WASHINGTON, April 6, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Riki Ellison, Chairman and Founder of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA), www.missiledefenseadvocacy.org, has released a statement on the House Armed Forces Committee hearing on the FY2012 missile defense budget and the lack of projected cost for U.S. missile defense plans in Europe. Ellison is one of the top lay experts in the field of missile defense in the country. His comments follow below:
"The House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces recently held a hearing on the authorization for FY2012 missile defense funding with Chairman Representative Michael Turner (R, OH-3) and the Ranking Member Representative Loretta Sanchez (D, CA-47). Representatives Turner and Sanchez opened the testimony with remarks on the status of missile defense and voiced their concerns about our nation's homeland missile defense system.
"This was followed by concerns about the confidence in the Phase Adaptive Approach (PAA), the plan to protect Europe from Iran, and its development schedule of the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA and IIB missiles. The hedge strategy if the PAA schedule is delayed or Iran develops a missile threat earlier than expected was also of concern. The questioning wrapped up with a strong push for Directed Energy and the Airborne Laser Test Bed (ALTB) flight experiments for boost-phase missile defense.
"At its conclusion the hearing brought up the reality of the technical challenges remaining for the PAA to stay on schedule. This included the capability for all of its missile defense systems to demonstrate successful discrimination against missile countermeasures and to launch interceptors and engage missiles remotely; relying and being dependent on sensors separate from the platform the interceptors are launched from.
"Noticeably missing from the testimony were the funding requirements for Aegis Ashore; including its full outlay of manpower, missiles, S-band radars, fire control, production and force protection needs. Aegis Ashore is the cornerstone platform for the defense of Europe that will be developed, tested and deployed in Hawaii (2013), Poland (2015) and Romania (2018).
"More importantly, the total cost to the American tax payers for the full implementation of the Aegis Ashore System, additional Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) ships and missiles, forward based AN/TPY-2 radars, future sensors, additional force protection and Command and Control integration for the protection of Europe has not been announced, nor was it addressed. Absent from the hearing was a discussion about the authorization of additional funding to cover these costs that are instrumental in the full implementation of the President's plan to protect Europe. This unidentified cost could be approximately $4-8 billion and will have to compete for funding with the United States combat commanders missile defense demands for their areas of responsibility in the U.S., Middle East, East Asia, Israel and Northern Africa.
"Further adding to the complexity of a challenging program and an underfunded missile defense budget is the use of continuing resolutions (CR) to fund the Federal Government. The use of CRs has kept spending at FY2010 levels for the past six months and has held back all authorized program spending for 2011. This has resulted in work shortages, program delays and the severe limitation of systems like the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD). The GMD and other systems have had to make cuts to their current and future capability severely damaging their ability to stay on schedule and budget."
SOURCE Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance