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Transcript

Missile Defense Agency Officials Hold a News Briefing on President Biden's Fiscal 2023 Missile Defense Budget

March 28, 2022
Navy Vice Admiral Jon A. Hill, Director, Missile Defense Agency; Dee Dee Martinez, Comptroller, Missile Defense Agency

STAFF:  Good afternoon everyone.  Let's go ahead and get started.  Welcome to the briefing, the P.B.'23 briefing for the Missile Defense Agency.

To my left is the Director of the Missile Defense Agency, Vice Admiral Jon Hill.  To his left is the Missile Defense Agency Comptroller, Ms. Dee Dee Martinez.

Once the presentation is complete this afternoon we will have time for questions, of course.  Please identify yourself and try to limit yourselves to one question with one follow-up.  Do your best.  I know that's hard, three four in a row.  Please try and keep it to one if you can and then a follow-up if you can.  It'll just be easier on our -- on our briefers today.

And with that, I will turn it over to Vice Admiral Hill for his opening remarks and we'll get started.

VICE ADMIRAL JON A. HILL:  Okay, yeah.  Great.  Thanks, Mark, and good afternoon.  Thanks for the time today.  I'm really here to represent our team.  We call ourselves a stellar team with a noble mission.  You wake up every morning, and if you work for the Missile Defense Agency, you know exactly what you're focused on.  And what we're focused on today is dealing with a very formidable and evolving threat.  And so, every penny that we're spending in the '23 budget is focused on how we deal with those threats across a multiple of, you know, set of -- of interesting scenarios.

So, we're -- we're going to talk to you about where those investment areas are, and I'm going to turn it over to our great comptroller, Ms. Dee Dee Martinez.  Dee Dee?

COMPTROLLER DEE DEE MARTINEZ:  Thank you, Admiral.  Good afternoon everyone.  I appreciate the opportunity to brief you today on the Missile Defense Agency's F.Y. '23 budget request.  Next chart please.

In 2004, the United States activated the Ballistic Missile Defense System for the first time to defend the U.S. homeland against limited ballistic missile attack from nations such as North Korea and Iran.  Since then, the threats posed by both ballistic and non-ballistic missile systems have increased in both numbers and complexity.

The missile defense system that the nation has deployed today addresses the current missile threat and consists of a robust sensor network ground-based interceptors for homeland defense.  And for regional defense, we have interceptors deployed on Aegis ships at Aegis Ashore in Romania and in THAAD and Patriot batteries deployed worldwide.  These assets are all linked together by our Command and Control, Battle Management and Communications, or C2BMC System.  However, the threat is changing at a rapid pace, and we must continue to invest in system upgrades and new technology to keep pace.

Ballistic missiles are now more sophisticated and numerous.  They are becoming more mobile, survivable, reliable, and accurate, and can achieve longer ranges.  New ballistic missile systems also feature multiple and maneuverable reentry vehicles along with decoys and jamming devices.

The homeland must also defend -- be defended from cruise missile attacks.  The cruise missile threat is also increasing in sophistication and lethality.  Cruise missiles follow unpredictable flight paths and are now capable of supersonic and hypersonic speeds.  Russia and China are developing advanced cruise missiles that can be launched from aircraft, ground launchers, and ships or submarines, along with hypersonic missile capabilities.

Hypersonic missiles pose a new challenge to our missile defense systems.  These threats can travel at exceptional speeds and unpredictable flight paths.  The development and deployment of missile defense systems to counter these advanced threats presents unique, but surmountable challenges, which require further development and technology investments.  As I will highlight, the Missile Defense Agency's F.Y. '23 budget request includes key investments to address these challenges.  Next chart please.

The Missile Defense Agency mission is to develop and deploy a layered missile defense system to defend the United States, its deployed forces, allies, and friends from missile attacks in all phases of flight.  As I've discussed, the need to invest in new capability development and advanced technologies to improve our missile defense systems is critical.  We must also continue to operate and maintain our fielded systems to the highest level of system readiness and reliability, and continue to produce and field missile defense capacity, including delivery of additional interceptors and radars.  The balance between current and future capability is required to meet more fighter demand, and our F.Y. '23 budget request reflects this commitment.  Next chart please.

Our total request of $9.6 billion in F.Y. '23 strengthens and expands the deployment of defenses against increasingly capable missile threats.  Our request -- of our request, $7.9 billion or 82 percent of our budget is for research and development efforts.  This budget reflects the best balance of resources to priorities and program risk.  Next chart please.

The next few charts will go over the details of our F.Y. '23 request, but first, here are a few of the highlights.  As with every budget request, our F.Y. '23 request maintains the operations and readiness of deployed missile defense systems to include our sensor network, homeland and regional interceptors, and C2BMC system.

In F.Y. '23, we will launch two prototype hypersonic and ballistic tracking space sensors for on-orbit experimentations in conjunction with the U.S. Space Force and the Space Development Agency.  We continue to fund two Next-Generation Interceptor industry teams through the critical design review.  We awarded two contracts last year for this important homeland defense program, and development is ramping up in F.Y. '23.  We also continue the GMD Service Life Extension Program for GBIs to increase system reliability prior to NGI fielding.  I spoke earlier of the hypersonic threat, and this budget continues development of a regional hypersonic defense glide phase intercept capability to address that threat.

We are continuing efforts to improve the defense of Guam against the full spectrum of advanced regional missile threats.  This request also continues production and fielding of missile defense capability and production of additional SM-3 Block IB and IIA missiles for the Navy and THAAD interceptors for the Army.

The next set of charts will address some of the specific budget line items in our F.Y. '23 budget request.  The charts are in order of the missile defense system battle sequence:  detect, control, and engage.  Next chart please.

MDA initiated the Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor, or HBTSS program, in 2018 to address the requirement to detect and track hypersonic threats and ballistic missiles.  MDA is collaborating with the U.S. Space Force and the Space Development Agency to deploy a system that will provide a rapid capability using mature technology and operate as an element within the larger Unified Overhead Persistent Infrared Enterprise Architecture.  The program will provide fire control quality tracking data on hypersonic threats for handover to missile defense sensors and engagement by missile defense weapons.

The F.Y. '23 request for HBTSS is $89 million and will support the deployment of two satellites in F.Y. '23 with on-orbit experimentations to follow.  The Space-Based Kill Assessment, or SKA sensors were launched, and an on-orbit checkout was completed in 2019.  The SKA sensors have performed successfully during several recent MDA flight tests further demonstrating the hit assessment capability to the warfighter.

The SKA request is $27 million to continue integration of this capability into the MDS.  We are developing, deploying, and sustaining ground-based radars to counter current and future missile threats, build warfighter confidence, and increase force structure.  Our F.Y. '23 request includes $504 million to upgrade and sustain the 12 TPY-2 radars with the 13th radar being procured with F.Y. '21 funds from Congress.

$75 million for the Long-Range Discrimination Radar, or LRDR, in Alaska.  This advanced radar achieved initial fielding in December of 2021 and is a critical mid-course sensor that improves missile defense system threat discrimination capability and also allows for a more efficient use of the ground-based mid-course defense system.  $165 million for the Sea-Based X-Band Radar, or SBX, to provide precision mid-course tracking and threat discrimination to protect our homeland.

Our F.Y. '23 request continues operations and support for this critical radar.  $20 million to sustain and provide updates to the Upgraded Early Warning Radars, or UEWRs, and continue to sustain the Cobra Dane radar in partnership with the U.S. Air Force.

C2BMC is the integrating element of our missile defense system.  Our F.Y. '23 request of $569 million sustains the fielded C2BMC capability across 18 time zones with hardened networks supporting all of the combatant commands.  Our request also integrates new capabilities such as the recently fielded LRDR into the C2BMC system.  Next chart please.

The Department is committed to improving U.S. homeland missile defenses.  The Ground-Based Mid-Course Defense System, or GMD, serves as the continuously available homeland missile defense capability for defending against today's rogue state ballistic missile threats.  The request for GMD is $2.8 billion.  The request sustains and improves the performance, reliability, availability and cybersecurity resiliency of the GMD weapon system throughout the fighter the FYDP.

The request upgrades homeland defense system capabilities, including ground-based interceptors, ground systems, and phased array GBI communication terminal kits, and improved components of the agency's GMD system, including GBIs, fire control nodes, communication systems, launch systems, and infrastructure to pace rogue nation threats to the homeland, and initiates ground weapon system capability improvements to integrate NGI.

The request continues funding for two NGI industry teams through the critical design review.  This plan reduces technical risk in meeting common requirements and advanced threats, secures competitive production pricing, and creates incentives for early delivery to the warfighter, which is one of their top priorities.  The NGI development will provide a more capable, robust, all-up round solution to meet the emerging threat, improve system survivability, and increase performance against projected threats from rogue states.

The Aegis missile defense request is $1.6 billion and continues to upgrade the Aegis weapon system and procure additional missiles.  47 Aegis SM-3 Block IB missiles and 10 SM-3 Block IIA missiles will be procured for deployment on land at the two Aegis Ashore sites in Europe and at sea on multi-mission capable Aegis ships.  Our request continues the multiyear procurement for the SM-3 Block IB missile.  We will continue to develop and implement Aegis weapon system upgrades to support the Navy's newest destroyers with the new SPY-6 radar, as well as upgrade sensors on the older ships in the Aegis fleet.

The THAAD weapon system is a globally transportable ground-based missile defense system, which is highly effective against short-range, medium-range, and intermediate-range threats.  As you know, the UAE has acquired THAAD batteries through foreign military sales and recently had the first successful combat engagements of the system.  The F.Y. '23 THAAD request is $422 million.

In F.Y. '23, we will procure three THAAD interceptors while increasing obsolescence and stockpile reliability to extend in-service interceptor life.  We will also continue development and integration of multiple THAAD software builds to improve readiness, reliability, and availability, and enhanced capability against global operational threats, address the evolving threat, improve the warfighters defense planning, and improve system capabilities.

Our F.Y. '23 budget request includes funding to continue testing of THAAD and Patriot interoperability, to improve the overall missile defense capability, and increase the defended area.  FTT-25 is a key F.Y. '23 test of this capability.

Current forces are capable of defending Guam against today's North Korean ballistic missile threats.  However, the regional threat to Guam, including from China continues to rapidly evolve.  At the request of INDOPACOM, the F.Y. '22 budget included funds to begin system architecture work and procurement for enhanced defense of Guam.

The architecture has now been finalized and includes a combination of integrated MDA, Army, and Navy components.  The F.Y. '23 MDA request for defense of Guam is $539 million and continues the architecture work, but also provides funds for design and development of multiple land-based radar systems, procurement of weapon system components, and initiates MILCON planning and design activities.  Next chart please.

As always, we are looking to develop new technologies to keep pace with the threat.  Our F.Y. '23 budget request includes $39 million to continue our innovation, science and technology program to explore leap ahead and disruptive technologies, and also develop emerging capabilities to enhance our missile defenses.  We are requesting $563 million for systems engineering to continue to provide critical products and processes needed to combine element missile defense capabilities into a single, integrated, and layered system.  Testing is a critical aspect of the Missile Defense Agency mission.  Validating system performance through flight and ground test is paramount to building more fighter confidence in our system.

To that end, our F.Y. '23 request includes $361 million for flight, ground, and cybersecurity testing, and $560 million for development of threat representative targets used during testing.  F.Y. '23 test highlights include FTG-12, a GMD test of a GBI in two-stage mode, and a THAAD Patriot MSE interoperability test, FTT-25.

We are continuing to develop and deliver a regional hypersonic defense capability to the warfighter.  We are developing a glide phase intercept capability for future demonstration, leveraging our existing missile defense systems.  The request for hypersonic defense is $225 million.  Our F.Y. '23 request includes $11 million to continue to develop the system's architecture and to conduct a demonstration for cruise missile defense capabilities using the joint tactical integrated fire control capability.  This is in response to U.S. NORTHCOM's requirements for cruise missile defense of the homeland.

MDA and the Israel Missile Defense Organization continue to cooperate on engineering, development, co-production, testing, and fielding of the Israeli missile defense systems.  The F.Y. '23 request of $500 million remains consistent with the Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and Israel.  Next chart please.

In summary, we are requesting $9.6 billion in F.Y. '23.  Our request aligns with Department priorities to defend the homeland and deter attacks.  This budget will continue to increase the readiness, capability, and capacity of fielded homeland, and regional missile defense systems.  It also invests in advanced technology and development to counter the expanding threat.

The F.Y. '23 request launches prototype hypersonic and ballistic tracking space sensors for an on-orbit experiment in conjunction with the U.S. Space Force and SDA, continues development of the Next-Generation Interceptor, procures SM-3 Block IB and IIA missiles and THAAD interceptors for our warfighters, continues to execute a robust and aggressive test program, continues development of hypersonic defenses, including regional Glide Phase Interceptor development, and continues to enhance defense of Guam in coordination with the services and INDOPACOM.

Thank you.  The admiral and I will now take a few questions.

Q:  (Inaudible).

Q:  So, the Army and Navy elements, can you say if that includes Aegis Ashore or what elements there are?  But if it does include Aegis Ashore, who would be manning it, the Navy or the Army?

ADM. HILL:  Great, great question.  The architecture on Guam will be a mix of those systems, so think of that as MDA systems, Army systems, and Navy systems.  It will not be an Aegis Ashore.  Think of it as a distributed system because we do -- we're going to respond to the number one requirement of 360-degree coverage against ballistic crews and hypersonic threats.

Q:  Just a follow-up, and so Army would be Patriot, THAAD -- I said Patriot - Navy would be THAAD, Navy would be SM-6 or --

ADM. HILL:  So, MDA would be the ballistic missile portion of Aegis.  We work that in coordination with the Navy.  So, for procurement of some of those equipment suites that you would need, that's our coordination with the Navy.  It will include SM-3 missiles, SM-6 missiles.  And then Army will be connecting to them through their IBCS system.

So THAAD will right now stay on the island.  The current architecture right now is Aegis ships and THAAD, so we're going to build upon that architecture, leveraging Aegis command and control weapons, IBCS command and control weapons.

STAFF:  Jen, please?

Q:  Just to -- to pile on that, would using the mid-range capability missile as the launcher be something that you would consider down the road?  And also, what about certain things like Army -- Army's radar, the LTAMDS radar that should be coming online?

ADM. HILL:  Yeah, absolutely.

Q:  How are you looking at incorporating those future capabilities?

ADM. HILL:  Yeah, we assessed all of those areas, particularly the ones that were the most mature and the most capable today across those mission sets.  So -- so you will see a heavy interest in mobile -- mobile launchers, so when we talk about distributed systems, it is about being as mobile as possible, so you're going to see a distributed system that is mobile.

STAFF:  Tony.

Q:  I'm going to span a globe a -- globe a little bit -- span the globe a little bit.

ADM. HILL:  Sure.

Q:  The Polish Aegis Ashore system, given that you're topical four years late, is it going to get -- is it going to be operational this year?

ADM. HILL:  Yeah, it -- it -- it's -- it's tracking along really well.  You know, where we were, I think, over the last two to three years, the issue has been with the construction side of it.  It's -- it's like shipbuilding.  If you're -- if you're late on the -- the ship, you're going to be late on getting the combat system installed and tested.  We, in very close coordination with the Army Corps, have -- have gotten to the point where we've got a very predictable schedule now.  So, we've got the arrays in place.

All of the Aegis equipment for the warfighting capability to shore now installed.  It's all in place.  And we start our testing at campaign on the combat system coming up this next month.

Q:  When is it you think it may be considered fully operational - your version of the F.U.E?

ADM. HILL:  Yeah.  So, I -- I typically like to do that when we don't have, you know, that confident schedule, you know, in the rear-view mirror.  That's kind of a new thing.  Plus, we have a lot of wickets to go through.  There's going to be the technical capability declaration on the MDA side, and we have to do Navy acceptance, then we do European Command acceptance, and then NATO acceptance.  So, all of those have their own schedules.  We're -- we're working very closely across all those entities so that we can get there as soon as we can.

Q:  Okay – a North Korea question.  I'm not going to ask you whether the -- the launch last week was an indication of an ICBM, but I do want to ask you this.  What is your assessment?  As the man whose agency is in charge of the missiles to defend the United States, what's your assessment of North Korea's countermeasures capability at this point?  It's always been a sticking point with the arms control community.

ADM. HILL:  Yeah.  So -- so I'm not in charge of that capability.  Once it's deployed, we certainly develop it and we provide it to the services to meet the combatant command's set of requirements.  You're really asking more of an intel question, but I would say that they were advancing.  And that's what you're seeing around the globe.  You know, you said you -- you're going to walk around the globe here.  I tell you the -- the evolving threat is coming from many axes, and it's coming in all forms, whether it's air launch, submarine launch, a ballistic launch, cruise missile launch, hypersonic.  That's what we're dealing with as a department along with our allies and partners.  It's -- it's a tough place to be.  But I -- I would say that enough of that technology is proliferating to where we have to address it.

Q:  But North Korea, they're advancing in their countermeasure's capability over the last two or three years or --?

ADM. HILL:  That's a better question for the intel community.  I can give you a qualitative answer, but I'm not going to talk about details here.

Q:  Okay, I want to skip then.  On the -- General Selva, Vice Chief of Staff a few years -- oh, in 2019, as he was leaving --

ADM. HILL:  Yeah.

Q:  -- said North Korea has not perfected a reentry vehicle, the Army guidance and timing that a nuclear weapon would have to have on ICBM nor that could let the -- the RV that would be able to carry the warhead.  Fast-forward three years, is that still the case?  Because the world is fixated on the range of the -- of the missile, but not the -- the tip of the spear, so to speak.

ADM. HILL:  Right, the -- the Vice Chairman, at the time, I -- I think gave a very fair assessment that was based and rooted in the intelligence that we had at the time.  And you remember there was a pause in testing, right?  So -- so now -- now they're testing again, so they are making progress.  But in terms of details of re-entry and survivability, I can't really speak to that today more of an intel question.

Q:  Okay, thank you.

STAFF:  Let's -- (inaudible) out there.  Let's go to the Zoom line and ask Jason Sherman to go ahead and field his question.  Jason, are you there?

SHERMAN:  Yes.  I have a question about the -- the Guam Defense System and also the Missile Defense Review.

Admiral, your budget is seeking $539 million dollars.  DOD says the total amount is $892 million.  Can you tell us where the balance of those funds would be?  And also, that INDOPACOM had been very vocal about needing that capability by 2026.  Does this budget, you know, keep the Department on track to deliver a -- an Aegis -- well, a new air missile defense system to the island by 2026?

ADM. HILL:  Jason, thank.  Great, great question.  I would say that the work that the Department has done over the last couple years working very closely with INDOPACOM, you know, in terms of leaning forward even in the '22 budget, we laid down where we would prioritize - not knowing what the final architecture would be, which is really in the -- in the '23 budget.  It's -- it's what we discussed a little bit earlier today.  So, we're going to do everything that we can to meet that time line.

You know, the -- the requirement from the combatant command is clear.  Timeline's clear, which is why we went with the more mature technologies.  And I'm not talking a lot about new things here today.  We're going to leverage what we have with Aegis fire control, what we have with IBCS, where we are with SM-3 missiles, SM-6, sea-based terminal, and then Patriot.  So, I think we're on a good path.

It's going to be hard though. If you're asking me what the hardest things are in the Missile Defense Agency.  I would say we've got to keep NGI on track.  We're doing very well with the GBIs in the ground today.  We have the service life extension program, which will keep those missiles around for a long time.

We just emplaced one of the refurb missiles, which is great.  We're getting ready to emplace the second one.  I would have -- I told you it was done today, but we have some wind issues up there now.  So, we're -- we're rock solid there.  That is the focus of this agency:  homeland ballistic missile defense.  And when I think about level of difficulty, it will be Guam.

We just had a team return.  You probably know that there's a small percentage of the land that is available for us to land this -- this capability, so we're going to stay very close to the Joint Regional Command there for land allocations and siting.  And when you think about mobility, that means a lot of gear going on to the land.  And so right now, it's just moving as fast as we can with the most mature technology, prioritize those things that we need to buy now, prioritize those engineering studies to -- to integrate and pull them together.  And we're going to -- we're going to get pretty dog on close to that time line.

But I will know more, once we finish the -- the work that we have to do in the architecture and the actual footprint and where things are going to go.  So that -- that is work that's in front of us.  And so, I can't say date certain we're going to hit that timeline, but I can say we're pointing to it, and we've got everything aligned to get there.

STAFF:  Thank you, Jason.

Yes, ma'am, go ahead.

Q:  -- do you see the --

Q:  (Inaudible) with Breaking Defense, thank you for doing this, sir.

ADM. HILL:  (Inaudible).

Q:  My question is on HBTSS, and you -- you're showing that you're going to launch in the second quarter of F.Y. '23 the two prototypes.  Can you talk a little bit about what happens then, like when a decision is made and who -- who is -- is the Space Force going to operate these?  And so, what's the timeline for making a decision about whether you go forward with an actual program?

ADM. HILL:  (Inaudible).  Thank you.  So, I'll -- I'll spell out the acronym first though so we -- we understand what we're talking about here.  Hypersonic Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor, so it is a sensor that we're in close coordination with Space Development Agency and the Space Force to work it into their overall OPIR enterprise.  So that will be the big decision for us after '23.  We're going to have data available in '23 just like many of the other systems that were discussed today, and then the decisions be made to -- to go forward to proliferate.

Right now, going to '23 is taking what we've done on the ground.  We really worked hard to de-risk the program.  So, you've probably heard me talk about some of the ground testing we have done where we have pulled the hot targets off of the warm earth, and that is not easy.  But the companies have performed very well, and we're going to take them into space in -- into that environment, and we're going to pull that data down.  We're going to put it in the fire control loop.  And -- and if we prove to ourselves that this is worth doing then we'll proliferate, but that will be done as part of the larger OPIR enterprise.

Q:  And that will be done then at the end of '23?

ADM. HILL:  That time line is pretty, pretty decent for what we can assume.  It's -- but yeah, we -- we should have data coming down, you know, in the summer '23 or so, and we'll be able to help the Space Force make decisions.  To answer your -- your first question, the Space Force will operate the system.

Q:  Thank you.

ADM. HILL:  Yes, ma'am.  Thank you.

STAFF:  Yes, ma'am.

Q:  Thank you, (inaudible) Korea.  Currently, 28,000 U.S. troops in South Korea (inaudible) withdraw or increase of U.S. troops in South Korea has any defense budget changes for '23?

ADM. HILL:  Oh, great question, and I wish I could answer it.  I -- I don't -- don't really know about the troop withdrawal and any offsets in the budget.  I -- it's - -it has no impact on what we're doing as a development agency of capability.  Thank you.

STAFF:  Yes, sir?

Q:  Andrew Eversden with Breaking Defense.  Thanks for doing this.

ADM. HILL:  Thank you.

Q:  Your F.Y. '23 MILCON budget request is $47 million and then your F.Y. '24 is $501 million.  What -- what investments are you making there that accounts for that $450 million dollar increase?

ADM. HILL:  Yeah, that -- that would be the MILCON for Guam is -- is that right Dee Dee?

MS. MARTINEZ:  Actually, I believe it’s the ground test facility infrastructure project, as well as Guam.

ADM. HILL:  Okay.

Q:  Thanks.

ADM. HILL:  All right.  So one of the things we're doing to ensure we can do end-to-end testing…and this is hard.  I -- I grew up in a world where we all wanted to do high-speed end-to-end testing, meaning that you've got a good characterization of the environment, good digital characterization, the radar characterization, the combat control characterization (inaudible), and have it all as a string to where we can do thousands of runs and test the full requirement space in the world that we live in today where we're sneakernetting, you know, data between different systems that are located around.  We're trying to co-locate everything, and that's -- that's what that's about.

Thank you, Dee Dee.

STAFF:  Please.

Q:  Just on the Guam architecture again, how does the architecture deal with the issue of cruise missiles?  Say like a -- a swarm attack by (inaudible)?

ADM. HILL:  Right, great question.  That's one of the reasons why we have a heavy leverage on IBCS.  They -- they bring in cruise missile capability.  And then we have -- the way we're going to disperse for our detection capability in our networking is how we're going to deal with them.

Q:  On the interceptor side though, is there any particular ones that's -- that's useful for that?

ADM. HILL:  So, Patriots got a fabulous capability for that, and that's -- that's our -- our first focus area, and we have the ability within Aegis to enable that.  But right now, we are doing ballistic missile hypersonic on the Aegis part of that overall integrated architecture, and then the cruise missile piece will be with the Army systems.

Q:  (Inaudible) in here, can I have a follow-up?

Q:  (Inaudible) the operational impact if you successfully can demonstrate Fed Patriot MSE integration.  You've done --

ADM. HILL:  Yeah.

Q:  -- a couple tests.  I think you have one going on.  What's the operational impact to like the U.S. forces in Korea -- South Korean forces if this -- this plays out?

ADM. HILL:  Yeah, I'm -- I'm really excited about this one.  I would say it's more interoperability, but it does require you to integrate those systems.  So, for instance, the -- the current test campaign that we're in now allows the THAAD battery to control a Patriot launcher.  What that provides the combatant command is flexibility, right?  So the first test we did was to separate the launchers, right?  So, we want to do is to give flexibility again, right?

Where you placed your launchers really matters, right?  So, if you need to worry about the ports to the south, then you have the ability to -- to do that.  If you want to move the THAAD battery back and -- and, you know, I want to be careful on -- on -- on getting in front of the combatant command, what they will do -- It just gives them that flexibility, the ability to control the Patriot missile using a THAAD radar, more flexibility.  So that's -- that's really what we're doing, and -- and it's based on very discrete requirements coming from INDOPACOM.

Q:  Again, (inaudible) THAAD, the radar can see much farther --

ADM. HILL:  Yes.

Q:  -- than the discrimination.

ADM. HILL:  Absolutely.  And you can take advantage of the kinematics of the Patriot and the MSE missile.  That -- that's what allows you to do.

Q:  Well, I got here, can you preview FTG-12, this two-stage selectable GBI test?  Yeah, that will be all interesting when it happens, but translate what it is.

ADM. HILL:  So -- so we did a boost vehicle test recently.  What that was is -- is really, let's just make sure we -- we can do the two -- three-stage capability.  What that means is you don't burn the third stage, so it allows you to handle targets that are coming over, right?  So it closes battle space up, right?  So, we're shooting out far normally.  And just like we do with Aegis and other staged missiles, if you don't fire the last stage, that allows you to really take care of the fuller battle space.

Q:  The ones coming closer to the United States or the ones --

ADM. HILL:  Right.

Q:  -- that get farther out?

ADM. HILL:  It gives you a really more of a shoot-loop-shoot capability as -- as they come in, so you shoot them far, then you shoot them in closer by controlling the staging and -- and the burn.  You can shoot those ones that are closer.

Q:  Okay, thanks.

ADM. HILL:  Yeah, helps you (inaudible).

STAFF:  Jen, please?

Q:  Just to follow up on the Aegis Ashore system in Poland, I know that it was somewhat over budget in previous budget briefings.  How over budget has the Aegis Ashore system gotten in this process in Poland?

ADM. HILL:  Dee, can you -- what was the number of '23?

Q:  So, in '23 we have $30 million in procurement for -- this is all of Aegis Ashore to include Romania and the test site at PMRF, $30 million procurement and $28 million for RDT&E, so $58 million in total.

ADM. HILL:  Yeah, so -- so that's -- and -- and so some portion of that is Poland.  We -- we can break that out for you in -- in another venue.  But, you know --

Q:  Okay, yeah.  I just like to get a sense of --

ADM. HILL:  Yeah.

Q:  -- what was predicted before all of this --

ADM. HILL:  Right.

Q:  -- where we are now.

ADM. HILL:  It's -- it's -- it is very frustrating, but I tell you, the partnership with the Army Corps has been great.  And with the -- the team that's out there doing that construction, again, we're on a predictable schedule now.  All the equipment's in place.  We start robust testing here in April, and we're really excited about that.

I was pretty stoked when we got the arrays in place because that was a forcing function on construction.  But now that we have the equipment in place, the sailors are -- are onboard now because we -- we completed the water supply building.  So, you've got the -- the operational team there.  You've got the security team there.  It's about going to testing now with operators on console, so that's a great place to be.

Q:  And just -- just to follow-up -- it's like a follow-up question.  What's the timing for the glide phase interceptor for hypersonic defense?  I know that you said that it was a little bit in limbo, you know, as we head into this budgeting process.  But can you provide any more fidelity on that?

ADM. HILL:  Yeah, you know, I thought long and hard about how you give a range of time, you know, that's -- that's in the future, particularly when you're -- where we are in GPI, which is we have three and we've taken a -- other transaction authority approach so that we can bring in the best of what industry has to offer.  So, we're evaluating those proposals now.

So, it -- I'm not ready to say, you know, what -- what the end state will look like or what that end game will look like.  We know we can move quickly.  We know the propulsion capability to get there is just operating in a different environment, so it's all about the front end.  And so we -- we have to do more work.  We're not even at a system requirements review yet so, you know, stating a date certain is really hard at this point, but we can move quickly once we finish our evaluation and get into the formal development.

Q:  Okay.

STAFF:  Tony, you got a follow-up?

Q:  On the -- the Polish side, The John Wood Company, the United Kingdom Group --

ADM. HILL:  (Inaudible).

Q:  -- have they been paid?  They weren't -- as of like last year, they hadn't been paid for quite a while because of the -- their work was less than optimal.  Can you check -- and I don't expect you to know something.  Can you check to see whether you've resumed payments for the company?

ADM. HILL:  We've -- we -- we have started to do that.  That was part of -- when I say this great coordination with the Army Corps is that we've been able to use some of those funds to -- to stimulate and keep -- keep the company moving.  So we're -- so, by the way, their -- their work has always been high quality, right?  So -- so we're very satisfied with that, and that's a good thing.  It was just running slow because there's just a lot of complexity with a fully automated system like that, and that's what we're coming through now.

So again, when we go into testing here in April, that's a very positive sign because typically when you get to an Aegis light off on a ship, you -- you are in the end game.  And so, we're there.

Q:  Are you concerned if Russians are going to misinterpret this?  Remember, this is for Iran -- Iranian missiles --

ADM. HILL:  Sure.

Q:  -- but it's always -- given the environment now, is your messaging going to have to ratchet up to reinforce what this thing is supposed to stop?

ADM. HILL:  Yeah, so it's going to -- it's -- it's really policy and EUCOM messaging.  You know, I know exactly what the technical capability is, and I -- I think a lot of the statements that are made are -- are just there to get folks spun up.  I mean, you -- you know what the capability of SM-3 Block IIA is.  It is not meant to go after strategic capabilities like Russia would bring.  Yes, sir, thank you.

Q:  Hey, Mark --

STAFF:  Luis, please?

Q:  -- sir, Secretary Austin recently postponed an ICBM Minuteman III test because he didn't want any miscalculations on the part of the Russians.  I mean, have you been receiving any guidance that any future testing that you may do this year -- I don't know if you have anything schedules but, would -- would that -- if this drags on, could it impact your testing given, you know --

ADM. HILL:  Yeah, so it's a (inaudible) question.  It has in the past, all right?  So -- so what we do is we make sure we're coordinating very closely with the combatant command in that region where we happen to be -- happen to be doing our testing.  I make sure I -- I run that write-up to the National Military Command, and we're doing the same thing with the current test campaign that we're in right now, particularly the political military side.  It is fair for the Secretary of Defense to make those sorts of decisions because of the world that we live in, and so we're open to that.

And so, part of our test planning includes over communicating on what we're doing.  And, you know, I'm not the expert on saying if it's going to have a policy impact or if it's going to have some concern around the globe.  So if I'm told to -- to back off or delay or change, we will do that.  It's just a normal -- normal part of doing this business.  I've been doing it for a long time, and sometimes you have to be -- you have to be -- we have to be concerned about political military concerns all the time.  And so, if we have to adjust, we'll adjust.

Q:  (Inaudible) then you’d slide to the right whatever --

ADM. HILL:  Yes.

Q:  -- program that you have.

ADM. HILL:  We've done that before, right?  So, it's not new.

STAFF:  (Inaudible).

Q:  On the cruise missile defense architecture that you spoke to, can you provide some more details on that?  It sounds like there's going to be a fire control demonstration, but what -- what is this -- where -- where is this architecture headed in terms of developing this?  Where are you going?

ADM. HILL:  It's -- it's a hard one.  We stay very close to NORAD and NORTHCOM on what their needs are and the driving requirements for the capability.  I would say that the trade space is still within the Department on how fast we're going to move against what defended assets and what critical assets.  So, there's a lot of homework to be done.  Our job is to lay down the technical architecture options and work that within the Department to see what we can do.

It is a real threat.  If you talk to General VanHerck, he is concerned about it that we stay very close to him.  And -- and -- and, of course, that we're working at the -- the Department.  You'll -- you'll see dollars in our budget to continue to work the architecture and those options.  That -- that's why the dollars are in the '22 budget.

Q:  (Inaudible)It’s not just in the capitol area, not just in Washington -

ADM. HILL:  It's -- it's a -- it's a broader threat problem for the United States writ large, and so that's -- that's what we're looking at.  We're looking at the bigger problem then you have to kind of narrow that down to -- to what the sites would be, and -- and then we -- we go from there.  But we're going to do a demonstration, you know, for some small area.  And so that's -- that's where we'll go.  We are defended today in the national capital region with the capabilities that we have.  It's about the evolving threat as it always is, and we want to make sure that we're ready for that.  Yes, sir?

STAFF:  And we're going to go to the -- back to Zoom line.  And, Jason Sherman, you have the honor of having the last question of the evening.  Please go ahead.

Q:  Please, thanks.  Admiral, I wonder if you could say if you see the Guam system as a one-off whether it's -- you know, or there's potential around the corner for that to be used in other parts of the world.  And I had a question also earlier about the Missile Defense Review.  Can you say how this budget you're proposing changes course in any way from what you had been doing -- the Department have been doing up until now as a result of the Missile Defense Review.

I don't see anything about layered homeland defense.  It seems to be gone.  Any other initiatives taken on or jettisoned in this budget as a result of the defense review?  Thank you.

ADM. HILL:  Well, Jason, thanks.  Well, you know, the Missile Defense Review hasn't been released yet, so I -- I can't really speak to it.  It's more of a policy document.  Anyways, it's -- it's not -- I mean, I -- I participate in the -- in the crafting of it.  But in the end, it'll be policy in the Department that releases that review.  I don't see any big swings.  It's still always about integrated deterrence and having a credible defense as a part of that.  So, I'm -- I'm not seeing any -- any big swings there.

Now to answer your Guam question about it being a one-off, absolutely not.  I think that what we do on Guam will inform what we do for cruise missile defense of the homeland.  For example, we are using existing sensor technology.  We're going to tie in through command-and-control battle management into space assets and other sensing capability to have our (inaudible) track there.  So that we're going to be using, you know, different launching systems and different missile capabilities that exist today that are in a constant state of evolution.  So, I think we're going to deliver a really great capability on Guam.  And absolutely, it will be extensible.  It's not a one-off.

What makes it may feel like that is if you've ever been on Guam, the topology of the island -- and Mark loves it when I use big words like topology.  It is a tough place.  So, you know, an Aegis Ashore site is limited in what it can do because of the -- the rise and the fall of the hills.  And, you know, you got radar, you know, it's not a flat earth, and it's certainly not flat on Guam.

So, we've done some really incredible work and analysis over the last couple years.  And by dispersing the systems and, you know, making sure everything's networked, we're going to do something great there and it will be extensible to other areas as the Department needs it to be.

Q:  Thank you.

STAFF:  And that brings us to the end of our time for today, guys.  Thank you all so much for sticking around so late and for your interest in missile defense.  Thanks again and have a great night.

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