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Air Defense: Arrow Losing Its Rich Uncle
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April 16, 2009: The U.S. wants to withdraw its support for development of the Israeli Arrow anti-ballistic missile system. About half the $2 billion cost of developing Arrow has come from the United States. In addition, American firms have done some of the development work, or contributed technology. The U.S. wants to cut the several hundred million dollars it would be spending on future Arrow development, in order to save money, and allocate more resources to U.S. anti-missile systems (Aegis SM-3, THAAD and GBI). American support of Arrow was originally sort of an insurance policy, in case similar U.S. effort didn't work out.

Israel has two batteries of Arrow, and over a hundred missiles available. An Arrow battery has 4-8 launchers, and each launcher carries a six missiles in containers. The Arrow was developed to knock down Scud type missiles fired from Syria, Saudi Arabia or Iraq. The two ton Arrow I is being replaced with the 1.3 ton Arrow II, which can shoot down longer range ballistic missiles fired from Iran. Israel is currently developing and testing an upgraded Arrow II, which can take down longer range Iranian missiles.

The U.S. has provided Israel with a mobile X-band radar that enables it to detect incoming ballistic missiles father away. Currently, the Israeli Green Pine radar can only detect a ballistic missile fired from Iran when the missile warhead is about two minutes from hitting a target in Israel. The X-band radar would allow the Iranian missile to be spotted when it was 5-6 minutes away, enabling the Israeli Arrow anti-missile missile to hit the Iranian warhead farther away and with greater certainty. Israel also wants to buy a land based version of the Aegis anti-missile missile.

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Dave_in_Pa    Adding two and two   4/16/2009 9:12:55 AM
"The U.S. wants to withdraw its support for development of the Israeli Arrow anti-ballistic missile system...The U.S. wants to cut the several hundred million dollars it would be spending on future Arrow development, in order to save money, and allocate more resources to U.S. anti-missile systems (Aegis SM-3, THAAD and GBI)." 
 
It would appear from all the news since Inauguration Day that the only cabinet level Department the Obama Administration is interested in cutting, to "save money" is the Department of Defense.
 
Now, combine the information in this article with information in the Washington Times article "EXCLUSIVE: U.S. failed to use best radar for N. Korea missile - Gates refused area commander's request".: 
 
"Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates denied permission for the U.S. Northern Command to use the Pentagon's most powerful sea-based radar to monitor North Korea's recent missile launch, precluding officials from collecting finely detailed launch data or testing the radar in a real-time crisis, current and former defense officials said...Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry Obering, who until recently headed the Missile Defense Agency, said the SBX would have gathered data other U.S. systems could not...
 
"Current and former defense officials offered other factors that likely affected the decision, ranging from the fact that the radar was undergoing maintenance about the time of the launch to concerns about provoking the North Koreans...
 
"Former defense officials said the failure to use the SBX precluded the U.S. from gathering finely detailed intelligence and electronic signatures on the North Korean missile - information that could be useful in guarding against a future rocket launch aimed at the United States or one its allies...
 
"Adm. Timothy Keating, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, initially said the Pentagon was set to shoot down the missile using missile defense interceptors based in Alaska...
 
"However, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told CNN on March 25 that the United States had no plans to shoot down the missile but instead would raise the issue with the United Nations...
 
"Defense officials said that in addition to monitoring the Taepodong-2 launch, Gen. Renuart wanted the SBX radar in place to provide a real-world test of the new missile defense system.

Missile defense critics have criticized the Bush administration, which began deploying the current system earlier this decade, for not conducting realistic testing of the system.

President Obama has said he wants to make sure that U.S. missile defenses work properly before continuing support for the program...The administration's restrictions on missile defenses were disclosed as Mr. Gates announced last week that he is planning a $1.4 billion cut in missile defense funding.

Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, and Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent, wrote to Mr. Obama on April 6, urging him to reject the missile defense cuts. The senators warned that the planned missile defense funding cut would undermine international cooperation with Japan, Israel and other states at a time when missile threats are growing."
 
So, this forces me to conclude that the Obama Administration won't let DoD use the far-and-away most powerful radar for two reasons: they don't want to have to deal with the answer it provides to two questions, 1 that the North Korean missile is an ICBM and 2. that US missile defense DOES work. This is because the Obama Administration wants neitherto confront North Korea nor for the US to build a anti-missile defense network.
 
If anyone else finds flaws in this reasoning, I'd really like to read their comments.
 
 
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Evan       4/16/2009 3:12:58 PM
Sorry, I can find no problem with your views.  Being retired military, I see an enemy alive is a job undone.
 
Bjklinton undermined the military, bho will attempt to turn it to his personal use against the American people.  He will have to week out the real Americans in the military and get his sort in, but with persistance, I am sure he will accomplish it.  He also is attempting to start his brown shirts, guess he can use them in 10 and 12 to attempt to help intimidate those that don't support him.  
 
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TPS-1D    Sad but true   4/16/2009 6:08:50 PM
Okay,  let me see if I've got this right. We may have not used our most powerful and useful tool to gather intelligence on the flight characteristics and capabilities of an aerospace vehicle which by all reasonable estimates posesses the potential to deliver a nuclear payload to the United States and multiple allies because: 1. It was down for maintenance. How can anyone  really believe that with the amount of advance warning that was available before the launch that the radar couldn't have had any faults corrected, if there were any ? And, if it was scheduled maintenance, that seems about as intelligent as taking all the wings off every F/A 18 in a CBG 2 hours before an immanent enemy attack on the group with the advance warning corroborated by every reliable intelligence source. That's the dumbest explanation anyone could even think of,  let alone try to pawn off. 2. We didn't want to provoke the NKs. To what, exactly? Being meaner, rottener liars than they already are? To starving and kicking the crap out of their own people to protect their own power and priviledges? They've had a lot of practice at that already. So much that they're #1 in the world in that category. They've really got it down. 3.To making a more concerted effort to destabilize first regional and, if they can get away with that, global security? Yes, I think we have here the real answer. Our government is enamored of  the same demonstratably worthless appeasement strategy of Chamberlain, Kissinger, Carter, and Clinton. Don't make them mad or hurt their feelings by standing up to them and saying NO! when that's what needs to be done. Eventually they'll see the reasonableness of our position and give up willingly what they've worked like madmen and lied like devils to possess. God help us. Literally. I am a Christian and pray fervently for our country and our armed forces. I deeply appreciate and value  the civilian defense industry that has played such a large role in establishing and maintaining the technological advantage we have enjoyed over our potential enemies since WW2, and has contributed so substantially to our security. This administation's perception of the threat  and attitude towards maintaining that advantage is the most frighteningly unrealistic since Carter's.  Their claim that they want to cease support of the Arrow program development to divert funds to other missile defense programs is a ruse and a calculated step towards being able to come back and say someting like,"well, we really wanted to develop and  purchase these systems, but  other needs have come up, and there's just not enough money to pay for everything, so we're just going to have to make some more cuts. Sorry." Yes, that is sorry. I am also ex-military, an air defense radar maintenance soldier ( that's why I know a bit about the maintenance issue; I was in an I-HAWK battalion in W. Germany in the 80's and there was always a battery in 20 minute status to put a missile in the air against a threat. Many's the night I was called out of bed to go to a tactical site and fix a broken piece of gear that they had to have to engage. How long did we know the NKs were getting ready to launch an ICBM? Months? Give me a break.). The only stategic and militarily rational explanation for not using that radar is to not reveal it's capabilities to a potential enemy, but if that was the case, why would Northern Command have requested it's use in the first place? No, I am forced to state I can find no flaw in Dave_in _Pa's logic. His reasoning is regrettably, sad but true.
 
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