United States Department of Defense
News Transcript

Lt. Gen Kadish Special Briefing on Missile Defense

[Excerpts on Secrecy Policy]

Presenter: Air Force Lt. Gen. Ronald T. Kadish
Director Missile Defense Agency

June 25, 2002


Q: General, do you -- two things. When is the next task, and is it ground-based or sea-based? And number two, can you explain the decision that was made three weeks ago not to review information about countermeasures and so on beforehand and even afterwards -- the test results other than you hit it, you didn't hit it?

Kadish: We are currently projecting our next ground-based midcourse system test in mid-August. And right now, that looks pretty good for a number of reasons. We track a lot of indicators on that. The next sea-based midcourse test, we're talking about November time frame at this point. But we have some decisions to make based on the fact that we've accomplished our -- most of our objectives already in that particular project. So, those are the basic time frames.

In regard to the idea of classifying our work in terms of countermeasures now in the ground-based program, I think the basic answer to that is, is that we're to the point in our testing where we are going to aggressively pursue what we can do against countermeasures, and that might and has a great possibility now to be a part of a war-fighting system, a defensive system, whether that's part of the testbed or any follow-on activity. And once we reach that point, there is no responsible individual that would make that type of information available to our adversaries so they can defeat our system. And in my view, this was the proper time to start classifying those details. That doesn't mean that those people who need to know what we have as a part of that process won't have access to it; they will. There are a lot of people responsible. But we will not give our adversaries a free ride as we develop the system.

Q: But how will members of Congress, the public, how will people know, you know, the level of success you're having with it and, you know, using that to base decisions on whether this particular system should go forward, this should be cancelled?

Kadish: We have a very important responsibility to make sure that the Congress and our elected representatives and the administration decision makers know what the system can actually do, and we will fulfill that responsibility. It will be done in a different way in terms of the way we handle classified information against any system that we have in the inventory. What will be important for people to know is that the decisions on to move forward on specific elements will be based on factual information, based on the test results, about what it is they are able to do. And people should have confidence in that. Exactly how they do it will be closely held not to give our adversaries an advantage. And that's no different than any other military system.


Q: You said one of the unanswered questions is how well the system will perform against decoys. Can you give us a sense of whether you'll increase the number of decoys, how many, and will there be more sophisticated decoys in the future? Do you have any sense of that?

Kadish: I'll leave what we'll be doing --

Q: Well, can you give us a sense of the numbers?

Kadish: Well --

Q: These use one decoy now per test pretty much, or --

Kadish: No. In fact, with the last test, we had three decoys of different classes. And we will be expanding on that test regime as soon as we are confident that we could understand how the system reacted and whether or not we could build the decoys that are necessary to actually test against.

Q: Can you give us a sense of the final number of decoys, or is that classified or --

Kadish: Well, it -- we -- the number of decoys and all eventually that the system can handle we will keep very close hold. But what I will say is that is a never-ending journey once we have missile defense capability, because it's like anything else in the military world. We have countermeasures and counter-countermeasures that people develop so they could get the advantage. And this will continue throughout the whole time we are either working on an RDT&E program or trying to improve what we've actually deployed. We will never want to get into a situation where our adversaries can easily defeat the system, so we'll have to test continually.

Q: Can you say in any way how sophisticated -- much more sophisticated the decoys will be?

Kadish: They will become increasingly more sophisticated in the mid-course arrangement.

Q: Can you expand on that at all?

Kadish: They'll be balloons, by replicas, many ways of trying to fool the system. And we're going to have to decide how to improve that system to handle those types of decoys.


Source: http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Jun2002/t06252002_t0625kadish.html