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Will Australia develop a Missile Defence System?

This is a discussion on Will Australia develop a Missile Defence System? within the Missiles & WMDs forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Today's Australian newsapaper carried an interesting report that Australia may join Japan and the USA in research on ballistic missiles. ...


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Old May 22nd, 2007   #1
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Will Australia develop a Missile Defence System?

Today's Australian newsapaper carried an interesting report that Australia may join Japan and the USA in research on ballistic missiles. This would be part of long term US plans to develop a global missile defence system and would also be a step on the way towards Australia developing its own missile defence shield.


Quote:
Australia may build missile shield
Patrick Walters and Peter Alford
May 23, 2007

AUSTRALIA could develop its own missile defence system, with the nation poised to join the US and Japan in research on ballistic missiles. Washington is spearheading the initiative as part of its long-term plan to build a global missile defence shield in response to the nuclear ambitions of North Korea.
The Howard Government is considering the extent to which Australia will become involved in the planned missile defence system.

But a trilateral missile research agreement involving Australia, the US and Japan would further antagonise China, which already has concerns about the defence ties between Washington, Tokyo and Canberra.

There is a strong possibility the Royal Australian Navy's new air warfare destroyers, due to enter service in 2013, will eventually be equipped with SM-3 missiles, which are designed to intercept incoming missiles outside the earth's atmosphere.

Ballistic missile defence is one of the key issues being debated under the newly formed trilateral security dialogue taking place between the US, Japan and Australia.

Defence Minister Brendan Nelson declined to comment yesterday on Japanese media reports that a framework agreement on missile defence had been agreed between the three countries last month.

"Japan and the United States will work together with Australia to strengthen security in the Asia-Pacific region," a senior official at Japan's Defence Ministry told the Nikkei newspaper.

Japanese Defence Minister Fumio Kyuma claimed yesterday not to be aware of details, but appeared to confirm three-way discussions on missile defence were under way.

"I wasn't aware that the program had developed that far in concrete terms," he said when questioned about the Nikkei report.

Japan is implementing a two-stage missile shield program jointly with the US. It considers a ballistic missile attack from Pyongyang as its most pressing security threat.

Dr Nelson and Foreign Minister Alexander Downer will travel to Tokyo early next month for bilateral security talks at which the potential missile threat posed by North Korea will be discussed. The RAN's $7 billion warships will be equipped with the Aegis combat system and the SM-2 surface-to-air missile, and will have the potential to upgrade to the SM-3 ballistic missile defence system.

Japan's navy, the Maritime Self-Defence Force, is now commissioning its fifth Aegis destroyer and a sixth will be launched next March. The destroyers operate mainly in the Sea of Japan, usually in co-ordination with at least two US Aegis-equipped vessels.

The four operational Japanese destroyers are now fitted with SM-2 anti-aircraft missiles, but all six vessels are scheduled to be fitted with the

SM-3 ballistic missile interceptors by March2010.

Australia and the US are already co-operating far more closely on missile defence research under a 25-year agreement signed in 2004.

Dr Nelson said recently that the memorandum of understanding would allow Australia to explore practical ways of assisting the US to build a global missile defence system.

This would allow Australia to leverage US technology and ensure mutual development of specific technologies and approaches that would underpin the missile defences of both nations.

Canberra and Tokyo are now in the process of updating an agreement on defence co-operation following the signing of a new bilateral defence agreement by John Howard and his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, inMarch.

But any further move to co-operate on the ballistic missile threat is more likely to fall under the trilateral defence umbrella than bilateral arrangements, according to defence officials.

The threat posed by North Korea's missile program has strengthened US-Japan collaboration on missile defence, with Tokyo acquiring both sea-based SM-3 missiles as well as Patriot land-based systems.

Japan recently installed its first Patriot Advanced Capability-3 battery at an airbase north of Tokyo. The US Air Force has stationed the surface-to-air missiles at its Futenma base on Okinawa, and batteries will ultimately be installed in the capital.

However, the close co-operation between the US and Japan has been disrupted by Tokyo's failure so far to resolve the question of whether its ballistic missile defence weapons can be used against missiles aimed at US territory.

US military officials are also growing concerned about Japanese security breaches.

Mr Kyuma refused to comment on a reported investigation by Japanese security police and the MSDF into the leak of information about the SM-3 program. US officials are believed to have strongly criticised MSDF security when Mr Kyuma visited Washington on April 30.
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au...54-601,00.html

It will be interesting to see the attitude of the major Australian political parties to this initiative during the lead up to the federal election. How likely is it that Australia will work with the USA and Asian countries like Japan to develop and deploy a missile defence shield?

Cheers

Edited additional comment:

I notice that the Leader of the Opposition has already poured some cold water over the suggestion. It was reported in The Age today that:
Quote:
Mr Rudd said there were many question marks surrounding a missile defence system, including the effectiveness of the technology and its impact on global relations.

"Historically we've been extremely sceptical about missile defence," he told reporters.

"Does the existence of a shield in itself, or the proposal for one, bring about a further escalation in ballistic missile proliferation and nuclear warhead production as other countries seek to develop sufficient arsenals to then penetrate any shield.
http://www.theage.com.au/news/Nation...601464397.html

It looks like there may well be a debate on missile defence leading up to the election.
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Last edited by Tasman; May 23rd, 2007 at 01:25 AM.
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Old May 23rd, 2007   #2
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Originally Posted by Tasman View Post
Today's Australian newsapaper carried an interesting report that Australia may join Japan and the USA in research on ballistic missiles. This would be part of long term US plans to develop a global missile defence system and would also be a step on the way towards Australia developing its own missile defence shield.


http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au...54-601,00.html

It will be interesting to see the attitude of the major Australian political parties to this initiative during the lead up to the federal election. How likely is it that Australia will work with the USA and Asian countries like Japan to develop and deploy a missile defence shield?

Cheers

Edited additional comment:

I notice that the Leader of the Opposition has already poured some cold water over the suggestion. It was reported in The Age today that:


http://www.theage.com.au/news/Nation...601464397.html

It looks like there may well be a debate on missile defence leading up to the election.
Australia (or at least some Australian companoes) are already involved in the US Ballistic Missile Defence system. CEA Technologies http://www.cea.com.au/r_and_d/r_and_d.html IIRC has lent some of their expertise to the sea-based X-band radar mounted on an oil platform off the coast of Alaska. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:B...band_radar.jpgThat and I believe some of the information from JORN is also relayed to the US Missile Defence Command, or perhaps it was/is some of the technology used in JORN. Not sure on that point.

The question in my mind would be whether Australia purchases and deploys interceptor missiles for a land/ground-based BMD system. Not sure that Australia has that great a risk from such an attack, given the location and who other potential targets would be.

-Cheers
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Old May 23rd, 2007   #3
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Originally Posted by Todjaeger View Post
Australia (or at least some Australian companoes) are already involved in the US Ballistic Missile Defence system. CEA Technologies http://www.cea.com.au/r_and_d/r_and_d.html IIRC has lent some of their expertise to the sea-based X-band radar mounted on an oil platform off the coast of Alaska. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:B...band_radar.jpgThat and I believe some of the information from JORN is also relayed to the US Missile Defence Command, or perhaps it was/is some of the technology used in JORN. Not sure on that point.

The question in my mind would be whether Australia purchases and deploys interceptor missiles for a land/ground-based BMD system. Not sure that Australia has that great a risk from such an attack, given the location and who other potential targets would be.

-Cheers
I would have thought that at as a first stage Australia would not be looking beyond SM-3 being deployed from the new destroyers. In fact, this has already been flagged as a long term possibility. Co-operating with Japan and the USA in BMD research could, of course, go further than this and include assistance with the development of land based systems.

Cheers
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Old May 23rd, 2007   #4
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Australia is definately involved in the missile shield scheme. JORN looks like being tied in as a long range early warning sensor network. The technologies might be licenced by the Japanese and the US, but JORN can apparently do its job from Australia currently.

SM-3 is certainly going to be fielded by the AWD's, just a question of when. Block II SM-3 would seem to be the goer, but thats atleast 10+ years off. A land based system could also be installed somewhere up north, but restocking SM-3 at a northly port would make sense so it may be tied with that.

We have a security pact with US, and one with Japan (Japan only has pacts with OZ and the US). I think you are looking at the three major partners. The missile shield will most likely cover the region. Im sure when a launch is detected from say north Korea, they won't wait around to see if its going somewhere in particular.

I would say most of the missiles will be based in and around Japan and on its new ships. You want to take down the ICBM's before boosting stage has finished, they are low and they are still accelerating.
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Old May 23rd, 2007   #5
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BMD and Australia

(Apologies for plagiarizing some of this post from my posts on Strategy Page)

Some comments and questions on BMD and Australia:

1) Supporter of ADF BMD
I am a supporter of BMD for Australia and a subscriber to the point of view argued in the recent ADBR article on Ballistic Missile Defense. This argued that Australia runs the risk of becoming a proxy target for North Korean or Iranian ballistic missiles, as North America, Japan, and Europe are all getting BMD shields.

North America is getting a few GBIs. Europe is getting GBIs based in Poland or the Czech Republic. Japan is getting shorter range PAC 3s and SM-3 Block 1As, which can effectively defend against the shorter range threat from North Korea, and is a partner in the much longer range (21 inch body) SM-3 Block 2. And other nations are at least thinking about THAAD or Arrow-2, which might be good defenses against MRBMs or IRBMs but which probably wouldn’t be capable against 5,000 to 8,000km ranged missiles needed to attack Australia.

2) CEA Technologies
Does anyone have any information on how CEA’s CEAMOUNT X band illuminator can be used for BMD? I thought that CEAMOUNT was a relatively short range X band illuminator for use with ESSM and SM-2. Is it high powered and long ranged enough to illuminate targets several hundred kilometers away? And I also thought that SM-3 missiles were command/INS/GPS guided with terminal IIR homing. I didn’t think that they were semi active radar guided at any stage. In fact if you read GlobalSecurity.org page on SM-3 it says that the SM-3 terminal IIR seeker has a range of 300km! Therefore I don’t think SM-3 involves SAR and therefore I wonder how CEAMOUNT can be involved? Perhaps some of the CEA technology made its way into SBX?

3) JORN
Does anyone have any information on how JORN can be used for BMD? Being an OTH radar, it would only provide initial warning or cueing correct? Not detailed track information. And only in some ionosphere conditions?

4) SM-3
Initially I was skeptical of using AEGIS/SPY-1D/SM-3 for the BMD of Australia.

Because:
• Three AWDs would be able to defend at most three targets in Australia, given the 500km maximum range of SM-3 Block 1A.
• The SM-3 Block 1A can really only intercept IRBM ballistic missiles with a range of up to about 5000km and any DPRK missiles aimed at mainland Australia would be longer ranged than that.

But then I realized that:
• SM-3 Block 2 would be considerably longer ranged and more capable, perhaps with a range of well over 1000km and the ability to intercept ballistic missiles with ranges of 7500km or more, that is smaller ICBMs.
• The AEGIS Naval BMD can be deployed as a forward based boost phase BMD. And that the RAN could contribute a forward based AWD in conjunction with the USN and the JMSDF.
• SM-3 is the most successful of all BMD options in tests!

5) SM-3 GBAD BMD
I also wondered about the possibility of creating a land based SM-3 Block 2 system! In order to cover more cities in Australia more cheaply. I was thinking of a ground based or barged based SM-3 launching installation, combining a ground based single panel SPY-1D radar pointed in the relevant direction, perhaps a semi active radar illuminator, a mark 41 VLS with only two or three SM-3s in it, and a COTS technology computer processor running the AEGIS BMD software? Perhaps with a AWD/SPY-1D or a SBX to the North of Australia to provide early detailed tracking.

This option would seem to have some advantages:
• Covering more of Australia.
• Using existing pre integrated and non developmental components.
• Taking advantage of the SM-3 missile, and eventually the SM-3 Block 2.
• Tying up only one of the AWDs


6) Evolved Arleigh Burke AWDs
If AEGIS BMD is on the cards, the evolved Arleigh Burke option would have a clear advantage over the Spanish F-100/F-105 5 as it could perhaps be fitted with the SPY-2 X band active phased array discriminator as well as SPY-1D. Correct? Does anyone know if the evolved Burke has room for a secondary main radar, such as SPY-2 (for ballistic missile discrimination) or even SMART-L (as a backup long range volume search radar with BMD capabilities) like I think the Japanese Kongo and Korean DD-X might?

Not to mention additional VLS for SM-3 as well.
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Old May 24th, 2007   #6
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Australia will support ABM research - Downer

ABC News reported today that the Australian Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, has stated that Australia will support research by the United States and Japan into an anti-missile system but it is unlikely an anti-missile system will be deployed on Australian soil.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems...5/s1932234.htm


Quote:
Originally Posted by VGNTMH;102643

[B
6) Evolved Arleigh Burke AWDs[/B]
If AEGIS BMD is on the cards, the evolved Arleigh Burke option would have a clear advantage over the Spanish F-100/F-105 5 as it could perhaps be fitted with the SPY-2 X band active phased array discriminator as well as SPY-1D. Correct? Does anyone know if the evolved Burke has room for a secondary main radar, such as SPY-2 (for ballistic missile discrimination) or even SMART-L (as a backup long range volume search radar with BMD capabilities) like I think the Japanese Kongo and Korean DD-X might?

Not to mention additional VLS for SM-3 as well.

Interesting post VGNTMH. I agree that the G&C Evolved Design, based on the Arleigh Burke class, would be a much better choice than the F100 if BMD is to be included in its role. From the comments made by the Foreign Minister today, it doesn't appear that this will be a high priority in the immediate future but it would be prudent to build ships with sufficient VLS cells that that could deploy SM-3 without reducing their ESSM/SM-2 (and eventually SM-6) capacity to an unacceptably low level.

Cheers
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Old May 24th, 2007   #7
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The Mini Burkes would make better ABM platforms. This is what the navy and the defence is talking about when they mention "future capability".

However how realitic is it for Australia to shoot missiles at the apex of the trajectory?

Unless the missiles are based in Indonesia or some other regional location where we can park our ship off. Or if we want to help a international missile shield with a vessel. Or to advert a submarine launch.

The SM-3 is better off being based in Japan. or South korea.

However the F-100 wild card is if you can build and crew 4 of them. Then you can place them in areas where they would be effective and also some over lap.

Knowning what usually happens, i think we will get the F-100's and only three. And that sucks..
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Old May 24th, 2007   #8
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However the F-100 wild card is if you can build and crew 4 of them. Then you can place them in areas where they would be effective and also some over lap.

Knowning what usually happens, i think we will get the F-100's and only three. And that sucks..
You are sounding a bit cynical about this StingrayOZ! Unfortunately if we look at past RAN programs there is much to suggest that your worries are well founded.

A few examples:

1950s
Plans to operate two carriers and three carrier airgroups scuttled after just one exercise where Sydney and Vengeance deployed together as operational carriers. Thereafter, just one carrier was maintained as an operational unit with the second used as a training ship and later as a troop transport. Modernization of Sydney to the same standard as Melbourne was cancelled.

Plans for 4 Daring class destroyers reduced to 3.
Plans for 6 River class frigates reduced to 4 (2 later added as a replacement for Voyager after her loss).

1960s

Plans for 4 Adams class DDGs cut back to 3.
Plans for 8 Oberon class submarines reduced to 6.

1970s

Plans for two fleet replenishment vessels cut back to one cheaper and less capable vessel.
Plans for 10+ follow on Sea King ASW helos not followed through.

1980s

Replacement carrier (Invincible) cancelled.

1990s

Plans for 8 Collins class submarines cut back to 6.
3 DDGs decommissioned before replacement ships were even planned.

2000s

Plans to upgrade 6 FFGs scaled back to 4.
Anzac upgrade plans scaled back.

Based on the above I think I am also feeling a bit pessimistic about current plans for future capability growth to be an important part of the AWD selection criteria actually becoming a reality.

Cheers
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Last edited by Tasman; May 24th, 2007 at 05:24 AM.
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