Friday, September 19, 2008

back online

Dear reader, I am back online and once more I will try to catch up the recent events. However, it will only be some patchwork rather than adequate coverage. I will go into greater and appropriate detail in the subsequent postings of the new events.

Here comes the first part of the catch-up:

Let’s start off with the major news: yesterday Russia successfully tested its Bulava SLBM. The missile was fired by the Dmitry Donskoy nuclear submarine off the northwest coast of Russia. The Bulava missile, which has a range of 8,000 kilometers, was first tested successfully in December 2005. The subsequent tests were unsuccessful or only partially successful.

DPRK has constructed a 10-story missile tower and launch pad, located in Pongdong-ni, a Southwestern region of North Korea. This facility may make future missile tests more realistic by providing Kim Jong-il(l)’s country with the ability to actually test the missile engine while it's in the airframe. Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., an expert with Jane’s, believes North Korea wants to use the site to develop longer-range and more accurate ICBMs. North Korea tested the engine on a Taepodong-2 long-range missile at its new missile launch test site several months ago, a U.S. official said Tuesday while another official declined this.

The future of the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile, or JASSM, seemed in doubt last year due to various problems but now the missile program called back on track. A batch of the stealthy cruise missiles was delivered in July and a contract for an additional 111 awarded in June, the development team flew 16 flight tests in four days in February, and 14 of them were successful.

The U.S. military aborted an attempt Wednesday, September 17, to shoot down an incoming missile with two interceptors after the target malfunctioned shortly after launch off the Hawaiian island of Kauai. It was the first breakdown after five successful tests of the THAAD.

Another test on that day was more successful: as part of its endeavors to build a two-layer missile shield, Japan's Air Self-Defense Force successfully test-fired a PAC-3 missile and shot down a mock ballistic missile at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico in the United States. The second layer, the SM-3 interceptor system, was successfully tested in December involving a high-tech Aegis destroyer near Hawaii.

Let’s shift to our favorite missile defense system: the Czech Republic and the United States are set to sign an agreement on deploying US soldiers at the anti-missile radar today in London, an official from the Czech ministry of defense told AFP. This agreement completes an initial deal Prague and Washington signed in July to base a powerful radar system in the Czech Republic to support a battery of 10 interceptor missiles in neighboring Poland. The Czech parliament will give the two treaties a first reading in October, with a final reading expected to take place in December.

Stay tuned for the second part of the catch-up. Over and out!

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