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DoD News Briefing: Dr. Paul Kaminski, Under Secretary, Acquisition & Technology, et. al.

Presenters: Dr. Paul Kaminski, Under Secretary, Acquisition & Technology, et. al.
February 22, 1995 11:00 AM EDT
NOTE: Participants in this briefing include Dr. Kaminski, Mr. Jan Lodal, Principal Under Secretary, Policy and Mr. Kenneth H. Bacon, ATSD (PA)

Mr. Bacon: Good morning.

Yesterday in Bonn, Deputy Secretary of Defense John Deutch signed a statement of intent to develop, with the Germans, French, and Italians, a tactical air defense system called the Medium Extended Air Defense System, or MEADS. This morning, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology, Dr. Paul Kaminski, and the Principal Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Mr. Jan Lodal, will discuss the details of that program and why it's an important step toward the future of modernization of tactical air defense systems and also an important Trans-Atlantic cooperation initiative.

Dr. Kaminski: Thank you, Ken. I'd like to make a few brief remarks, and then invite Jan Lodal also to make a few remarks. And, then, we'll both be available to answer questions.

As Ken pointed out, yesterday in Bonn Deputy Secretary of Defense John Deutch signed a statement of intent to jointly develop and produce a medium-to-low altitude tactical air defense system called MEADS -- Medium Extended Air Defense System. This is a system comparable to something that was being considered in the U.S. called the Corps SAM for the Army.

Entering into this statement of intent with the United States are France, Germany and Italy. This quadripartite statement of intent represents an important step towards the future modernization of our tactical air defense, both for the U.S. and the participating European countries. It underscores our common desire to pursue cooperative programs to develop and produce affordable, tactical weapon systems. The program is designed to encourage competition and competitive participation by both U.S. and foreign industry to ensure that we develop the best value system possible.

This is a critically important capability in an uncertain world with a continued threat of proliferation for both we and our allies to address.


This MEADS system will be designed to provide limited area defense and the protection of maneuver forces against both tactical ballistic missile threats and air breathing threats, to include cruise missiles. It would be employed with other systems as part of integrated air defenses, or individually in support of stand-alone operations.

The system will counter threats that exist today and in the foreseeable future. It is a vital portion of our overall plan for theater missile defenses, and it's a top priority in our missile defense program. The system is intended to enter service about 2005.

The signing of the Statement of Intent marks the start of a new era, a renaissance in trans-Atlantic cooperation. It reflects the priority of the Defense Department, placing expanded cooperative international programs up in priority, to enable modernization of equipment of our defense forces at an affordable cost.

The United States is seeking cooperation with allies here for three reasons. The first is political. These programs help strengthen the connective tissue -- the military and the industrial relationships among our countries that bind our nations together in a strong international security relationship where we are facing a common threat.

The second reason is military. There is an increased likelihood of our operating in a coalition environment where both we and our allies need to deploy forces with equipment that is interoperable and rationalized from the standpoint of logistical support. One way to achieve these goals is through joint development and production.

The third reason is economic. Tight budgets on both sides of the Atlantic have driven the need to pool resources and to achieve some economies of scale in development and production. What we cannot afford individually may be affordable with a common joint activity.

As shown in the first chart, the MEADS program will have a project definition validation phase, a design and development phase, and a production phase. Here is the first major phase -- project definition and validation -- which will cover just shy of a three-year period. A follow-on design and development phase leading to production of the initial -- low-rate -- production equipment, as I said, in about 2005.

The Statement of Intent signed yesterday is a beginning. It forms the basis for a future Memorandum of Understanding to be negotiated, and our estimate for that is about October of this year, roughly six months. I will define the details of cooperation for each phase of the program.

The first phase -- the project definition validation phase -- will start about one year from today, about March of '96.

The Statement of Intent calls for program costs and corresponding work share of about 50 percent for the United States, with corresponding 20 percent shares for France and Germany, and a 10 percent share for Italy.

The second chart -- the MEADS program strategy -- illustrates the strategy for encouraging competitive participation by both U.S. and foreign industry. The U.S. teams, who have participated in our comparable program thus far -- the U.S. companies -- are listed on the left. Of course, you know that Lockheed and Martin Marietta are very close to having consummated their merger agreement, which would collapse those entries down to one fewer.

The U.S. plan would be to select, from among those industrial elements, two U.S. teams that would be involved in the international teaming. This international teaming activity would join with corresponding European industry, setting up an operation in which each selected U.S. company would team with an international participant through the project definition and validation phase. Then, at the end of that phase, we would select down to one international team.

Along with the selection of that team would be the selection of the concept to be designed and developed in detail. The winning team will be the prime contractor in the subsequent development and production phases.

In summary, this MEADS Statement of Intent, signed yesterday, is an important milestone in the Trans-Atlantic missile defense cooperation. MEADS will protect our maneuvering forces against tactical ballistic missile and air-breathing threats, including cruise missiles, that exist today and in the foreseeable future. This program is an important step towards the future modernization of tactical air defense systems for the U.S. and for those of France, Germany, and Italy. And, I would point out that there is a path for other countries also to join this in the future.

MEADS underscores our common desire to pursue cooperative programs to develop and produce affordable, tactical weapon systems. This Statement of Intent defines an approach that encourages fair and competitive participation, both by U.S. and by foreign industry, to ensure that we jointly develop the best value system possible. It's the very model of the program required in the post-Cold War world, when we will still face dangerous threats with reduced budgets.

This program, I think, has the potential for the 30-year type of program that we have seen in the past with the NATO Hawk Program, but of course it's at a very early stage. This Statement of Intent is but a first step in an important process with much work ahead to agree to a Memorandum of Agreement.

I'm encouraged because I see the operation of very effective teams. First, our team of allies, in which very close working relationships have developed among myself and my counterparts in the quadripartite arrangement, and also very effective teams in the Pentagon -- these activities being led at the highest level, personally, by Secretary Perry and Deputy Secretary Deutch, being effective led by my co-participant in policy, the Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Jan Lodal, who I will invite up in just a minute for some more remarks. Key participation by our Ballistic Missile Defense Office, General Mal O'Neill, and Dave Martin, who has been working on an extended allied air defense plan in NATO, and by the Army, the PEO for the Corps SAM program, Brigade General Dick Black, and the program manager, Colonel Tom Hallor. Also, by my own staff in working out these arrangements, Eleanor Specter in Defense Procurement, and Colonel Dave Kiefer, who has been instrumental in our International Programs Office. I mention all the members of this team because I think these teams will be in harness for some time, working very hard to make this program become a reality.

Let me now invite Jan Lodal to talk a little bit more about some of the important policy implications of the program.

Mr. Lodal: I won't add a lot to what Paul said, I think he covered all the main points. Let me just say that this program is unique, it's different from the kinds of programs we've done in the past, in several regards.

First of all, it's size. It's bigger than the joint development programs we've attempted before.

Second of all, it represents an equal partnership amongst the participants, from the very beginning as we try to develop this new important system.

Third, it's at a very early stage of development. This is not an "already developed, off-the-shelf" system that we're going to add a few passes to and then bring some other people in to buy. It's a system where we're still very much in the definition phase. So we're beginning the cooperation at a very early stage.

Finally, it focuses on a diverse set of threats, not a single Soviet threat as we did in these types of programs with our NATO allies during the Cold War. It focuses on a set of threats that are of great interest to not only our nations but to the Alliance as a whole. They have a lot of interest, here. In this town, there's a lot of discussion about anti-missile defenses and anti-cruise missile defenses. I should emphasize that this system will help very much with potential cruise missile attacks against point targets. Unlike some of the high altitude, Star Wars kinds of things that some people would have us focus our resources on, this one actually helps us with this very immediate cruise missile threat, some of these air breathing threats that we'll see in the time period where this system could become available to us.

Finally, it goes a long way toward demonstrating what we can do to bring strength to the Alliance in this post Cold War world, and work together in an Alliance that some people have questioned the ongoing need for. I think this is a good demonstration of what we can do.

With that, I think, Paul and I are ready to take your questions.

Q: I understand the initial stage will cost about $2 billion.

A: Roughly.

Q: The United States brings a lot of technology to the table here, having done this for a long time. Why aren't the allies paying more here? Why does the United States pay half the cost?

A: The allies involved will also be bringing some technology to this operation, as well. There are still arrangements to be worked out about the details in future production arrangements, but the equal partnership that Jan spoke about, I think, is an important principle. That is, the investment and the work shares will be corresponding. The related technology contributions of this program will be not only into the design and related pieces, but in some of the means of production downstream. I think our allies have something to bring to that.

Q: Why $1 billion? Why half by the United States? If you've got four countries, why not 25 percent each?

A: It has to do with both size of the eventual production downstream, as well as what can be brought to the program in terms of the work share that can be supported in a country.

Q: Because the Patriot missile defense system is the one the public is most familiar with, can you compare and contrast this system with Patriots, just to give me an idea of how it's different?

A: This system would be one that's a mobile system to support the corps. The Patriot PAC-3 system will be deployed in the U.S., around the turn of the century, so the Patriot will be an earlier system and the Patriot system will be, in effect, an overlay for the Corps SAM system.

Q: But Patriot doesn't provide defense against cruise missiles?

A: Patriot will provide some defense against cruise missile systems, but it is an overlay, longer range kind of system.

Q: Can you say that in English? What does that mean?

A: This system is more inclined to be working against the lower altitude, closer in kinds of threats, the point for point defense. Patriot provides more of an area defense.

A: Can I add one thing, there, that I think is important in the Alliance context, and that is that this is considerably more mobile than Patriot. So for the kinds of threats that we see occurring in the future, we think being able to move and deploy quickly is going to be a crucial aspect of this.

Q: I realize the programs take time, but isn't there going to be a need for an effective cruise missile defense sometime before the year 2005? Are there other things out there that are going to provide any kind of defense against cruise missiles?

A: Patriot, the PAC-3 system, will provide some degree of protection against cruise missiles. The ability to have that protection with the mobile forces is improved dramatically by this Corps SAM system.

Back to the earlier question, you ought to think of the Patriot as an area umbrella kind of system. But one of the problems with long range umbrella systems is they're limited by the horizon. So a cruise missile that's flying at very low altitudes, is going to need something that can see and operate at shorter ranges -- to fill in the gaps.

Q: What means you will be developing to detect the cruises, and distract them? And -- about what Jan was saying -- how are you going to deploy? Are you going to deploy in the air? On the ground? Have you looked at this yet?

A: The MEADS System? It will be fundamentally deployed on the ground. There are whole families of adjunct kinds of sensors that would be helpful to assist them like this, to provide the ability to see over the horizon. Of course the way you'd get that capability generally would be to use some type of platform that's off the ground, airborne or other platform. UAVs are candidates for this kind of function downstream.

Q: Can we detect cruises from the air?

A: Yes, we can. We can do some reasonable degree of that today with the AWACS system.

Q: This will be a missile combination... It will not be a Sergeant York, or revitalization?

A: No, this will be a missile system.

Q: The budget that you sent up to Congress only had about $60 million fiscal '96 to '97 -- for Corps SAM, which is the U.S. part of this. Where's the rest of the money going to come from?

A: If you go back to this schedule, you really saw this undertaking beginning in earnest...

Q: There's been no money from '98 to 2001 in the budget you sent up to Congress. There's zero.

A: There is some funding in the BMDO program to be able to pursue this.

Q: Not in the Corps SAM line?

A: Not in the Corps SAM line.

Q: The Corps SAM line won't be funded after FY98?

A: No, we'll probably set up a separate line for this MEADS activity as it's developed. You can see here, the two international teams aren't actually down selected and funded until well into the year, so this will just be a beginning effort.

Q: When the European partners agreed to participate, did they not ask for a guarantee of a certain amount of funding for the U.S. in the program? Is that how it worked?

A: No. We're not that far down the path yet. We have this whole Memorandum of Understanding to be agreed to, which will lay out these kinds of specifics. The Statement of Intent, at this point, is that. It's an intent to get into the MOU discussions.

Q: Do you have any estimate as to what a total program cost would be to the U.S.?

A: I don't yet. It will be several billion dollars for the total program costs, of which the U.S. will have a 50 percent share.

Q: Since so much of the world is covered by water, and since forces may go ashore, obviously, in port areas, do you envision a Navy version of this that would complement an Army vision that would then go inland and be more maneuverable?

A: I don't envision a Navy version of this particular system, although it certainly could be converted. We are working on the standard missile two, lower tier system, which would provide similar kinds of capabilities. But, certainly, we have converted past land-based systems previously, land or air based systems for naval use, for example. Systems, such as the AMRAAM have been converted for naval use. So I wouldn't say that's a zero possibility, but it isn't planned today in our program.

Q: Are you going to have U.S. and French and Italian and German program management? How is that done?

A: Yes. We'll have joint program management. I would expect the management agency to be a NATO management agency, but most probably located in the U.S. That isn't finally agreed to yet. Those are issues for us to work out in the MOU.

Q: Is there any indication when the RFP for the system will be released?

A: The RFP for the U.S. piece of the down-select is to be released March 1st, according to this schedule.

Q: Will new membership be limited to NATO countries, or would you be willing to accept the Russians if they so desire?

A: We really haven't addressed that as a group. Our intent going into this was for NATO participation, but final compensation isn't settled.

Q: So you wouldn't rule out Russia one day joining?

A: I wouldn't say it's likely, but I wouldn't rule it out as [an agreed position].

Q: That $2 billion, where will that take you through in time?

A: First off, I would say that the $2 billion is rough, but it would take us through this project definition and validation phase which would have designs validated, and have some amount of hardware in the loop testing that's been conducted to provide a reasonable basis for down-select.

Q: You said there would be two U.S. teams. Will you source select one of those teams before it teams with an international team, or will both U.S. teams be competing with foreign teams?

A: We will pick two U.S. companies and each U.S. company will be teamed up with a European counterpart. So the two teams that are competing will be international teams. It will be international team one against international team two.

Q: Are there weapon systems that you have on your drawing board that you're going to look to do such international teaming with?

A: There's nothing specific that I can tell you today that we have in our plans to do this, but I think we'll be looking a little bit more to this kind of approach.

One of the positive aspects of this kind of approach where there are two international teams operating from the beginning, is that it removes some of the impediments that conflicting national interests sometimes have with a cooperative program, that is the development of a competing national program or unequal national work shares. With its participation, the work shares for the two teams are identical at the start of the program, so there isn't a national work share issue that's determined when we make this down-select from two international teams to one international teams.

Q: Who's going to be assigning the international partners?

A: Those will be done on a random draw basis.

Q: Like Lockheed could get partnered with, just out of a hat?

A: That's correct.

A: It may be not entirely clear. Both of the international teams will have multiple companies in them. It's not that they'll be given one company versus another company, because the companies will go together to make up each of the two international teams.

Q: But the essential partnering will be done at random?

A: That's right.

Q: What's the logic behind that, rather than letting the companies choose their own partners?

A: One of the reasons for that is that the teaming up of companies can end up being a difficult thing to do when the principal area in Europe is a single company. One needs to divide that entity into two pieces. So it is a reasonably random thing as to which piece is picked by which party anyway. The issue here is to present a level playing field for the two U.S. companies involved by having this be done on a random basis rather than on some pre-assigned, pre-established arrangements.

Q: What if you have people in each company that you assign that... You're not even letting them develop a relationship before you force them to work together.

A: That's right.

Q: Here you, X and Y are working together, even if you don't like each other or whatever?

A: The entity in Europe, basically, is divided up into two pieces which have a full range of capabilities. So all we're constraining here is the initial dividing line. Then we're looking for the best mix and match between the two teams. They will have to work that out. There's considerable time in that nearly three year period to be able to work out those arrangements.

Q: Once the down-select is made between the two international teams, what recourse can the losing team take in terms of lodging any appeals? Would that be under the NATO structure or could they do it the way it's done in the U.S.?

A: The plan is to allow two recourses for protest, and the selection is at the behest of the entity which wishes to protest. It can either come back and use U.S. law and protest procedures operating through the GAO or it can operate through the NATO international procedures. But once one of the two avenues is picked, there's no recourse to the other.

Q: On the research and development on Corps SAMs, that's supposed to be fairly well along the way. Are we just going to drop that or is that going to phase into this? Is there any indication that this will have an ABM limitation? That the ABM Treaty will constrict this development?

A: I would not anticipate that it would constrict the development of this program. The technology base that's being brought to this, for example, the Corps SAM base, will be resident in companies who have worked with Corps SAM. They'll be bringing that certainly to the program, as will the European counterpart companies who have worked on similar systems.

Q: With regard to defense against a cruise-delivered nuclear device defending the United States -- how soon in this program... How soon would we have the capability of stopping such types of singular attacks? And, secondly, do we, at present, have that capability of defending against a cruise-delivered?

A: With this program we would not have that capability until the year 2005. We do, in fact, have that capability present, today, in the U.S., but we have it present in a limited way. That is, it depends where those systems are deployed with respect to a particular threat access. We don't have a system deployed that can protect every conceivable area in the U.S.

Q: Do you believe that the threat will not exist until the year 2005?

A: The threat may well develop faster than 2005. We do have some means to address it with what is in the current inventory.

Q: But we may be vulnerable as well?

A: What I would say is that the kind of vulnerability that develops is a matter of degree, depending on how much of the U.S. is threatened and how diverse and large the attack would be.

Q: Does this address the low observable cruise missile threat which reports say will be a reality by early in the 21st Century?

A: It will address the low observable cruise missile threat.

Press: Thank you very much.

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