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Missile Defense Briefing Report - No. 320

Edited by Richard Harrison and John Burke
January 17, 2014


MISSILES IN KALININGRAD RAISE TENSION WITH NATO
By emplacing nuclear-capable Iskander missiles in the Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, the Kremlin has spiked tensions with NATO. Moscow’s deliberate placement of the short-range missiles on the periphery of Eastern Europe, a move which was recently disclosed to the general public, is a clear reaction to NATO's emerging missile shield, which Russian officials claim poses a threat to their strategic deterrent. Alliance officials have warned that the deployment dramatically raises the "room for miscalculation" between Russia and Western bloc. Moscow, meanwhile, continues to seek a legally binding agreement that the NATO missile shield is not directed toward Russia. (Russia Today, December 17, 2013; The Hill, December 18, 2013)

AN ISRAELI HONOR FOR AN AMERICAN MISSILE DEFENSE CHAMPION
Without Daniel Inouye's support, funding for Israel's premier missile defense project, the Arrow interceptor, may have withered away long ago. Now, in recognition of the late Senator's contribution to the mainstay of Israel's missile defense architecture, the Israeli government has announced that it will name an Arrow facility after him. The move marks the first occasion that Israel has named a military facility after a non-Israeli. (Jerusalem Post, January 2, 2014)

ANOTHER STEP FORWARD FOR ISRAELI DEFENSE
Israel has moved closer to its plan for a multi-layer national missile shield with a successful flight test of its Arrow 3 interceptor. The next-generation terminal phase defense, jointly developed by the U.S. and Israel, is expected to come online in 2015. The latest test of the system took place over the eastern Mediterranean, with the two-stage interceptor successfully entering space and "conducting various maneuvers," a spokesman for the Israel Missile Defense Organization has said. (Space Daily, January 6, 2014)

NDAA: MOSTLY POSITIVE FOR MISSILE DEFENSE
The 2014 National Defense Authorization Act just signed by President Obama has maintained - and even increased - funding levels for several important missile defense and space programs. The bill authorizes $365 million for upgrades to sensors used in target discrimination capabilities, an identified systemic weakness, $50 million more than requested by the Pentagon. Several adjustments were likewise included to better address long range threats from North Korean missiles, including $30 million for additional radars to be deployed in Asia and $100 million more than requested by the Defense Department for the Ground Based Midcourse Defense program that protects the U.S. homeland from ICBMs. However, not all initiatives were spared the budgetary ax; in just one example, the Space Based Infrared System (SIBRS) missile warning satellite program saw a decrease of $30 million in funding, due in large part to delays in modernization that have arisen in the program. (Space News, December 27, 2013) )

KUWAIT INVESTS IN THE PATRIOT
Under a new contract just signed with Washington, Kuwait has acquired 14 Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) systems to bolster the Gulf nation’s air defenses against short-range ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and enemy aircraft. The $263 million sale is part of a broader initiative on the part of the U.S. government and defense contractors to strengthen regional missile defense for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations. (Defense News, January 6, 2014)

RUSSIA, KAZAKHSTAN FORM REGIONAL AIR DEFENSE
After much debate and discussion, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Kazakhstan have officially ratified an agreement unifying the two nations’ air defense systems. The first commander of the joint air forces of the two countries has not yet been appointed, but will be installed pending approval from both Moscow and Astana. The unification agreement has an initial term of five years, after which it can be renewed as desired in additional five year increments. (Moscow Pravda, December 30, 2013)