В американской системе ПРО обнаружили критические изъяны

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В американской системе ПРО обнаружили критические изъяны
Американская система противоракетной обороны (ПРО) имеет недостатки, ставящие под сомнение ее эффективность, пишет Los Angeles Times со ссылкой на данные Счетной палаты США.

Речь о двух технических изъянах ракет-перехватчиков наземного компонента ПРО. Для уничтожения боеголовок, прилетевших от потенциальных противников: Ирана и Северной Кореи, — американцы планируют использовать противоракеты GMD (Ground-based Midcourse Defense). 33 такие ракеты находятся в подземных пусковых установках двух баз: на Аляске и в Калифорнии.

Как выяснили инспекторы Счетной палаты, некачественный материал контактов в бортовых электросетях ракет и дефекты рулевых двигателей в носовой части перехватчиков могут привести к потере ориентации ракет в пространстве и лишить их возможности маневрировать для поражения боеголовок.

— Все 33 стоящие на дежурстве ракеты имеют как минимум один из перечисленных недостатков, — рассказали изданию представители Счетной палаты США. — Аварии и неполадки при испытаниях системы, на которую было потрачено 40 миллиардов долларов, происходят намного чаще, чем можно было ожидать.

Напомним, в апреле разразился скандал с закрытием четырех программ противоракетной обороны США, признанных неэффективными. Боевой лазер воздушного базирования, гигантский плавучий радар и две разновидности противоракет не оправдали ожиданий военных: дальность действия лазера оказалась ниже минимально приемлемой, радар получился слепым, а ракеты-перехватчики не помещались в корабли ВМС США. На разработку «чудо-оружия» Пентагон потратил 10 миллиардов долларов.
Добавил suare suare 1 Июня 2015
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waplaw, 1 Июня 2015 , url
На дезу похоже.
suare, 1 Июня 2015 , url
Американская система противоракетной обороны (ПРО) имеет недостатки, ставящие под сомнение ее эффективность, пишет Los Angeles Times со ссылкой на данные Счетной палаты США.
By DAVID WILLMAN contact the reporter

Two serious technical flaws have been identified in the ground-launched anti-missile interceptors that the United States would rely on to defend against a nuclear attack by North Korea.

Pentagon officials were informed of the problems as recently as last summer but decided to postpone corrective action. They told federal auditors that acting immediately to fix the defects would interfere with the production of new interceptors and slow a planned expansion of the nation's homeland missile defense system, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office.

As a result, all 33 interceptors now deployed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County and Ft. Greely, Alaska, have one of the defects. Ten of those interceptors — plus eight being prepared for delivery this year — have both.

Summing up the effect on missile-defense readiness, the GAO report said that «the fielded interceptors are susceptible to experiencing … failure modes,» resulting in «an interceptor fleet that may not work as intended.»

The flaws could disrupt sensitive on-board systems that are supposed to steer the interceptors into enemy missiles in space.

The GAO report, an annual assessment of missile defense programs prepared for congressional committees, describes the problems in terse, technical terms. Defense specialists interviewed by The Times provided more detail.

The interceptors form the heart of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, GMD for short. Four of the massive, three-stage rockets are stationed at Vandenberg and 29 at Ft. Greely.

They would rise out of underground silos in response to an attack. Atop each interceptor is a 5-foot-long «kill vehicle,» designed to separate from its boost rocket in space, fly independently at a speed of 4 miles per second and crash into an enemy warhead — a feat that has been likened to hitting one bullet with another.

The GMD system was deployed in 2004 as part of the nation's response to Sept. 11, 2001, and a heightened fear of attack by terrorist groups or rogue states. It has cost taxpayers more than $40 billion so far and has been plagued by technical deficiencies.

One of the newly disclosed shortcomings centers on wiring harnesses embedded within the kill vehicles' dense labyrinth of electronics.

A supplier used an unsuitable soldering material to assemble harnesses in at least 10 interceptors deployed in 2009 and 2010 and still part of the fleet.

The same material was used in the eight interceptors that will be placed in silos this year, according to GAO analyst Cristina Chaplain, lead author of the report.

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The soldering material is vulnerable to corrosion in the interceptors' underground silos, some of which have had damp conditions and mold. Corrosion «could have far-reaching effects» because the «defective wiring harnesses» supply power and data to the kill vehicle's on-board guidance system, said the GAO report, which is dated May 6.

When Boeing Co., prime contractor for the GMD system, informed government officials of the problem last summer, they did not insist upon repair or replacement of the defective harnesses, according to the report.

Instead, Missile Defense Agency officials «assessed the likelihood for the component's degradation in the operational environment as low and decided to accept the component as is,» the report said.

The decision minimized delays in producing new interceptors, «but increased the risk for future reliability failures,» the report said.

Chaplain told The Times that based on her staff's discussions with the Missile Defense Agency, officials there have «no timeline» for repairing the wiring harnesses.

The agency encountered a similar problem with wiring harnesses years earlier, and the supplier was instructed not to use the deficient soldering material. But «the corrective actions were not passed along to other suppliers,» according to the GAO report.

L. David Montague, co-chairman of a National Academy of Sciences panel that reviewed operations of the Missile Defense Agency, said officials should promptly set a schedule for fixing the harnesses.

«The older they are with that kind of a flawed soldering, the more likely they are to fail,» Montague, a former president of missile systems for Lockheed Corp., said in an interview.

The second newly disclosed defect involves a component called a divert thruster, a small motor intended to help maneuver the kill vehicles in flight. Each kill vehicle has four of them.

The GAO report refers to «performance issues» with the thrusters. It offers few details, and GAO auditors declined to elaborate, citing a fear of revealing classified information. They did say that the problem is different from an earlier concern that the thruster's heavy vibrations could throw off the kill vehicle's guidance system.

The report and interviews with defense specialists make clear that problems with the divert thruster have bedeviled the interceptor fleet for years. To address deficiencies in the original version, Pentagon contractors created a redesigned «alternate divert thruster.»

The government planned to install the new version in many of the currently deployed interceptors over the next few years and to retrofit newly manufactured interceptors, according to the GAO report and interviews with its authors.

That plan was scrapped after the alternate thruster, in November 2013, failed a crucial ground test to determine whether it could withstand the stresses of flight, the report said. To stay on track for expanding the fleet, senior Pentagon officials decided to keep building interceptors with the original, deficient thruster.

The GAO report faulted the Missile Defense Agency, an arm of the Pentagon, for «omitting steps in the design process» of the alternate thruster in the rush to deploy more interceptors. The skipped steps would have involved a lengthier, more rigorous vetting of the new design, defense specialists said. The report said the omission contributed to the 2013 test failure.

All 33 interceptors now deployed have the original, defective thruster. The eight interceptors to be added to the fleet this year will contain the same component, GAO officials told The Times.

The missile agency currently «does not plan to fix» those thrusters, despite their «known performance issues,» said the GAO report.

Contractors are continuing to work on the alternate thruster, hoping to correct whatever caused the ground-test failure. The first test flight using the alternate thruster is scheduled for late this year.

The GAO had recommended that the Pentagon postpone integrating the eight new interceptors into the fleet until after that test. Defense Department officials rebuffed the recommendation, the report said.

In a response included in the report, Assistant Secretary of Defense Katharina G. McFarland wrote that delaying deployment of the new interceptors «would unacceptably increase the risk» that the Pentagon would fall short of its goal of expanding the GMD system from 33 interceptors to 44 by the end of 2017.

Asked for comment on the report, a spokesman for the Missile Defense Agency, Richard Lehner, said in a statement that officials «have in place a comprehensive, disciplined program to improve and enhance» the GMD system «regarding the issues noted by the GAO.»

«We will continue to work closely with our industry partners to ensure quality standards are not only met, but exceeded,» the statement said.

Boeing declined to comment.

The GMD system is designed to repel a «limited» missile attack by a non-superpower adversary, such as North Korea. The nation's defense against a massive nuclear assault by Russia or China still relies on «mutually assured destruction,» the Cold War notion that neither country would strike first for fear of a devastating counterattack.

GMD's roots go back to the Clinton administration, when concern began to mount over the international spread of missile technology and nuclear development programs. In 2002, President Bush ordered «an initial set of missile defense capabilities» to be put in place within two years to protect the U.S.

To accelerate deployment, then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld exempted the missile agency from the Pentagon's standard procurement rules and testing standards.

Engineers trace the system's difficulties to the breakneck pace at which components were produced and fielded. In precisely scripted flight tests above the Pacific, interceptors have failed to hit mock-enemy warheads about half the time.

As a result, the missile agency projects that four or five interceptors would have to be fired at any single enemy warhead, according to current and former government officials. Under this scenario, a volley of 10 enemy missiles could exhaust the entire U.S. inventory of interceptors.

The Obama administration, after resisting calls for a larger system, pledged two years ago to increase the number of interceptors to 44. Both Republicans and Democrats in Congress have pushed for further expansion. The House this month passed a bill authorizing $30 million to plan and design a site for interceptors on the East Coast. The White House called the move «premature.»


With a convulsive rumble, followed by billowing flames and exhaust, a sleek 60-foot rocket emerged from its silo at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base.

It was a test of the backbone of the nation's missile defense system. If North Korea or Iran ever launched nuclear weapons against the United States, the interceptors at Vandenberg and remote Ft. Greely, Alaska, would be called on to destroy the incoming warheads.

Scientists conducting the test at Vandenberg on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010, had left little to chance. They knew exactly when the target missile would be launched from an atoll in the Marshall Islands 4,900 miles away. They knew its precise dimensions, expected trajectory and speed.

Based on this and other data, they had estimated the route the interceptor's heat-seeking «kill vehicle» would have to follow to destroy the target.

Within minutes, the interceptor's three boosters had burned out and fallen away, and the kill vehicle was hurtling through space at 4 miles per second. It was supposed to crash into the mock enemy warhead and obliterate it.

It missed.

At a cost of about $200 million, the mission had failed.

Eleven months later, when the U.S. Missile Defense Agency staged a repeat of the test, it failed, too.

The next attempted intercept, launched from Vandenberg on July 5, 2013, also ended in failure.

The Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, or GMD, was supposed to protect Americans against a chilling new threat from «rogue states» such as North Korea and Iran. But a decade after it was declared operational, and after $40 billion in spending, the missile shield cannot be relied on, even in carefully scripted tests that are much less challenging than an actual attack would be, a Los Angeles Times investigation has found.

The Missile Defense Agency has conducted 16 tests of the system's ability to intercept a mock enemy warhead. It has failed in eight of them, government records show.

Despite years of tinkering and vows to fix technical shortcomings, the system's performance has gotten worse, not better, since testing began in 1999. Of the eight tests held since GMD became operational in 2004, five have been failures. The last successful intercept was on Dec. 5, 2008. Another test is planned at Vandenberg, on the Santa Barbara County coast, later this month.

The GMD system was rushed into the field after President George W. Bush, in 2002, ordered a crash effort to deploy «an initial set of missile defense capabilities.» The hurried deployment has compromised its effectiveness in myriad ways.

«The system is not reliable,» said a recently retired senior military official who served under Presidents Obama and Bush. «We took a system that was still in development — it was a prototype — and it was declared to be 'operational' for political reasons.

»At that point, you couldn't argue anymore that you still needed to develop and change things. You just needed to build them."

Dean A. Wilkening, a physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif., offered a similar assessment. Wilkening served on a National Academy of Sciences panel that issued a 2011 report on missile defense.

GMD remains a «prototype system» that «has performed less well than people had hoped,» he said at a May 28 policy conference in Washington, D.C. «If you're going to rely on that as an operational system, one shouldn't be too surprised that it does tend to fail more than you'd like.»

At a separate conference this month, Wilkening called the system's test record «abysmal.»

The Times interviewed missile defense scientists and current and former Defense Department officials, and reviewed thousands of pages of congressional testimony and reports by the Government Accountability Office, the Pentagon's independent testing office, the National Academy of Sciences and the Defense Science Board.

Official pronouncements about the GMD system, The Times found, have overstated its reliability.

Early on, the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer told Congress he had high confidence an attack could be foiled by firing one to three missiles at each enemy warhead.

Under that scenario, «the effectiveness would be in the 90% range,» Defense Undersecretary Edward C. «Pete» Aldridge Jr. told the House Armed Services Committee in 2003.

Navy Adm. Timothy J. Keating, then head of the U.S. Northern Command, was even more emphatic when he told the Senate Armed Services Committee in 2007: «I appear before you today as confident as I know how to be in the employability and efficacy of that system.»

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But given GMD's record in flight tests, four or five interceptors probably would have to be launched to take out a single enemy warhead, according to current and former government officials familiar with the Missile Defense Agency's projections.

The system's 30 interceptors — four at Vandenberg and 26 at Ft. Greely — could be overwhelmed by an attack with multiple missiles.

The threat would be even greater if enemy missiles were outfitted with decoys or shed metal debris, which could confuse GMD's radar and sensors.

Despite GMD's problems, influential members of Congress have protected its funding and are pushing to add silos and interceptors in the Eastern U.S. at a potential cost of billions of dollars.

Boeing Co. manages the system for the Pentagon. Raytheon Co. manufactures the kill vehicles. Thousands of jobs in five states, mostly in Alabama and Arizona, depend directly or indirectly on the program.

The Obama administration, after signaling that it would keep the number of interceptors at the current 30, now supports expanding the system. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has called for deploying 14 new interceptors at Ft. Greely by late 2017.

Missile Defense Agency officials declined to be interviewed for this article. A spokesman, Richard Lehner, said in a statement that the agency was working «to conduct component testing and refurbishment of the interceptors currently deployed to… improve their reliability.»

The agency's director, Vice Adm. James D. Syring, told a Senate subcommittee Wednesday that officials had identified the causes of the two most recent flight-test failures, and that the underlying problems had been fixed, or would be by the end of this year.

Asked about the system's ability to defend against an attack with multiple missiles, Syring said his goal was to «greatly improve where we are today in terms of the number of interceptors that we fly at each threat.»

Raytheon referred questions about GMD to Boeing, the prime contractor for the system.

A Boeing spokesman, Dexter Q. Henson, said the company «remains confident in the system's ability to defeat potential adversaries.»

Missiles launched from North Korea or Iran probably would fly over the Arctic Circle on their way to the U.S., the most direct route. The GMD system is designed to destroy incoming warheads at roughly the midpoint of their arcing journey, as they begin their descent toward Earth — hence the term «midcourse.»

Intercepting a ballistic missile is a supreme technical challenge. Scientists liken it to hitting one speeding bullet with another.

The GMD system's bullet is the 5-foot-long, 150-pound kill vehicle. During flight, it is subjected to extreme stresses: blazing heat and violent vibrations, followed by frigid temperatures outside Earth's atmosphere. Each kill vehicle has more than 1,000 components. The slightest glitch can foil an attempted intercept.

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A rocket interceptor at Ft. Greely in Alaska, part of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, includes a kill vehicle designed to destroy an enemy warhead in space. But tests have been less than reassuring. (John Wagner / Fairbanks Daily News-Miner)
«Fly, then buy» is a maxim in the defense and aerospace fields, meaning that customers should wait until a complicated new system has been rigorously tested before purchasing.

With GMD, the government's approach was the opposite: «Buy, then fly.»

Then-Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld exempted the Missile Defense Agency from standard procurement rules and testing standards, freeing it to use research and development money to buy and deploy a system quickly.

The rocket interceptors were essentially prototypes rather than finished products when put in the field. The first model of kill vehicle was not flight-tested against a mock warhead until September 2006 — two years after the vehicles had been placed in the silos.

Because each of the kill vehicles is handmade, no two are identical. A fix that works with one interceptor might not solve problems with others. The piecemeal approach has left the system short of spare parts for critical components.
См. далее… The Pentagon’s $10-billion bet gone bad

Там серия статей по каждому критикуемому виду вооружений…
Лиман, 1 Июня 2015 , url
Там серия статей по каждому критикуемому виду вооружений...
И тонкий намёк на увеличение финансирования.
Владимир104, 2 Июня 2015 , url
Посмотрел я на ихний глобус, вернее наше северное полушарие с красными линиями и вот он вывод. Пиздеж и про Корею и про Иран, все линии проходят через территории России.
Пыль в глаза для своих обывателей и дополнительные отмазки для наших либерастов пускают.

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