Department of Defense Press Briefing on the President's Fiscal Year 2019 Defense Budget for the Missile Defense Agency
Missile Defense Agency Director of Operations Mr. Gary Pennett
STAFF: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming in today. Next, we've got -- from the Missile Defense Agency -- we're going to be talking about that for about 15 minutes. And then Mr. Pennett will take about 15 minutes of your -- about 20 minutes of your questions.
Your briefer today will be Mr. Gary Pennett. He is the director of operations at Missile Defense Agency.
MR. GARY PENNETT: Thank you, Mark.
MR. PENNETT: Good afternoon. Appreciate the opportunity to brief you today on Missile Defense Agency's fiscal year 2019 budget request.
This has been a significant year with respect to potential adversaries testing and advancing their ballistic missile capabilities. The agency's FY 2019 budget request was designed in recognition of this fact, and therefore contains several significant changes.
The president's budget 2019, or PB19 request, supports missile defense acceleration, as initiated in the 2017 Above Threshold Reprogramming, or ATR, and the FY18 Missile Defeat and Defense Enhancement, or MDDE, budget amendment.
The agency's request is consistent with the president's commitment to expand and improve our missile defense capabilities, while at the same time recognizing that we must be able to address tomorrow's threats, which continue to expand and advance.
The PB19 request also supports the recently released National Defense Strategy, which directs investments to include a focus on layered missile defense and disruptive capabilities for both theater and -- theater ballistic missiles, such as North Korea. Next chart, please.
Although there have been many significant changes in this year's budget, which I will discuss, our focus continues to be on increasing system reliability. This year, we have also made significant advancements in our engagement capability and capacity, while at the same time continuing to do the research and development necessary to stay ahead of the evolving threat. Next chart, please.
North Korea continues to show its commitment to developing a long-range nuclear-armed missile that is capable of posing a direct threat to the United States. In July 2017, North Korea launched two Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs, on highly lofted trajectories that impacted in the Sea of Japan.
And on the 28th of November, it launched another, larger Hwasong-15 ICBM, also on a highly lofted trajectory, that on a lower trajectory could have reached all of the continental United States.
North Korea also conducted an aggressive intermediate-range ballistic missile testing campaign, and is developing a cold launch, solid fuel, submarine-launched ballistic missile. Today, North Korea fields hundreds of SCUD and No Dong missiles that can reach our allies and U.S. forces forward deployed in the Republic of Korea and Japan.
Iran is also fielding increased numbers of theater ballistic missiles, improving its existing inventory, and is developing the technical capabilities to produce an ICBM through its ballistic missile and space launch programs. Iran's ballistic missiles are capable of striking targets throughout the region, ranging as far as southeastern Europe.
Today -- today's U.S. ballistic missile defense system, or BMDS, is built to defend the homeland, deployed forces and allies from ballistic missiles. The key challenge to U.S. national security and the security of U.S. friends and allies is the emergence of new threats designed to defeat the existing BMDS.
Specifically, the potential fielding of hypersonic weapons capable of launching from any location would create significant sensor and interceptor capability gaps. This evolving threat demands a globally present and persistent space sensor network to track it from birth to death. Next chart, please.
The agency requests $9.9 billion, fiscal year 2019, to continue the development of reliable, increasingly capable and state-of-the-art defenses for our nation, deployed forces, allies and international partners against ballistic missile threats.
The PB19 request will continue to support the Missile Defense Acceleration Initiative initiated in the FY17 ATR and the FY18 MDDE budget amendment, while continuing to support the development, testing, deployment and integration of interceptors, sensors, and the command, control, battle management and communication systems for the BMDS.
Our priority in this budget remains the delivery of greater missile defense capability and capacity of the warfighter, which includes investments in advanced technology development and future capabilities. Next chart.
MDA remains committed to delivering, expanding and sustaining our nation's homeland missile defenses and requests $2.3 billion in FY 2019 for the ground-based midcourse, or GMD, program. In November 2017, we emplaced the 44th Ground-Based Interceptor, or GBI. We now have 40 GBIs deployed at Fort Greely, Alaska, and 4 GBIs at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
We continue to work to strengthen and expand homeland missile defenses by adding a new missile field and deploying 20 additional GBIs at Fort Greely, Alaska, bringing the total deployed GBIs from 44 to 64 in the 2023 time frame.
Additionally, MDA will ensure the number of fielded GBIs is sustained at 64, while performing GBI upgrades and maintenance by adding two additional silos in Missile Field 1 at Fort Greely and purchasing six additional configuration 2 booster vehicles.
This budget also requests funds continued -- to continue the development of the Redesigned Kill Vehicle, or RKV, and continues flight and ground testing, including the first-ever GMD salvo test and engagement of an ICBM threat representative target with two GBIs.
For the Long Range Discrimination Radar, or LRDR, we request $339 million in FY19, including $174 million of military construction funds. This radar, which we project will be available in 2020, is a critical mid-course sensor that will improve BMDS target discrimination capability while supporting a more efficient use of GBIs.
MDA requests $150 million for the Sea-Based X-Band, or SBX, Radar, which provides precision mid-course tracking and discrimination capability and also participates in flight tests.
Responding to the request by the U.S. Pacific Command and Northern Command, the FY19 program continues to provide funds that extends SBX at sea time in order to expand contingency operations for defense of the homeland.
This budget request includes $28 million for the Cobra Dane radar, to continue radar refurbishment and life extension. We're requesting funds for two homeland defense radars that will help provide persistent discrimination, precision tracking and hit assessment to support defense of the homeland against long-range missile threats.
We are requesting $62 million in FY 2019 to continue the Homeland Defense Radar Hawaii, which is scheduled to be available in 2023, and $34 million for an additional homeland defense radar in the Pacific to be available in a 2024 timeframe, at a location to be determined.
Next chart please.
Now moving to regional defenses, the FY19 request for the Aegis BMD is $1.8 billion, which includes sustaining the deployed Standard Missile-3, or SM-3, fleet. MDA will procure 37 Aegis SM-3 Block 1B missiles for deployment on land at the Aegis Ashore sites in Romania and Poland, and at sea on a multi-mission Aegis BMD ships, along with associated hardware and support costs.
In FY19 we will also initiate a multi-year procurement for the SM-3 Block 1B. This will bring the total number of SM-3 1B missiles procured to 324 missiles by the end of 2019.
MDA will procure six SM-3 Block 2A missiles for a total of 22 missiles procured through FY19. MDA will also continue SM-3 Block 1B modernization, the SM-3 Block 2A software upgrade program and development of the Aegis weapon system that will integrate the Aegis Missile Defense Radar, or SPY-6, with the Aegis weapon system.
Our PB19 request for Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, is $1.3 billion. This will allow us to support the maintenance and upkeep of all BMDS unique items of the fielded THAAD batteries, as well as for all THAAD training devices.
In FY19 MDA will support seven THAAD batteries. This budget procures 82 THAAD interceptors, bringing a total to 481 by the end of 2019.
Additionally, MDA will continue THAAD software-development upgrades, as well as United States Forces Korea joint emergent operational need statement effort in -- to integrate missile defense capabilities on the -- on the Korean -- North -- on the Korean Peninsula.
MDA requests $463 million to support the AN/TPY-2 radar. This includes the sustainment of 12 radars, which includes the forward-based radars in Japan, Turkey, Israel and the United States Central Command.
This funding will also continue software development for the discrimination improvements and the transition to production of the next generation gallium nitride, transmit, receive, integrated, multi-channel modules to improve AN/TPY radar performance.
As part of the U.S.-Israeli memorandum of understanding our budget request of $500 million in FY19 for Israeli programs continues MDA's long standing support of U.S./Israeli cooperative programs to include Iron Dome; and a co-development of the David's Sling Weapons System, upper-tier interceptors and Arrow weapon system.
Finally, the PB19 budget request includes $15 million to complete combat systems and combat structure adaptation of the Aegis Ashore site in Poland, in support of the European Phased Adaptive Approach, or EPAA Phase 3. Next chart.
MDA is developing advanced missile defense technologies for integration into the BMDS to defeat future threats. The investment strategy for these technologies balances the need to address the most dangerous current threats with the need to position the U.S. to respond to threat developments in the future.
MDA is requesting $198 million for the Multi-Object Kill Vehicle, or MOKV, effort, to continue risk reduction to achieve an initial flight test in the 2027 time frame.
We are requesting $120 million for hypersonic defense. The FY17 National Defense Authorization Act directed a program be initiated in FY18.
The FY19 plan continues software modifications to the current BMDS assets and further defines the architecture for future demonstrations.
The request for technology maturation initiatives is $149 million. This includes $61 million to continue the development of a low-power laser demonstrator and laser scaling efforts. $5 million of the investment is to scale up the power, which is a key step to the eventual boost-phase intercept capability.
It also continues discrimination sensor technology development and supports advanced technology testing.
MDA requests $54 million for MDA space efforts in FY19. This will fund Space Tracking and Surveillance System satellite operations and sustainment. STSS consists of two satellites operating in low Earth orbit, and provides risk-reduction data for potential operational BMDS tracking and surveillance constellation.
This FY19 request will also continue to fund the development of the Space-Based Kill Assessment Network.
Finally, MDA will continue trade studies and analysis for potential future space-based missile defense tracking system.
We request $475 million in FY19 for the Command and Control Battle Management Communications, or C2BMC.
We'll continue to support the current BMDS operations in CENTCOM and EUCOM with a deployment of Spiral 6.4 robust medium-range ballistic missile defense and in NORTHCOM and PACOM with the deployed Spiral 8.2-1 BMDS enhanced homeland defense.
We will complete testing and deployment of C2BMC Spiral 8.2-3 in support of the Aegis BMD engage-only remote functionality and EPAA Phase 3. And we will continue development of the C2BMC Spiral 8.2-5 to support integration of the Long-Range Discrimination Radar into the BMDS by 2020, to support a robust homeland defense capability.
We are requesting $518 million in FY19 for the targets program and $366 million to conduct BMDS level flight and ground testing, including the GMD flights salvo test with two GBIs against an ICBM threat representative target, and a critical operational flight test, which will involve the demonstration of the EPAA Phase 3 architecture against IRBMs.
Next chart, please.
In summary, this budget request continues to focus on increasing system reliability, with efforts such as a GBI redesigned kill vehicle. It increases engagement capability and capacity with new radars and the deployment of 20 additional GBIs. And it addresses the advanced threat with such efforts as the multi-object kill vehicle and laser scaling.
I'll now take a few questions.
STAFF: We request to identify yourself and your agency; in case we need to take the question, that gives me somebody to get back to.
Q: Hi, Jen Judson with Defense News.
MR. PENNETT: Hey, Jen.
Q: I wanted to ask, sort of, a specific question on Sea-Based X-Band Radar. I know last year there was funding to try to extend the at-sea time for that from 120 days to 330 days. So I'm curious is that -- is that still the same? Or is that effort still ongoing to get to that point?
And then in addition, there was also a radar study for SBX on the East Coast somewhere by the end of 2018, so I'm just curious if that is still ongoing or if that has died somewhere along the way.
MR. PENNETT: So, I'll tell you -- so let me answer your first question. So we have extended the at-sea time to closer to 300 days. The specific number is classified but we are well on our way to that. And as regards to other deployment, such as to the Atlantic, we are still looking at that, but right now that is not something that we are pursuing.
STAFF: Okay, over here.
Q: Thanks. Patrick Tucker with Defense One.
So you've got 767 here for the Aegis BMD related to the SM-3 IIA. And I wondered if you could talk a little bit about the most recent test in January, what happened and how much of that goes towards repairing or fixing a flaw, if there was a mechanical or some other design issue, or if the failed test was a result of something else? How much of that figure goes towards deployment? And what's the deployment timeline at this point?
MR. PENNETT: A lot of questions there. Okay, so let me -- let me first start -- so in FY18, we received through the Missile Defense Defeat Enhancement funds to procure 16 2A missiles and we're on track to do that. As far as the test, the test, as you said, it was in January, end of January. What we were testing there was something called engage on remote. And that part of it required a lot of steps to get there in terms of the queuing and the tracking, notification and the launch of the SM-3 IIA missile. All of that went as planned, that was all nominal.
So what occurred was after the launch of the SM-3 IIA missile. There was anomaly. And at this time, we are still looking at -- we're doing a failure review board. We'll look at what occurred on the -- so it was actually isolated pretty much to the interceptor. And so we'll look at what happened on the interceptor and we will not fly it again until we understand what happened to it.
As far as additional funds for that, we have not programmed for additional funds for that. But typically these tend to be things that -- again, these were developmental missile that was flown. We will fix any of those problems in the actual production missile.
Q: And the deployment timeline, how'd that affect it?
MR. PENNETT: It does not affect the deployment timeline of those missiles. We're still on track to have those missiles available for the EPA phase 3 which is -- the first ones would be in the Poland site.
STAFF: Let's go over here.
Q: For the -- the space based --
MR. PENNETT: I'm sorry, you are?
Q: Dan Wasserbly, from Jane’s.
MR. PENNETT: Thanks, Dan.
Q: For the space-based kill assessment, is that to get at like a shoot-look-shoot capability? And would that go on a legacy satellite? Is it new capability, or is that all new?
MR. PENNETT: Right now, it's set up as an experiment. We're experimenting it, we're putting it on -- it's a hosted payload. And if that capability proves to be effective, the purpose of that is to determine whether or not an intercept was effective. And it would allow us additional opportunities or alternatives in regards to what's called shot doctrine. And that may include a shoot-look-shoot.
Q: Thank you.
MR. PENNETT: Tony?
Q: Tony Cappacio, Bloomberg. The salvo test, that was interesting the first time. A little more detail there? What's the objective and what's the -- what timeline for when you may do it?
MR. PENNETT: So the exact time of the test is -- that's classified information. But it will be in the FY19 timeframe.
The purpose of the salvo test is, the shot doctrine is -- the details are classified, but typically we would not just launch one interceptor. That's a very challenging scenario to launch one interceptor. And so this gives the warfighter the capability to launch more than one interceptor.
And the reason for the salvo test is to see -- for the trailing interceptor to see what kind of scene and what kind of situation that it may see because it could be very complex, and we want to make sure that the trailing interceptor, we see -- want to see what's going to happen with that interceptor, and how it will react in terms of that type of a scenario, so that we can feed that information back to the warfighter.
Q: We've had three North Korean ICBM tests in the last year. Will those -- the telemetry and -- from those tests be used to calibrate the target missile you're going to use in this next intercept test?
MR. PENNETT: I can't -- I can't get into the details of that. But we do -- our targets are threat-representative.
Q: Last year, Reuters reported that there were -- you -- your organization was looking at putting THAAD missiles on the West Coast. It caused a big stir internationally. Haven't heard a thing since. What's the deal with that?
MR. PENNETT: The West Coast of the U.S.?
Q: You remember the story.
MR. PENNETT: So there -- right now, there's nothing in our budget requesting a THAAD for the West Coast. The THAAD -- we do have THAAD deployed to Guam. THAAD has a capability against IRBMs, but does not have a capability against ICBMs, which I would presume would be the purpose of doing that.
Q: So there's no plan to put THAAD on the West Coast.
MR. PENNETT: No, there is no plans to put THAAD on the West Coast. OK.
Q: James Drew from Aviation Week.
Firstly, could you just clarify. I think you said that the SM-3 Block IIA failure was isolated to the interceptor itself.
MR. PENNETT: Yes.
Q: That it's not some auxiliary system, or --
MR. PENNETT: We believe -- we're doing a failure review board, but everything -- everything that was supposed to happen, up until, including the launch of the interceptor, did as it was supposed to do, and the interceptor itself failed to actually achieve the intercept. So we believe that -- we believe that it has -- it has to do directly, specifically with the interceptor itself, not from the queuing sensors, not from the radar sensors, not from the command control, not from the communication system -- strictly with the interceptor itself.
Q: Will that slow down your approval for initial production of that missile? I know you're already started production of a limited quantity, but does that slow down your overall profile for buying that missile?
MR. PENNETT: So there are no missiles in production right now. There are developmental missiles that we're building, and we'll continue to do that. But as I said before, we will not fly another missile until we understand what failed on -- on that missile. And we don't believe that right now, that it's going to slow down. We -- we are planning to procure those in FY19 -- I'm sorry, FY18. We have procurement funds in the Missile Defense Defeat Enhancement. There are funds provided there. We don't see it slowing down that procurement. But again, we will not build any of those missiles until we understand what happened.
Q: Can I ask you though, you've got -- you've got six budgeted, and you're going to buy 12, or something? I mean, why would you build/buy the missiles if you don't have the failure review board done?
MR. PENNETT: Well, because we have to -- we have to budget in advance of actually procuring them. So we didn't know that the missile was going to fail, and we don't know what's wrong with the missile. And it may be something that is relatively straightforward, and we can fix it before we actually procure it.
Q: So you're not going to budget -- you're not going to put those on contract, the six, before you have the failure review board finished? Am I missing something?
MR. PENNETT: No, we will do -- we will -- right, you're correct. We will understand what's wrong with it before we put it on contract.
STAFF: Over here.
Q: Hey, Justin Doubleday, with Inside Defense.
I just want to ask about the -- the new Pacific radar, Pacific Homeland Defense Radar. Can you talk about what's driving that requirement, and kind of where you see it fitting into the -- the sensor architecture that you have in place and you're putting into place?
MR. PENNETT: So one of the things that we need to do is maintain the custody of the threat, from -- from birth to death. And so with terrestrial-based radars, we have to put them in locations that we can maintain custody. So we have forward-based radars in Japan now, and then we're going to put one in Hawaii for -- to help with that part of the enhancement of the system. And so we feel that we need another one somewhere in the Pacific to do that.
But ultimately, we need to go with -- to space with our sensor capability.
Q: Will this new radar be the same type of radar and the composition as the radar you're putting in Hawaii?
MR. PENNETT: Well, we haven't determined the acquisition strategy but it'll probably be the same. It'll be like the long-range discrimination radar and the radar -- similar to the radar we're putting in Hawaii, correct. Over here.
Q: Clarify the – salvo test will be two GBIs going up against one ICBM-range target?
MR. PENNETT: That's correct.
Q: So that will take you down to 42 GBIs?
MR. PENNETT: No, no. These -- we have -- the GBIs will be used in those -- their production -- they're production GBIs but they're already programmed so it does not impact the deployed inventory.
Yes, good question. All the way in the back there.
Q: Alex Nickol with Yomiuri Shimbun.
Just going back to the SM-3 2A test in Hawaii in January, Japan is currently scheduled to buy four of those SM-3 2A missiles and it'll be about $133 million. Was wondering has anything changed in that deal that you're aware of or --
MR. PENNETT: No, nothing -- nothing has changed.
Okay, over here.
Q: Sir, James Drew from Aviation Week.
I just had another question. Over the past year, we saw some solicitation come out a request from the agency about a potential high-altitude drone that could either carry a sensor or a laser. Is there anything in the budget that would give seed funding for that kind of a project?
MR. PENNETT: So we have the low-power laser demonstrator and the purpose of that would be to, once we can increase the power of our lasers, that is a laser scaling. We might look at using a platform -- a high-altitude platform like that for testing purposes.
Q: So you don't look at doing a potential future procurement of that high altitude --
MR. PENNETT: No, we would not -- we would not develop a platform. It would strictly be for testing.
Yes, over here.
Q: I'm Patrick Tucker, Defense One.
Under $141 million for tech maturity, that's basically all towards that program of eventually putting a kilowatt laser of a certain size on a UV for early-boost-phase intercept. Is that -- or what else does the $140 million tech maturity go towards?
MR. PENNETT: So some of that does -- as I said, 61 is for the low-power laser demonstrator, so that's actually the test part of that. There's only $5 million in there for actual development of the low-power or the laser scaling, increasing the power of that. And I'll have to get with you -- we'll have to get back to you on what the balance of that funding is for. But that is not for -- that is not for scaling up the laser.
Q: Thank you.
Q: This is kind of a budget process question, but you've got $2.4 billion in procurement and Congress has a requirement that over the next few years MDA shifts away from procurement, hands it off to services.
Have those conversations stalled or -- where do you guys stand in trying to figure out how you're going to shift away billions in procurement in these interceptors to the Army and the Navy?
MR. PENNETT: So we're -- we continue to look at that. We're working pretty actively with the Army in terms of the transfer of the THAAD system and so we're looking at how that would happen.
But as you say, likely what would happen is any of the procurement funds for those systems would then -- would then transfer and it'd become part of the Army's TOA and then our topline then would reduce by that amount. And then it would become the responsibility of the Army then to program for those systems going forward in the future.
Q: Does that squeeze your budget at all or your plans doing that level of procurement when it's not really a MDA to charter to do so?
MR. PENNETT: Well, it's programmed now. And if it was transferred, it would be a zero-sum game, so it wouldn't change -- it wouldn't change the -- the ratio. It would change our topline. But with -- with the -- the content would go with the funding.
But over the years MDA's budget has become more procurement and more O&M than in the past. And so that has squeezed our research and development budget.
Q: Hyper-sonic defenses, what systems would you be modifying the software of to -- to defend against hyper-sonics -- hyper-sonic weapons?
MR. PENNETT: So right now, we're looking at mainly the -- the sensor capability and the C2BMC, the command and control. So it would be any software associated with any of those systems, that would potentially be -- might have some capability to -- to track hyper-sonic systems.
Q: SBIRS satellite or the --
MR. PENNETT: SBIRS is not -- that's an Air Force asset.
Q: What -- give me a couple of examples. Would the SBX be an example of a potential tweak?
MR. PENNETT: I don't -- we -- we have to look at what sensors -- I'm not really sure what sensors have capability against that threat. But we would look at those, and it would be software associated with those sensors.
Q: To be determined, and what --
MR. PENNETT: Right. We're just doing the study right now. What sensors, the timing, you know, the -- the flight regime of those types of threats. So right now we're very early on in that.
Q: Hi, there, Patrick Tucker.
So it's under the -- Space-based Kill Assessment Vehicle experiment. Because the full SKA network is currently planning to be in orbit in FY2018. And last year, said the full SKA network is currently planning to be in orbit in FY17. So how's that going?
MR. PENNETT: Oh. Well, so there -- there's -- we're progressing. There's been some -- some delay in regards to getting those -- getting those satellites up, and getting that operational. Or getting it -- getting the test set up, and it'll take some time.
As I said, this is an experiment. And so we're going to get that up and see how it works. And then if there's residual capability, we'll see about operationalizing that capability.
Q: And what's the -- like, that stage of -- of rocket trajectory, that's sort of a -- that seems like it's the hardest one to have an effective defense against.
So can you talk some about, is there any budgeting for expanding the options for dealing with an incoming missile that has been picked up by this network that hasn't been intercepted earlier in course? Like, what does the option field look like for that? And is there research and development efforts towards -- towards that?
MR. PENNETT: I'm not -- I'm sorry. I don't necessarily understand your question.
Q: The picture that you've got here is, like, these are the SK -- the sensors on these hosted payloads on these communications satellites that pick-up --
MR. PENNETT: Yeah.
Q: -- this incoming missile as it's already rocketing towards the United States, basically very close to U.S. air (inaudible). So can you talk a little bit about the options for intercepting a missile there, as opposed to in mid-course, which is where some of them intercept them more in boost phase?
So it -- once you pick up this missile that you've missed, like, three times, what are -- can you talk a little bit about the options for intercepting it in that final -- its final descent? And is that something that's reflected in the budget?
MR. PENNETT: Well, so -- oh, oh. Okay. So, right. Yes. So we have a layered defense. Okay. I -- I see what you're saying. So it's a layered defense.
So, for example, if -- if a SM-3 missile shot at a -- at a target or a threat and missed, then would THAAD be able -- then THAAD might have an opportunity to shoot.
But what we need to know is, we need to know whether or not the SM-3 was successful. And if it was, then we might not shoot a THAAD. But if we had this kill assessment, we could tell whether or not we did and then possibly shoot a -- a THAAD missile to affect the intercept.
So that's your layered -- so those are the layers that -- that -- that we already have and we've already tested that, the SM-3 and the THAAD in a layered -- in a layered defense scenario.
Did I answer your question?
Q: Yes, I think so, I was just trying to see if like THAAD required additional Research and Development for THAAD, because you're talking about basically -- because THAAD is good for intermediate range, like the outer end.
And these would be -- this would pick up presumably ICBM's, so.
MR. PENNETT: Well it could, but it also could pick up IRBMs, as well. So -- so -- and that's what the THAAD is, it's capable against IRBMs. Okay, I'm sorry, over here, I think we had -- Jen, I'm sorry.
Q: Just a quick question to see if you can flush out the timeline a little bit more on the Pacific radar. You've already determined a location for the Hawaii one. When are you hoping to decide where the other radar is going to be placed?
MR. PENNETT: So we're starting -- we're doing the studies this -- this year in FY18, and so it will probably be later -- later this year, I suspect, later this Fiscal Year, early FY19, is one way of determining it.
Q: And have you narrowed it down to certain sites you're looking at this year or?
MR. PENNETT: No, we have not. We have not. Okay, another question back here.
Q: Yeah, James Drew again for Aviation Week.
Last year I think there was also some detail, plans put out about the block five -- sorry, the Reaper fleet that MDA is currently operating. Is there funding in the budget for continued use of those Reapers the MDA has been leasing from General Atomics?
And also there was discussions about a potential deployment over to Japan for those. Is that reflected anywhere in the budget or supported?
MR. PENNETT: No, no, it's not.
Q: So you're no longer using those Reapers?
MR. PENNETT: We -- we may -- we may have tests with those in the future, but as far as the deployment to Japan, that's not in the budget.
MR. PENNETT: Okay? Right here.
Q: On the redesigned Kill Vehicle, that uses the same sort of sensors as the SM-3 --
MR. PENNETT: Seeker.
Q: Seeker, excuse me. SM-3 -- so what works do you have to do there and how many tests do you have planned before that deployment in 2021?
MR. PENNETT: So we have at least -- we have -- we have two flight tests, and actually I believe we have maybe a third flight test before we actually start emplacing those in -- actually it's 2023 is when we will actually have those deployed. It's actually 2023, I believe, or did I get that wrong?
STAFF: You said, anticipate deploying the RKV beginning in the 2021 time frame.
MR. PENNETT: Okay, okay, I'm sorry, thank you. So it is 2021. So we have three flight tests, two of those will be intercept tests and one of those will be a controlled vehicle test. So the -- the seeker is just one part of the Kill Vehicle.
Then there's the -- what's called the divert attitude control, and then there's some other communications pieces and adapter ring. Some of that is from the existing Kill Vehicle, as you said the SM-3, the 2A Seeker, and then -- and then it's the actual divert attitude control system and some other sensors that go on board that, in terms of the control for that -- that vehicle.
So there -- a lot of those parts are components that have flown before, like the 2A Seeker and the adapter ring. And -- but it's a matter of bringing all those together into a new -- a new -- a new vehicle, and then making sure that we -- that we test that adequately.
Q: Do you know what the schedule is for buying the -- the RKV within that tests by deployed schedule?
MR. PENNETT: So we're -- we're in a process -- I mean we have a contract now in terms of developing the RKV and some of that funding we'll start buying the initial test RKV rounds. And that'll put them on the current -- current booster sets that we have currently available to do that. The actual procurement of the RKVs that will be deployed into Missile Field Four actually starts in '19. Okay.
Q: I -- I know you're still undergoing the failure review, but when you say that it failed in like the last phase, does that mean that the SM-3 IIA didn't make contact, or it did, and it didn't explode, or -- or it missed it? What -- what happened? Like, when you say that you've isolated the problems to like the last phase, could you elaborate a bit?
MR. PENNETT: So it launched when it was supposed to launch. It was going the way it was supposed to go, but it failed to achieve intercept. That's really all I can say about that. It just didn't hit the target.
Q: It didn't hit. Missed it (inaudible)?
MR. PENNETT: It didn't hit. Missed it completely.
Q: So of all the GBIs you have programmed here, the -- the 64 total, do you know yet how many will be ROKV versus CE-II EKV, or -- or how that splits up?
MR. PENNETT: I -- I don't have those numbers in front of me. The 20 that go in Missile Field Four will all be RKV, and then we also plan to -- the reason we have -- we are also developing, building out two additional silos in Missile Field One, is so that -- and -- and buying six additional boosters, is so what we can do is, as -- once we emplace the 20 in Missile Field Four, then we will continue to buy RKVs and put them on these -- these new boosters, the six boosters that we're buying, and then we will start de-emplacing the older EKVs, the oldest ones, and we'll start replacing the oldest ones first. And so with -- having two extra silos allows us to make sure that we always have 64 GBIs deployed, so that when we de-emplace one, we're -- we're not affecting the operational number of -- of deployed GBIs. Does that make sense?
STAFF: We have time for about two more questions.
Q: Just maybe a little bit more clarity on the expansion to 64 GBIs. So there is no plan to buy any more EKVs, the -- the current generation exo-atmospheric kill vehicle?
MR. PENNETT: So the reason we're buying RKVs, and the reason is taking us to 2021, to -- to deploy additional GBIs, is because after -- essentially, once we've finished with the 44 GBIs that we emplaced here in November, that was the end of that production line for EKVs, and so we cannot build or -- we cannot build any more EKVs. They're just -- they're -- the parts that went into those systems are largely obsolete at this point, and that's why we're going to the RKV. It's a good question, though.
Q: And also, Missile Field One, is that Vandenberg Air Force Base?
MR. PENNETT: No, no, no. Missile Field One at Fort Greely. You know, that's -- so there's -- Missile Field One, there's -- right now, there's -- there's six silos that are active, with GBIs in place. But when they originally designed that missile field, there were actually holes that were drilled for 14 additional silos, and there's actually sleeves there, so it's a matter of buying the silo equipment, and putting it in the -- in -- in the holes there.
So it -- it's not -- Missile Field Four is -- is bare earth, so that has to be completely developed from scratch. Although that -- originally, Fort Greely was originally designed for up to 100 GBIs, and so the environmental-impact statement was done years ago for that; accounted for additional GBIs. So we'll have to do an environmental assessment, but not an impact. So Missile Field Four is -- is -- essentially greenfield; has to be started from scratch.
Missile Field One, it's a matter of actually just putting in the -- the silo equipment and the silo interface. The mechanical electrical building in Missile Field One was also sized to be able to support that entire missile field if we ever wanted to build it out for 20 GBIs.
So adding two more silos can be accommodated within that -- within that complex.
Q: Going from six to eight?
MR. PENNETT: Going from six to eight, there you go. Okay? All right, okay, thank you very much.
STAFF: All right, guys, thank you.