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(Flashback) Missile Defense Test Failed As Support Arm In Silo Failed To Clear: General
www.spacewar.com ^ | Mar 10, 2005 | none shown

Posted on 09/03/2006 4:00:19 PM PDT by AFPhys

An interceptor missile failed to fire in a missile defense test last month because a support arm in the silo did not clear when it was supposed to, a senior Pentagon official said Wednesday.

Air Force Lieutenant General Henry Obering, director of the Missile Defense Agency, said the program to field a system capable of intercepting long-range ballistic missiles was going through "a period of disappointment."

"The hard things about missile defense we are accomplishing. The easy things is what we are having trouble with, like arms moving out of the way," he told reporters.

The interceptor missile has now failed to launch in two successive tests because of what officials described as relatively minor glitches.

Obering said that in the latest test on February 14 the interceptor missile shut down when a support arm in the silo failed to move out of the way prior to launch.

Three arms are positioned around the interceptor missile in the silo. Just before launch they are lifted out of the way like a drawbridge, he said.

"In the case of the last flight test in February, one of those arms did not completely clear, and therefore the signal was sent to the fire control system to stop the launch," he said.

Experts still do not know why the arm failed to retract, or what the implications are for the eight interceptor missiles already installed in silos in Alaska and California.

"I'm very, very disappointed in this last test because of the simplicity of the failure, and the fact that it was a glitch that really got in out way," the general said said.

A flight test on December 15 was aborted because of a software glitch.

The interceptor missile shut down in that test when an internal safety device on the interceptor detected an anomaly in electronic message traffic between the flight computer and the thrust vector controller, which guides the missile.

Obering said he has chartered an independent review of the testing program to try to determine why the failures weren't caught in time, and how they can be prevented in the future.

He also appointed Rear Admiral Kathleen Paige, who heads a separate program to develop a sea-based missile defense system, as director of mission readiness to get the testing program for the ground-based system back on track.

The next flight test could be held as early as the end of April if the underlying cause is identified quickly, he said.

The Pentagon had expected to put the ground-based missile defense system into operation by the end of last year, but that has been delayed indefinitely.

Obering, however, said missile defense crews in Alaska and California can now shift the ground-based system from a test mode to an operational posture in a matter of minutes as a result of "shakedown" exercises.

"When we started the process back in October it was taking us hours to be able to make that transition. We've worked that down to minutes, and we continue to refine the procedures for that," he said.

The February 14 flight test was not a complete loss, according to Obering.

Radar and other sensors tracked a target missile that was fired from Kodiak Island, Alaska. Fire control computers generated a "weapons task plan" that was relayed and accepted by the interceptor missile before it shut down.

Obering also highlighted the successful intercept on February 24 of a short range missile by a Standard Missile-3 interceptor fired by Aegis destroyer in the Pacific.

It was the fifth successful test of the sea-based system. But it marked the first use in a test of operational versions of the SM-3 missile and the Aegis missile defense system.

Paige said the Aegis destroyer received no warning of the missile shot, which was fired from just over 100 miles away.

"We hit the warhead of the threat missile right where we needed to, right where we expected to," she said.

The test was the centerpiece of a three week naval exercise called Stellar Dragon which involved a mock war a sea with two Aegis warships, submarines and gunboats.

It has come amid tensions with North Korea, which said this week that it was no longer bound by a moratorium on missile tests that it has observed since September 1999.

Paige said the navy has four operational SM-3 missiles available in case of a crisis.

"If called upon in an emergency, that system can deploy and defend against short, medium range ballistic missiles," Paige said.

"The hammer isn't cocked but if you cock it, they will be loaded," she said.

Seven Aegis warships have been modified for missile defense missions, several of which are stationed in the western Pacific. Obering said they are equipped to track missiles with their Spy-1 radars but not to engage them.


TOPICS: Government
KEYWORDS: alaska; hinge; korea; missiledefense; rusty; rustyhinge; sdi; starwars; usaf
A follow up to the much touted "Failure of the Missile Defense System" announced last month.
1 posted on 09/03/2006 4:00:20 PM PDT by AFPhys
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To: AFPhys

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1343288/posts
Missile defense system fails another test
Associated Press | February 14, 2005 | JOHN J. LUMPKIN


2 posted on 09/03/2006 4:00:55 PM PDT by AFPhys ((.Praying for President Bush, our troops, their families, and all my American neighbors..))
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To: AFPhys

So, it turns out that the hinge was a bit rusty.

Sounds like they have to change to stainless steel for future SDI systems.

Big Deal!


3 posted on 09/03/2006 4:01:58 PM PDT by AFPhys ((.Praying for President Bush, our troops, their families, and all my American neighbors..))
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To: All

OFF TOPIC.

...and in 2006 let's see what we have here.

Note: The following text is a quote:
---

http://www.defenselink.mil/news/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=675


Operational Missile Defense Test a Total Success

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sep. 1, 2006 – A test of the Ground-based Missile Defense System today was a total success, said Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry A. Obering III, the director of the Missile Defense Agency.

Obering called today’s test, the first operational one for the system, a huge step in fielding of the missile defense shield. He said he feels good about the capability for the United States to defend itself from an attack from a rogue nation.

The test was the most realistic to date without a nation like North Korea launching the real thing, the general said.

“The test we conducted today was significant in the fact that, as the next step in a progression, we launched an operational interceptor out of an operational site at Vandenberg Air Force Base, (Calif.). It was conducted by operational crews, manning operational fire and control systems in Colorado Springs, (Colo.). It was conducted with the support of operational radar in California, also manned by warfighters, and it was against a very threat-representative target,” Obering said.

The general said the crews cheered when it became apparent that they had hit the mock warhead in space.

Officials in Alaska launched the target from Fort Greely at 1:23 p.m. EDT. Crews launched the interceptor from Vandenberg at 1:39 p.m. The “hit-to-kill” interceptor hit the mock warhead over the Pacific at 1:46 p.m.

“I am pleased that today's test of our ballistic missile defense system appears to have been a success,” Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said in a written statement. “Successful tests such as these increase confidence in the approach to developing an initial missile defense capability. These tests provide knowledge and experience that will be used to improve our nation's capability.”

Both Rumsfeld and Obering stressed that further tests will be conducted on the system once the “gigabytes and gigabytes” worth of data from this test is processed and analyzed. “While today's test was a success, the test program is by no means complete,” Rumsfeld said. “Tests will continue, some of which will be successful and some will not. This was a challenging test, and the tests will become even more challenging in the period ahead.”

The next test is set for December, Obering said. Depending on the read-out from the test today, that one may use decoys and different countermeasures to try to confuse the kill vehicle.


4 posted on 09/03/2006 4:05:45 PM PDT by Cindy
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To: AFPhys
There was a fabulously successful test 3 DAYS AGO! So the drive-by media decides to drum up a failure from last month instead.
5 posted on 09/03/2006 4:05:47 PM PDT by Pukin Dog (Sans Reproache)
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To: Pukin Dog

More like a year and a half ago.


6 posted on 09/03/2006 4:06:53 PM PDT by Pox (If it's a Coward you are searching for, you need look no further than the Democrats.)
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To: AFPhys

The idiots in the MSM fail to realize that even failures provide useful information that helps to make the system better.


7 posted on 09/03/2006 4:10:39 PM PDT by Fresh Wind (Democrats are guilty of whatever they scream the loudest about.)
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To: All
The article is dated March 10th, 2005.

I smell troll.

8 posted on 09/03/2006 4:12:50 PM PDT by Tinian
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To: Pukin Dog

Not sure if this OLD STORY was put up here intentionally or not but it remains that it is OLD NEWS, thus, not news at all.


9 posted on 09/03/2006 4:13:15 PM PDT by Uriah_lost (M.I.E. Mainer In Exile I'll come back when the Massholes go home.)
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To: AFPhys

And what exactly is the point of posting a year old article about this? Did the success of two days ago bother you?


10 posted on 09/03/2006 4:19:16 PM PDT by Laserman
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To: Pukin Dog; Cindy; Pox; Fresh Wind; Tinian; Uriah_lost; Laserman
Blast...

I KNEW I should have made it VERY CLEAR that this was an Old News article...

I posted it here at FR so I could refer to it on this thread:
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1694629/posts

I hadn't recalled seeing on FR the reason for that Feb'05 failure, and wanted to get it posted here for posterity.

Sorry to all of you for the confusion!
11 posted on 09/03/2006 4:22:58 PM PDT by AFPhys ((.Praying for President Bush, our troops, their families, and all my American neighbors..))
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To: Laserman

Now that I have time to write in a bit more leisurely fashion about this:

After seeing the NYSlimes tout their "But critics said that the test lacked key elements of realism and that its main objective had been to allow the Missile Defense Agency to claim the program was back on track after the interceptors in the last two flight tests, in December 2004 and February 2005, failed to leave their silos." in the article linked above, I checked back on FR as to the reason for the Feb'05 "failure".

When I did so, I discovered several stories on FR about it failing, but didn't see a single article, or even a post within those articles, about WHAT had failed. When I found out it was simply due to a rusty hinge, I wanted to make certain the record was set straight regarding this test.

Now that I've put out this firestorm I generated, I'll go back and link this story to the other Feb'05 FRAUDcasts that touted how badly this program was doing... so when next time someone looks for this reason they'll be able to find out more quickly that we just had to change the hinges on the control arms.

Again, I'm sorry to all about failing to include something in the first post or two HIGHLIGHTING that this was an article about an experimental test over a year ago.


12 posted on 09/03/2006 4:35:46 PM PDT by AFPhys ((.Praying for President Bush, our troops, their families, and all my American neighbors..))
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To: AFPhys

Addendum: I had recalled that the Dec'04 test failed due to a the research computer communications link being too slow, and that IS posted on some follow up articles on FR.


13 posted on 09/03/2006 4:37:52 PM PDT by AFPhys ((.Praying for President Bush, our troops, their families, and all my American neighbors..))
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To: AFPhys

Thanks for collecting the relevant articles.....excellent!


14 posted on 09/03/2006 4:39:45 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (History is soon Forgotten,)
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To: AFPhys
I hadn't recalled seeing on FR the reason for that Feb'05 failure

All the rusty hinges have been replaced. Bad alloy. The 11th interceptor was being placed in its silo at Greely last week.

15 posted on 09/03/2006 4:44:19 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the law of the excluded middle)
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To: AFPhys

What was the solution? A case of WD-40 to be applied occasionally?


16 posted on 09/03/2006 4:46:19 PM PDT by Ole Okie
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To: AFPhys
even a post within those articles, about WHAT had failed.

There were many such posts. You must allocate even more time to scanning FreeRepublic. 18 hours a day won't get it anymore. :)

17 posted on 09/03/2006 4:46:32 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the law of the excluded middle)
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To: AFPhys

I've never understood the kind of thought that says we have to shoot a missile out of the air like we were playing darts or something.

Seems to me if you pop off a couple ten meggers in their paths, if the blast doesn't get them, the EMP will fry them so bad they'd turn around or go off in mid-flight.


18 posted on 09/03/2006 4:50:58 PM PDT by djf (Some people say we evolved. I say "Some did, some didn't!")
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To: AFPhys

Thanks for the background.

I apologize for the knee-jerk reaction, but I've seen too much divisive stuff posted here (supposedly by conservatives) that is obviously NOT constructive criticism.


19 posted on 09/03/2006 4:52:10 PM PDT by Tinian
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To: djf

Problem is fratricide. Very soon the entire defense network would fry itself.


20 posted on 09/03/2006 4:54:05 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the law of the excluded middle)
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To: RightWhale
You ain't kidding!

However, I searched all the title variations I could think of, and four "keyword" searches looking at all the articles that appeared relevant, and didn't see anything...

Anyway, I'm glad for your "they've been replaced" note. It is funny how even some "stainless steels" are prone to rusting, and some even prone to being magnetized... unusual, but not unheard of.

As I said, it probably cost them all of a few bucks to replace these hinges and move on with our continued impressive American performance of Reagan's Star Wars!
21 posted on 09/03/2006 4:56:41 PM PDT by AFPhys ((.Praying for President Bush, our troops, their families, and all my American neighbors..))
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To: AFPhys

Thanks for highlighting the reason for the failure.

It is important to get the story out there.


22 posted on 09/03/2006 4:57:34 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar
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To: AFPhys

Metallurgy is an art. I tried the keyword thing for the first time just now. If you want to have 'rusty hinge' in it, say 'rusty,hinge' and it will be two separate words that can be searched on. There is more than one search function, one of them will search the keywords.


23 posted on 09/03/2006 4:59:25 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the law of the excluded middle)
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To: Tinian
NO PROBLEM: the fault was entirely MINE for not communicating very clearly that it was an old article. I anticipated such a reaction by some people, and it was my intention while I was thinking about posting this that I immediately make such a statement, but then in the "heat of battle" I forgot to do so.

Again, I'm sorry to you and others who might feel at all embarrassed about pulling the trigger so quickly.
24 posted on 09/03/2006 5:00:56 PM PDT by AFPhys ((.Praying for President Bush, our troops, their families, and all my American neighbors..))
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To: Pukin Dog

That's ok. LET the mainscream media keep reporting to their buds (America's enemies) that our missle defense doesn't work. We'll have a very 'special' surprise for our enemies if/when they decide to try to attack us. (hint: we no doubt have a LOT of weapons 'they' don't know about...and we intend to keep it that way...we just need to make sure the socialist DemRats, America's enemy within) don't find out.)

___
There was a fabulously successful test 3 DAYS AGO! So the drive-by media decides to drum up a failure from last month instead.


25 posted on 09/03/2006 5:03:12 PM PDT by XenaLee
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To: RightWhale

I thought most of our stuff is pretty hardened. Isn't half of it optical by now, anyways? I know alot of the spysats are.


26 posted on 09/03/2006 5:04:57 PM PDT by djf (Some people say we evolved. I say "Some did, some didn't!")
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To: RightWhale
"Metallurgy is an art": Don't I know it!

I've been trained in Materials Science, and it is incredibly complex, even steels and concretes - materials everybody believes they have some understanding of.

27 posted on 09/03/2006 5:07:09 PM PDT by AFPhys ((.Praying for President Bush, our troops, their families, and all my American neighbors..))
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To: AFPhys

No problem.
Thanks for the clarification.


28 posted on 09/03/2006 5:09:32 PM PDT by Cindy
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To: djf

It isn't only a matter of "frying" our own gear.

In addition, there would be more difficulty in monitoring the environment for some period of time.

Besides the political problems and such questions, why would we bother launching a nuke to kill a nuke when we are able simply shoot it down "with a bullet?"


29 posted on 09/03/2006 5:11:41 PM PDT by AFPhys ((.Praying for President Bush, our troops, their families, and all my American neighbors..))
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To: AFPhys

Well, we might have to worry about the environment if we miss... say the "environment" of St. Louis, for instance.

I dunno, just seems to me when you're in that position, I'd have more confidence in overkill and wasting a few of our xthousand warheads than put my prayers in hitting a fly with a bb gun from five miles away.


30 posted on 09/03/2006 5:22:38 PM PDT by djf (Some people say we evolved. I say "Some did, some didn't!")
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To: AFPhys
We had a highly successful test on THAAD (Theatre High-Altitude Area Defense) recently. I've seen the video and it was awesome. Remember there are 'layers' in the system and THAAD is one layer that WORKS.

--Boris

31 posted on 09/04/2006 6:22:06 PM PDT by boris (The deadliest weapon of mass destruction in history is a leftist with a word processor.)
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