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NATO Missile Defense Feasibility Study Delivered

By | May 15, 2006

      The final report of the NATO Missile Defense Feasibility Study was delivered yesterday to the North Atlantic Council, the alliance’s senior political governing body.

      Marshall Billingslea, NATO’s assistant secretary general (ASG) for Defence Investment and Permanent Chairman of the Alliance Conference of National Armaments Directors, signed the study and delivered the Armament Directors’ final report.

      Prior to moving to the NATO job in 2004, Billingslea was acting assistant U.S. secretary of defense for Special Operations / Low-Intensity Conflict.

      NATO heads of state and government tasked the ASG and all NATO armament directors at the 2002 Prague summit to develop and examine options for protecting alliance territory, forces and population centers against the full range of missile threats.

      This was in conjunction with work on building a NATO Active Layered Ballistic Missile Defence (ALTBMD) for the protection of deployed NATO forces.

      The feasibility study marks nearly four years of detailed technical analysis by NATO’s technical community. It is a detailed assessment of how to defend NATO population centers, forces and territory from all types of ballistic missile threat.

      By 2010, the alliance expects to have the ability to protect deployed troops against short and medium range ballistic missiles. The 10,000-page study was developed by an international consortium of industries, led by SAIC (SAIC), under an 18-month, approximately $18 million fixed price contract.

      The work built on the assessments initiated with the NATO Active Layered Theater Ballistic Missile Defense Feasibility Study that SAIC started in July 2001 and completed in 2004.

      SAIC’s international consortium for the feasibility study included: Air Command Systems International (ACSI), European Aeronautic Defence and Space (EADS) ST and Thales, both based in France; Diehl and Industrieanlagen-Betriebsgesellschaft GmbH (IABG) based in Germany; Alenia Spazio based in Italy; TNO, based in the Netherlands; QinetiQ and SAIC Ltd based in the United Kingdom; and U.S.-based Boeing [BA] and Raytheon [RTN].

      In response to a series of threat scenarios developed by NATO military authorities, detailed defense architectures were designed and modeling was conducted to ensure incoming ballistic missiles could be intercepted successfully.

      Supervised by NATO’s Missile Defense Project Group and Brig. Gen. Robert Dehnert, the study was completed by industry and validated by missile defense experts from all NATO nations.

      Later this year, NATO is expected to award a systems engineering and integration (SE&I) contract, which is a key to ALTBMD.

      Three teams are competing. Alliance Shield is a Boeing-led team including Lenkflugkorpsysteme GmbH (LFK), BAE SYSTEMS, Finmeccanica, Havelsan, MBDA, Prezemyslowy Instytut Telekomunikacji (PIT), Lockheed Martin [LMT] and Teledyne Brown Engineering.

      Another team consists of Northrop Grumman [NOC], EADS and Spain’s Indra. SAIC leads a team consisting of Thales, EADS, IABG, QinetiQ, TNO, as well as SAICs U.K. subsidiary, SAIC Ltd., Raytheon and ThalesRaytheonSystems, a joint venture between Raytheon and Thales.

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