test at Vandenberg AFB on July 8th. Ellison is one of the top lay experts in the field of missile defense in the world. Ellison's comments and observations are below:

"Preliminary findings into last week's missed intercept test by the first generation Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI), leads into speculation of a failure to separate on the final stage of the GBI rather than a failure of the Kill Vehicle itself or system, to detect, track, and discriminate the incoming ballistic missile reentry warhead launched from Kwajalein Atoll. Initial indications show the fundamental elements of the ballistic missile defense system to detect, track, discriminate, and target worked from the multiple sensors in space, land, and sea to the communication of that collective data processed and transferred by our missile defense war fighters into the correct firing solution onto the GBI that was targeted and launched correctly. 

The root cause of the failure to separate is a problem that must be identified and corrected. Most importantly it has to be determined if it is an anomaly with one GBI or if it is a systematic issue with all of the GBIs. This failure to separate has not been seen in previous tests of this GBI which could lead to an anticipated anomaly of one missile as the cause of its failure. Confidence and reliability of the system would vary greatly from an anomaly of one to a systematic issue with all of the GBIs. In either case, annual intercept testing of this system would have dealt with this issue of separation and could have resolved it as early as four years ago as well as other problems that might have occurred through regular use of these interceptors. For our national security, in today's world, we cannot as a nation afford to go without annual testing of this system and we as a nation must fix this GBI and test it again as soon as possible. 

Regular and consistent testing of our GBIs, as our nation does with our offensive missiles, will greatly increase our reliability and confidence to our GBIs as we have with our ICBMs. With a current threat to the United States from North Korea and a future threat from Iran, we as a nation have to put the effort, the expectation and sacrifice to get this system, our only system that can defeat ICBMs, right. "

SOURCE Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance