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marauder2048

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sferrin said:
TomS said:
An SM-6 intercept would be a terminal phase engagement with a very small defended footprint, while THAAD would take the same missile in mid-course with a much larger footprint.
I wonder if it would even be as effective as PAC-3 in that role simply because PAC-3 has the thrusters up front that are probably faster reacting than SM-6s purely aerodynamic controls. Against a ballistic target that would be less of an issue.
Recall, the proposed supersonic split-line nozzle TVC.
 

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sferrin

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True, and that's great while the motor is burning, but PAC-3 can activate those thrusters right up to impact. PAC-3 MSE even has a dual-pulse motor who's 2nd pulse can be activated when near the target (time wise). You can see where it fired up the 2nd pulse here:
 

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bobbymike

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http://www.realcleardefense.com/2016/12/01/the_pentagon039s_new_icbm_killer_288095.html
 

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There's no THAAD afloat, and SM-6 with enhanced software is (at the moment) more affordable than a potential Navalized THAAD program. So, really, why wouldn't this upgrade happen?
 

sferrin

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Moose said:
There's no THAAD afloat, and SM-6 with enhanced software is (at the moment) more affordable than a potential Navalized THAAD program. So, really, why wouldn't this upgrade happen?
I don't think anybody is suggesting it shouldn't. I'm just pointing out, it would be interesting to know the details, limitations, and how it compares to THAAD (and while I'm at it I'll wish for a Ferrari to be parked in my driveway on Christmas morning).
 

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No question that THAAD is more effective than SM-6, even updated.

But the real question is how the overall system-of-systems (SoS) compare. SM-3 is limited compared to THAAD, since it is exoatmospheric only, while THAAD covers some endo-atmospheric range as well. But SM-6 may have a larger endo-atmospheric capability than PAC-3, since it is a much bigger missile. If so, the naval SM-3 plus SM-6 may provide basically the same net coverage as land-based THAAD plus PAC-3, just divided differently between the two missiles in each SoS.
 

sferrin

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TomS said:
No question that THAAD is more effective than SM-6, even updated.

But the real question is how the overall system-of-systems (SoS) compare. SM-3 is limited compared to THAAD, since it is exoatmospheric only, while THAAD covers some endo-atmospheric range as well. But SM-6 may have a larger endo-atmospheric capability than PAC-3, since it is a much bigger missile. If so, the naval SM-3 plus SM-6 may provide basically the same net coverage as land-based THAAD plus PAC-3, just divided differently between the two missiles in each SoS.
I'm sure SM-6 can cover a larger area than PAC-3 but I wonder if, within their respective envelopes, an SM-6 would be able to handle as tough of targets as PAC-3. I'm thinking probably not.
 

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That's a trade I guess. The PAC-3 is obviously a much shorter ranged weapon whereas the SM6 is an over the horizon weapon that can also double up as an ABM weapon covering SR and MRBM's. Lockheed has already demonstrated PAC-3 integration with the Navy's cells so that is something they can also look towards for shorter ranged terminal defense if these anti ship ballistic missile threats proliferate beyond their current levels.
 

sferrin

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bring_it_on said:
That's a trade I guess. The PAC-3 is obviously a much shorter ranged weapon whereas the SM6 is an over the horizon weapon that can also double up as an ABM weapon covering SR and MRBM's. Lockheed has already demonstrated PAC-3 integration with the Navy's cells so that is something they can also look towards for shorter ranged terminal defense if these anti ship ballistic missile threats proliferate beyond their current levels.
I would not be surprised if we eventually see PAC-3 MSE at sea.
 

marauder2048

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sferrin said:
TomS said:
No question that THAAD is more effective than SM-6, even updated.

But the real question is how the overall system-of-systems (SoS) compare. SM-3 is limited compared to THAAD, since it is exoatmospheric only, while THAAD covers some endo-atmospheric range as well. But SM-6 may have a larger endo-atmospheric capability than PAC-3, since it is a much bigger missile. If so, the naval SM-3 plus SM-6 may provide basically the same net coverage as land-based THAAD plus PAC-3, just divided differently between the two missiles in each SoS.
I'm sure SM-6 can cover a larger area than PAC-3 but I wonder if, within their respective envelopes, an SM-6 would be able to handle as tough of targets as PAC-3. I'm thinking probably not.
THAAD's hypergolic LDACS made the Navy nervous from an IM standpoint.

SM-6's seeker is probably better suited (for the present as Solid State MMW continues to advance) for the overall target set in the rainy, foggy, misty, hazy maritime environment.
Also, SM-6's warhead is useful for SBT because an RV deflection is probably enough to render it ineffective against the task force.
 

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MDA readying test of SM-6 interceptor against ballistic missile target flying within atmosphere


The Missile Defense Agency -- as soon as Dec. 14 -- plans a major flight test off the coast of Hawaii in an event that features an attempt to detect, track and intercept a medium-range ballistic missile target flying a trajectory that stays within the Earth's atmosphere with the first-ever salvo engagement of two Standard Missile-6 interceptors.

An MDA spokesman confirmed that the flight test, Flight Test Standard Missile (FTM)-27, is scheduled for Dec. 14, with Dec. 15 and Dec. 16 as alternate dates.

"The test will involve the attempted intercept of a medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) target, launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility located on Kauai, HI," MDA spokesman Chris Szkrybalo said. "An Aegis Baseline 9.C1 (BMD 5.0 Capability Upgrade) configured ship positioned west of Hawaii will detect, track and conduct an endoatmospheric engagement and intercept of an MRBM target with a salvo of two SM-6 (BMD) guided missiles.”

The test will feature two M-6 Dual I guided missiles. The "Dual 1" SM-6 variant contains both the BMD and anti-air warfare software in the same round. When paired with the Aegis system, the missile can be directed to intercept cruise missiles, aircraft or anti-ship ballistic missiles.

In May, the guided missile destroyer John Paul Jones (DDG-53) conducted a test in preparation for FTM-27, demonstrating for the first time the ability of the Aegis system to detect and track a medium-range ballistic missile target flying an endoatmospheric flight path.
 

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CSIS Missile defense (Twitter) :" Breaking: MDA test fires SM-6 against medium-range ballistic missile - intercept achieved"
 

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MDA conducts SM-6 MRBM intercept test

The Missile Defense Agency and sailors aboard USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), an Aegis baseline 9.C1 equipped destroyer, today successfully fired a salvo of two SM-6 Dual I missiles against a complex medium-range ballistic missile target, demonstrating the Sea Based Terminal endo-atmospheric defensive capability and meeting the test's primary objective.

The test was conducted off the coast of Hawaii just after midnight on Dec. 14.

"This test demonstrated the capabilities MDA and the Navy are delivering to our fleet commanders," said MDA Director Vice Adm. Jim Syring. "The SM-6 missile and the Aegis Weapon System continue to prove that they are critical components of our nation's multilayered, robust ballistic missile defense system."

The SM-6 missile uses an explosive warhead to defeat ballistic missile threats, differing from other missile defense interceptors, such as the Standard Missile-3, which use non-explosive hit-to-kill technology.

Program officials will continue evaluating system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test.
 

bobbymike

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https://www.mda.mil/news/17news0002.html
 

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https://news.usni.org/2017/02/06/standard-missile-3-block-iia-intercepts-target-in-space-for-first-time
 

marauder2048

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http://www.defensenews.com/naval/2017/07/24/sailor-error-led-to-failed-us-navy-ballistic-missile-intercept-test/

A tactical datalink controller, in charge of maintaining encrypted data exchanges between ships and aircraft,
accidentally identified the incoming ballistic missile target as a friendly in the system, causing the SM-3 missile to
self-destruct in flight, according to a source familiar with the test.
"Sorry, sailor but to compensate we'll have to dock your pay for the next thousand years."
 

TomS

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marauder2048 said:
http://www.defensenews.com/naval/2017/07/24/sailor-error-led-to-failed-us-navy-ballistic-missile-intercept-test/

A tactical datalink controller, in charge of maintaining encrypted data exchanges between ships and aircraft,
accidentally identified the incoming ballistic missile target as a friendly in the system, causing the SM-3 missile to
self-destruct in flight, according to a source familiar with the test.
Well, that's really embarrassing. But this quote actually bothers me a bit.

“As unfortunate as this might be, it’s a good thing that this wasn’t a technology issue or some deeper failure that needs to be investigated at great length and time,” Karako said. “There is no reason to believe the basic capability that has already been demonstrated has any new problems.”
No, it's not a technology problem with the interceptor. It's probably a more fundamental technology problem with the AEGIS user interface, which makes it hard to tell which track you're looking at. If this sort of mistake is possible in a test environment, what's going to happen in a live environment where there might be actual friendly ballistic missiles flying around? They really need to spend a lot more effort on human factors analysis and interface design, because this sort of mistake happens a lot more often than anyone wants to admit, and it can have major consequences. I can think of one incident where bad AEGIS user interface design contributed to hundreds of deaths.
 

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TomS said:
It's probably a more fundamental technology problem with the AEGIS user interface, which makes it hard to tell which track you're looking at. If this sort of mistake is possible in a test environment, what's going to happen in a live environment where there might be actual friendly ballistic missiles flying around? They really need to spend a lot more effort on human factors analysis and interface design, because this sort of mistake happens a lot more often than anyone wants to admit, and it can have major consequences. I can think of one incident where bad AEGIS user interface design contributed to hundreds of deaths.
After 30 years in service I find it difficult to believe they wouldn't have encountered this issue (if it is one) before now and fixed it. I'd be more worried about Joe Sailor just not being up to the task.



Or having poor vision, or being overworked, or a plethora of other possibilities.
 

TomS

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In combat, there will be sailors who are tired, have blurry vision, or are plain not up to the task. The user interface has to be designed to make user tasks as close to idiot-poof as possible. If it is possible to screw it up this badly in a test environment, which is almost certainly less stressful than actual combat, then it will be screwed up in real life as well.

I don't know the specific issue here but AEGIS has a history or giving users data in non-intuitive ways (see Vincennes) and I'll bet the interface contributed here. And there's never enough time or effort put into user interface design, because it's unsexy compared to other measures of system performance.
 

marauder2048

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TomS said:
They really need to spend a lot more effort on human factors analysis and interface design, because this sort of mistake happens a lot more often than anyone wants to admit, and it can have major consequences. I can think of one incident where bad AEGIS user interface design contributed to hundreds of deaths.
Perhaps they biased it in the other direction as a result of Iran Air i.e. made relabeling a hostile target with missile-in-flight to a friendly very easy
and tying it to an immediate command destruct.
 

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TomS said:
In combat, there will be sailors who are tired, have blurry vision, or are plain not up to the task. The user interface has to be designed to make user tasks as close to idiot-poof as possible. If it is possible to screw it up this badly in a test environment, which is almost certainly less stressful than actual combat, then it will be screwed up in real life as well.

I don't know the specific issue here but AEGIS has a history or giving users data in non-intervention ways (see Vincennes) and I'll bet the interface contributed here. And there's never enough time or effort put into user interface design, because it's unsexy compared to other measures of system performance.
Given the profile of a ballistic missile, it might be easier to virtually hard-wire the response. Perhaps give a "Ballistic Missile Engagement In Progress: Continue/Abort?" Message.
 

sferrin

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TomS said:
In combat, there will be sailors who are tired, have blurry vision, or are plain not up to the task. The user interface has to be designed to make user tasks as close to idiot-poof as possible. If it is possible to screw it up this badly in a test environment, which is almost certainly less stressful than actual combat, then it will be screwed up in real life as well.

I don't know the specific issue here but AEGIS has a history or giving users data in non-intervention ways (see Vincennes) and I'll bet the interface contributed here. And there's never enough time or effort put into user interface design, because it's unsexy compared to other measures of system performance.
Without knowing the specifics it's impossible to know. (Right there with you on interface design. As someone who's worked with many graphical programs over the years, I can appreciate a good interface versus a horrid one.)
 

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As long as you have humans-in-the-loop, you will have potential for error. Sometimes people have really bad days and do inexplicable things that engineers never consider. Releasing the feather mechanism on Spaceship 2 right as it starts powered flight for example. I think they now inhibit that control until the flight enters descent phase.

It would have been useful to have a spare missile available. A lot of the test cost is coordinating and assembling all the various personnel and hardware involved plus scheduling range time.
 

marauder2048

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fredymac said:
It would have been useful to have a spare missile available. A lot of the test cost is coordinating and assembling all the various personnel and hardware involved plus scheduling range time.
Practically speaking, wouldn't you also need a spare test target?

My impression is that AEGIS BMD test costs are mostly dominated by vehicle (interceptor and test target) costs.
 

sferrin

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marauder2048 said:
Practically speaking, wouldn't you also need a spare test target?
Would depend. Some, like GBI and THAAD, can shoot-look-shoot, but it would also depend on where all your assets were setup to record data.
 

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marauder2048 said:
fredymac said:
It would have been useful to have a spare missile available. A lot of the test cost is coordinating and assembling all the various personnel and hardware involved plus scheduling range time.
Practically speaking, wouldn't you also need a spare test target?

My impression is that AEGIS BMD test costs are mostly dominated by vehicle (interceptor and test target) costs.
I assumed AEGIS BMD tests are similar in cost breakdown as GMD tests. I thought I saw a GMD cost somewhere and it looked way too much for just the target and interceptor.
 

marauder2048

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FTM-21 which featured a salvo of two SM-3 Block IBs against one ARAV-C++ was stated to cost $31 million in total (range, target, interceptors, sensors)
The per unit cost for SM-3 Block IB for that period was ~ $12 million. Couldn't find a unit cost for ARAV-C++ but the SM-3s alone constitute
at least three quarters of the total test cost.
 

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What makes me scratch my head is how they were able to test Spartan at least 24 times and Sprint nearly 50 (with 42 of the latter being over a period of only 3 years). Imagine how "proven" and reliable GBI and the rest would be with that kind of attention devoted to them.
 

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I could be wrong but my belief was that MDA was an agency that would be tasked with executing research and development and test activities for the ballistic missile defense program and not being the primary agency buying the said systems and their associated interceptors which their budgets have also been doing of late. I think THAAD now transitions to the Army (which may not be the best thing given their lengthy acquisition cycles) but in general the less procurement MDA has to do the more money they would have in its budget for other tasks.
 

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marauder2048 said:
FTM-21 which featured a salvo of two SM-3 Block IBs against one ARAV-C++ was stated to cost $31 million in total (range, target, interceptors, sensors)
The per unit cost for SM-3 Block IB for that period was ~ $12 million. Couldn't find a unit cost for ARAV-C++ but the SM-3s alone constitute
at least three quarters of the total test cost.
Looking at the 2018 MDA budget, there are multiple lines for testing which sum up to about $750Million/year for GMD, $100Million/year for AEGIS and roughly $50Million/year for THAAD.

I can’t find any specific cost breakout detailing hardware, operations, and support for a specific test. However, a simplistic approach would be to just divide the annual cost by the number of tests/year.

For AEGIS, that would be around $50Million/test. This cost would include such things as test planning, coordination of all involved personnel and facilities, development and procurement of special hardware and sensors to observe and record data, plus the interceptor and target. I would not be surprised if the interceptor/target costs amounted to no more than 50% of the total test cost.
 

marauder2048

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fredymac said:
Looking at the 2018 MDA budget, there are multiple lines for testing which sum up to about $750Million/year for GMD, $100Million/year for AEGIS and roughly $50Million/year for THAAD.

I can’t find any specific cost breakout detailing hardware, operations, and support for a specific test. However, a simplistic approach would be to just divide the annual cost by the number of tests/year.

For AEGIS, that would be around $50Million/test. This cost would include such things as test planning, coordination of all involved personnel and facilities, development and procurement of special hardware and sensors to observe and record data, plus the interceptor and target. I would not be surprised if the interceptor/target costs amounted to no more than 50% of the total test cost.
But I think all tests (ground, test target only, interceptor only, and intercept) get lumped into that sum so it's very tricky to tease out.
And the number of intercept tests does fluctuate: there are three US tests planned for FY18 vs. five planned for FY17.
An even more extreme example: five intercept tests accomplished in FY13 vs. one in FY14. So perhaps three is a better average
which would bring you more in line to the quoted (by MDA) cost for FTM-21.

Given that SM-3 Block IIA in LRIP is estimated to be about 2x the unit cost of SM-3 Block IB and that they are testing
against more expensive MRBM targets the budget numbers sort of make sense to me.
 

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sferrin said:
What makes me scratch my head is how they were able to test Spartan at least 24 times and Sprint nearly 50 (with 42 of the latter being over a period of only 3 years). Imagine how "proven" and reliable GBI and the rest would be with that kind of attention devoted to them.
OTOH we now collect much more data and do more ground-based analysis as part of contemporary flight-testing than was historically done. Those few missile-defence flight tests may be telling their project management much more than the more numerous Spartan/Sprint tests told their management back then.

Which is not to say that multiple flight testing doesn't have a value for shaking out component reliability issues that won't otherwise show up in analysis. Literally shaking out if I'm correctly remembering the cause of the couple of cabin-depressurization incidents we had during 777 flight testing as being vibration at a joint.
 

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M&S has also advanced quite a bit over the last decades which probably means they are going in to these tests with much more knowledge and likely performance parameters than the past.
 

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An interesting tidbit (if true):

"It was apparently at an altitude of 550 kilometers when it passed over Hokkaido, which is at the very limit of the intercept range for the SM-3, and any Aegis destroyer would have needed to be in just the right position to intercept," Gatling said. "All in all, it was a pretty low percentage shot if they had gone ahead and ordered it."


http://www.dw.com/en/what-stopped-japan-from-intercepting-north-korean-missile/a-40293016
 

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SM-6 test against an MRBM on the 29th. Salvo launch of two missiles but the video doesn't show the final impact although the test reported successful intercept.


Aegis BMD System Intercepts Target Missile
Aug. 29, 2017 - Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense
The Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy sailors aboard the USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) successfully conducted a complex missile defense flight test, resulting in the intercept of a medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) target using Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) guided missiles during a test off the coast of Hawaii today.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqYaQlwOKYQ
 

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"Tokyo plans to build two Aegis Ashore batteries, costing around $700 million each without missiles, the sources said. That would mean its southwestern Okinawa island chain would likely be protected by one of Japan’s existing BMD warships.

The Aegis system’s new SM-3 Block IIA defensive missiles, designed to hit warheads Pyongyang may try to fire over its missile shield, can fly more than 2,000 km - about twice the distance of the current SM-3 missiles.

The interceptor missiles will cost around $30 million each, the sources added. "

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles-japan-radar-exclu/exclusive-japan-seeks-new-u-s-missile-radar-as-north-korea-threat-grows-sources-idUSKCN1BA0TS

Can't decide if they've REALLY been understating the capability of SM-3 or what. I recall reading years ago about an early SM-3, where the upper stage landed some 500 miles downrange but that's not its RANGE. ???
 

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I imagine that's the number that would be cited somewhere in the deployment documents because it's the potential hazard range of the system (someone might get hit by a falling back booster).
 

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sferrin said:
"Tokyo plans to build two Aegis Ashore batteries, costing around $700 million each without missiles, the sources said. That would mean its southwestern Okinawa island chain would likely be protected by one of Japan’s existing BMD warships.

The Aegis system’s new SM-3 Block IIA defensive missiles, designed to hit warheads Pyongyang may try to fire over its missile shield, can fly more than 2,000 km - about twice the distance of the current SM-3 missiles.

The interceptor missiles will cost around $30 million each, the sources added. "

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles-japan-radar-exclu/exclusive-japan-seeks-new-u-s-missile-radar-as-north-korea-threat-grows-sources-idUSKCN1BA0TS

Can't decide if they've REALLY been understating the capability of SM-3 or what. I recall reading years ago about an early SM-3, where the upper stage landed some 500 miles downrange but that's not its RANGE. ???
That's the "Arclight" strike missile range. Japan going to hide some intermediate ranged CPS missiles? I hope so. ;D
 

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Aegis is a good idea for Japan. An even better idea is giving them 1 to 2 dozen nukes.
 
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