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Missile Defense Agency Officials Hold a Press Briefing on President Biden's Fiscal 2024 Missile Defense Budget

STAFF: Hey. Thank you for coming to the Missile Defense Agency's briefing on our portion of the president's budget for fiscal year '24. Appreciate your attendance today after a pretty long day of briefings and I'm glad to be talking to you in the early afternoon rather than the early evening as we have in the past.

I'm Mark Wright, Public Affairs Officer for the Missile Defense Agency. Let me introduce you to your speakers today on your -- on your right; Ms. Michelle Atkinson, she is the Director for Operations for the Missile Defense Agency.

And to her right is Vice Admiral John Hill, the Director of the Missile Defense Agency. They'll give an opening statement. We'll go through some slides for you and give you some additional information. You all should have picked up an MDA packet with information from OSDPA and the Press Office Center.

If you didn't, make sure you grab one on the way out. When the Q&A begins, please wait for me to call on you and please identify yourself in your outlet when I do so and limit it to one question and one follow-up so I can try and make sure we get a pretty good crowd today.

I want to make sure we get as many people as possible a chance to ask their questions. And if we do this right, you should have about 15 to 20 minutes of Q&A after the presentation is complete.

Again, thank you for coming today. Admiral.

VICE ADMIRAL JON A. HILL: Hey, good afternoon. Thanks for the opportunity to tell you about the PB24 budget for the Missile Defense Agency. I am going to turn it over to Ms. Atkinson, our Director for Operations. She owns budget facilities and people. So the right person to take you through the story. So over to you, Michelle.

MICHELLE C. ATKINSON: Thank you, Admiral. Good afternoon, everyone. Today I will brief you on the Missile Defense Agency's fiscal year '24 budget request. Next chart, please.

In 2004, the United States activated the Ballistic Missile Defense System to defend the U.S. homeland against limited ballistic missile attack from nations such as North Korea and Iran. Since then, missile threats have increased in numbers and complexity and are becoming more reliable, survivable, reliable, and accurate and can achieve longer ranges. New ballistic missiles systems also feature multiple and maneuverable reentry vehicles along with decoys and jamming devices.

North Korea is developing long range ballistic missile systems that can reach the United States and our allies in the Indo-Pacific region. North Korea has also tested shorter range missiles that maneuver within the atmosphere. Iran continues to develop more sophisticated missiles with improved accuracy, range and lethality, and is fielding an array of increasingly accurate short and medium range ballistic missile systems capable of threatening deployed U.S. forces, allies and partners in the Middle East.

North Korea and Iran remain persistent threats, but today the national defense strategy views China as the pacing challenge and Russia as an acute threat to U.S. national security interests.

Russia and the PRC are developing advanced missiles that can be launched from aircraft, ground launchers, ships and submarines, including hypersonic missile capabilities. Hypersonic missiles pose a new challenge to our missile defense systems. These threats can travel at exceptional speeds and have unpredictable flight paths that make them difficult to track.

The development and deployment of missile defense systems to counter these threats presents unique but surmountable challenges, which require further development and technology investments.

As I will highlight today, the Missile Defense Agency's F.Y. '24 budget request includes key investments to innovate and modernize our nation's missile defenses 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. This mission remains unchanged as we continue to balance investments to defend the homeland and provide regional missile defenses to our war fighters. Next chart, please.

This slide depicts our missile defense system deployed today to address the current missile threat. Our systems must provide missile defense for our homeland, deployed forces, allies and friends in regional areas and for our deployed assets, such as ships.

Our integrated missile defense system is comprised of a robust sensor network that detects, tracks, and controls missile threats from both ground and space. Our war fighter systems and weapons then engage and negate those missile threats. The GMD system deployed our ground-based interceptors from Alaska and California. We also have interceptors deployed on Aegis ships at our Aegis ashore sits in Romania and soon Poland. And we have that and Patriot batteries deployed worldwide.

All of these assets are linked together by our Command and Control Battle Management and Communications or C2BMC system. The F.Y. '24 budget request continues to sustain this existing system and develop new technologies such as the next generation interceptor and regional hypersonic defense capabilities to counter the evolving threats. Next chart, please.

Our total F.Y. '24 budget request of $10.9 billion strengthens and expands the deployment of our missile defenses against increasingly-capable missile threats. Of our request, 80 percent is for research and development efforts. This budget reflects the best balance of resources to meet our many priorities and our mission. Next chart, please.

This slide shows the historical MDA budget and the PB '24 budget request. The upper right shows the balance between homeland and regional defense influenced by and aligned with the evolving threat, war fighter requirements, defense strategy and priorities. Next chart, please.

The next few charts will go over the details of our '24 request, but first here are a few highlights. Our F.Y. '24 request maintains the operations and readiness of deployed missile defense systems to include our sensor network, homeland and regional interceptors, and C2BMC system. It also continues to upgrade these existing systems. Later this year, we will launch to prototype hypersonic and ballistic tracking space sensors, and in F.Y. '24 we will begin on-orbit demonstrations and testing.

We also continue to sustain and upgrade the Ground-based Midcourse Defense, or GMD system, and continue service life extensions of the Ground-Based Interceptors currently deployed in Alaska and California in order to increase system reliability prior to the fielding of next generation interceptor.

The request continues to fund the development of two next-generation interceptor designs through the critical design review. In F.Y. '24 we will continue the development required to field the NGI capability no later than the F.Y. '28 timeframe.

I spoke earlier of the hypersonic threat. This budget request continues development of a regional hypersonic glide-based defense capability to compliment the deployed Aegis sea-based terminal capabilities.

In conjunction with INDOPACOM, the Army and the Navy, we are continuing development efforts to improve the defense of Guam against the full spectrum of advanced missile threats. This request also continues design, production, and fielding of additional Aegis ship upgrades and SM IB and IIA missiles in partnership with the Navy.

We will continue upgrades to the THAAD systems and procure interceptors to support the Army maneuver forces. We will also continue ground, cyber and flight testing to test and improve missile defense capabilities.

The next set of charts will address some of the specific budget line items in our F.Y. '24 budget request. The charts are in order of the missile defense battle sequence, detect, control and engage. Next chart, please.

Systems to detect and control missile threats are critical to a credible missile defense. We initiated the Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor or HBTSS program in 2018 to address the requirement to detect and tack hypersonic threats and ballistic missiles. The '24 budget request for HBTSS is $69 million. After launch later this year, on-orbit demonstration and testing will occur in F.Y. '24 to characterize and validate the HBTSS performance.

As I mentioned earlier, the threat posed by hypersonic missiles is significant in that they fly unpredictable paths at relatively low altitudes, making their detection and tracking by ground and sea-based radar sensors very challenging.

We are collaborating with the U.S. Space Force and the Space Development Agency to develop HBTSS as the only space sensor providing fire control quality data required to defeat advanced missile threats. The HBTSS will help us to maintain what we call birth to death custody to provide global and consistent fire control quality tracking data on hypersonic threats to enable engagement by our missile defense weapons systems.

The Space based Kill Assessment or SKA sensors were launched in 2019 and were designed to provide threat hit assessment. These sensors have performed successfully during several recent MDA flight tests, further demonstrating the hit assessment capability to the war fighter. The SKA request is $27 million to continue integration of this capability into the missile defense system. 

We are developing, deploying and sustaining ground and sea-based radars to counter current and future missile threats, build war fighter confidence, and increase force structure. 

Our F.Y. '24 budget request includes the following for missile defense sensors -- $568 million to sustain and design upgrades for 12 TPY-2 radars, with a 13th radar procured for the THAAD battery eight with F.Y. '21 funds from Congress, which we'll deliver in F.Y. '25.

$104 million for the Long Range Discrimination Radar, or LRDR, in Alaska. This advanced radar achieved initial fielding in December '21 and is a critical midcourse sensor that improves missile defense system threat discrimination capability and enables a more efficient use of the ground-based midcourse defense system. The LRDR will become part of the missile defense system operational capability baseline in F.Y. '24 and will be operated by the U.S. Space Force.

$178 million for the Sea-Based X-Band Radar, or SBX, to provide precision midcourse tracking and threat discrimination to protect our homeland. Our request continues operations and support for this critical sensor and continues radome replacement.

$22 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. Space Force.

C2BMC is the integrating element of our missile defense system. Our F.Y. '24 request of $516 million sustains the C2BMC planner, situational awareness, battle management, training and space domain awareness capabilities for combatant commands and the global missile defense network. The request also continues development and integration of space sensors and other upgrades to track, type, and warn of advancing threats.

Next chart please? The missile defense system includes complex weapons systems and interceptors to defeat the evolving missile threats. The Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, or GMD, serves as the continuously available missile defense capability for defending our homeland against today's rogue state ballistic missile threats. The request for GMD is $3.3 billion.

The F.Y. '24 request sustains and -- and improves the performance, reliability, availability and cybersecurity resiliency of the GMD weapons system. We will continue upgrades of the homeland defense system capabilities, including ground-based interceptors, ground systems, and phased array GBI communication terminals. We will continue improving components of the GMD system, including GBIs, fire control nodes, communication systems, launch systems, and infrastructure to pace threats to our homeland.

The Next Generation Interceptor, or NGI, will provide a more capable and robust missile solution and features a multiple kill vehicle payload, improves survivability, and increased performance against projected threats from North Korea and potentially Iran.

Our F.Y. '24 request continues development of two NGI designs through the Critical Design Review required for delivery no later than the F.Y. '28 timeframe. Our request continues NGI design, development, prototyping, integration and relevant environmental testing to mature the booster, payload, sensors, and design-specific critical technologies and technology elements.

Our F.Y. '24 request for the defense of Guam is $801 million. Current forces are capable of defending Guam against today's North Korean ballistic missile threats. However, the regional threat to Guam, including those from PRC, continues to rapidly evolve.

The defense of Guam architecture design includes integration of MDA, Army, and Navy systems. In F.Y. '22 and F.Y. '23, we began system architecture work and procurement for the enhanced defense of Guam. The MDA F.Y. '24 request includes the development of the AN/TPY-6 radar to provide persistent long range midcourse discrimination, precision tracking and hit assessment capabilities for long range missile threats.

Our F.Y. '24 request includes Aegis Guam System development and procurement of launch equipment and includes military construction planning and design funding for system siting.

The Aegis missile defense request is $1.6 billion and continues to upgrade the Aegis weapons system missile capabilities and procure additional missiles. 27 Aegis SM-3 block 1B missiles and 12 SM-3 block 2A missiles will be procured for deployment at sea on multi-mission-capable Aegis ships and on land at the two Aegis Ashore sites in Europe.

We will continue to upgrade sensors with software modifications in the Aegis fleet that will further improve AN/SPY-1 sensitivity tracking performance and resource utilization to increase capability and performance against longer range and more sophisticated threats. We will also continue to develop and install Aegis weapons system upgrades that integrate and -- and enhance missile defense capability for the SPY-6 radar and the Navy's newest Aegis destroyers.

The THAAD weapons system is a globally transportable, ground-based missile defense system, which is highly effective against short range, medium range, and intermediate range threats. The F.Y. '24 THAAD request is $400 million.

In F.Y. '24, we will procure 11 THAAD interceptors and increase stockpile reliability to extend end-service interceptor life. We will also continue development and integration of multiple THAAD software builds to improve readiness, reliability, availability and capability.

Our F.Y. '24 budget request will continue testing of THAAD and Patriot interoperability to increase the defended area. FTX-28 is a key F.Y. '24 test of this capability.

Next slide? As always, we are looking to develop new technologies to keep pace with the evolving threats. We are continuing to develop a regional hypersonic defense capability. We are developing a glide phase intercept capability for future demonstration and delivery.

This effort will develop a new interceptor and modify the existing Aegis weapons system to defeat hypersonic threats in the glide phase. The request for hypersonic defense is $209 million and F.Y. '24 efforts will focus on early risk reduction of critical technologies.

Our F.Y. '24 budget request includes $39 million to continue our innovation, science and technology program, to explore leap-ahead and disruptive technologies, and develop emerging capabilities to enhance our missile defenses.

We are requesting $552 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 Missile Defense Agency's mission. Validating system performance through flight and ground test is paramount to building warfighter confidence in our system. To that end, our F.Y. '24 request includes $346 million for flight, ground and cybersecurity testing and $517 million for development of threat representative targets used during the flight testing.

F.Y. '24 test highlights include FTG-12, a GMD test of a GBI in two stage mode, FTX-40, a -- an Aegis sea-based terminal test against a hypersonic threat, FTX-28, a THAAD-Patriot MSE interoperability test, and participation in the Pacific Dragon '24 international test campaign.

MDA and the Israeli Missile Defense Organization continue to partner on engineering, development, co-production, testing and fielding of the Israeli missile defense systems. The F.Y. '24 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 $10.9 billion in FY24. Our request aligns with the National Defense Strategy, the Missile Defense Review, and department priorities to defend our homeland and to deter attacks. 

This budget will continue to increase the readiness, capability and capacity of fielded homeland and regional defense systems and develop new capabilities and systems to meet emerging and complex missile threats. 

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention and thank the men and women of the Missile Defense Agency. Their dedication to our mission is second to none. Our nation, friends and allies are protected from today's missile threats because of the hard work of our civilian, military and contractor workforce.

Thank you. The admiral and I will now take some questions.

STAFF: Thanks, Michelle.

I'm sorry. Tara, please. 

Q: Hi. Thank you. Tara Copp with the Associated Press. I was noticing on the, I think it's the HBTSS, the tracking system, how is that different than what SDA is putting together? I don't understand where the two missions either come together or they're two different missions. And is there any redundancy there? And I have a follow-up.

ADM. HILL: It's a great question. Thanks, Tara. So, these space development agencies wide field of view, think of that as broad surveillance in their tracking layer. So, there is a difference when you go from early detect to tracking. So, we need to track globally, which is why we want to hand that tracking layer up.

The role of HBTSS is to take a cue from either ground sensors or the wide field of view to go to the smaller, medium field of view. So, think of that as now weapons control quality data. So, we go from broad tracking to now we need to put a weapon on, so you have to have a higher sensitivity. And that's what HBTSS does. 

Q: OK. And just a quick follow-up to that, though. I thought that that was also a capability that maybe Space Command or SDA was trying to do to integrate with their ground control. So, in general, are you working with them -

ADM. HILL: Yes, absolutely.

Q: -- to a -

ADM. HILL: Yes. We have a combined program office with the Space Force, SSC and SDA to ensure that we don't have redundancy or duplication. So, wide field of view different from medium field of view in HBTSS. But they do tie together, and we will proliferate through the Space Force. So, MDA will build the first two that we'll put up this year. We'll put them in an inclination to where we can take data from our tests in the INDOPACOM region and then the Space Force will then populate and build out the constellation. 

Great. Thank you.

STAFF: Jen, please.

Q: Hi, Jen Judson with Defense News. I wanted to ask about the Glide Phase Interceptor. Is current funding for GPI sufficient for fielding in the 2020s, or is it looking like that could put -- get pushed into the 2030s? And does this current GPI and hypersonic defense level of funding the result of any recent cuts in the budget development process?

ADM. HILL: Yes, thanks. Great question. And just to kind of put it in context for those who aren't tracking, we had a great question about the space capabilities. So, you can kind of think of that global capability, HBTSS, tied into the broader tracking area, bringing the data down through Command and Control Battle Management, the C2BM system, and then leveraging the capability of a need-to-ship to take off-board data and fuse that and get to a fire control solution. Today we do with sea-based terminal and that SM6 missiles. So, the terminal environment is a pretty tough environment and that's the initial layer that's deployed today that protects our aircraft carriers as they go forward. The Glide Phase Interceptor reaches up into the -- into the glide phase, so it gives you a broader area of defense and makes that terminal phase a little bit easier. 

Now in terms of timeline, we are in what we call the mission solution analysis phase. That is taking -- we have two OTA contracts with the industry today, so we're in a competitive environment. And what we're doing during this phase is determining, you know, what technologies do we need and how would bring that together as a weapon system that we call the Glide Phase Inceptor, leveraging off of that engage honor mode capability. The just timelines are always hard to tell, but I will tell you the budget supports a deployment, getting to that first article out there in the early '30s, to answer your question. Thanks, ma'am.

Q: OK. And then just to ask about the MILCON levels, they seem to be significantly higher this year and looks -- the projections look like they're going -- it's going to be much higher next year. Can you talk a little bit about what that covers? Is that -- is that Guam architecture? Is that something else? 

ADM. HILL: Michelle and I have an agreement, if it sounds like money I'm going to turn to her. Michelle?

MS. ATKINSON: Yes. So, each MILCON project is separate and distinct. And so, our FY24 budget request is for something called the Ground Test Consolidation Facility that we're building in Redstone Arsenal to consolidate all of our disparate ground test facilities right now. So, that's the FY24 request. The increased amount in FY25 is the Guam MILCOM.

Q: OK, that whole -- that whole amount in FY25 is for Guam?


Q: OK. OK, thank you.

STAFF: Tony. 

ADM. HILL: Hi, Tony. Yes, sir. Good to see you. 


Q: Hi, Tony Capaccio with Bloomberg. The Poland Aegis Ashore, can you give us a status report? And most importantly, there's going to be a lot of speculation that this is going to give Poland an air defense capability against Russia. Could you reality-check on that?

ADM. HILL: Sure. 

Q: And also, then a second question on SM-3s, but I'll first do this one. 

ADM. HILL: Sure. Yes, Aegis and Poland, we're really excited about where we are today. We completed construction, which was the major tip over into combat system installation and testing. That testing is going on now, as we speak. First step is to finish that up later this summer and into fall. And then we go through that normal acceptance by the CNO, then by the European Command and then by NATO. 

I don't control those last three pieces, but we'll get to what we call a technical capability declaration later this year with that site. So, it will be operational to conduct ballistic missile defense of the homeland and of the European continent. 

Q: All right, can you give us a reality check? This is not designed to go after Russian missiles, right? It's supposed to be Iranian?

ADM. HILL: It is not designed to go after Russian missiles. It is really about outside of the European sphere. So, yes, Iran is, you know, one of those threats that's -- that could pose a threat to Europe. And so, we'll catch those in Europe and then we'll take care of the threat, not Russia. 

Q: OK. SM-3 block IIA, the missile that could actually go after ICBMs, you're going to buy 12 this year? Or you request 12. How widely proliferated are those within the Navy right now in terms of the Aegis fleet? 

ADM. HILL: Yes, we're in production now. We delivered, I want to say, just over a dozen over the last year. So there, you know, I don't know Global Force Management. I know where they're at right now, but I can't really talk about it. So, they are deployed across the fleet today. And the sailors are trained to use them.

But you mentioned ICBMs, they're not really designed for that. They are long-range and intermediate-range missile killers.

Q: They've demonstrated a capability to go hit an ICBM, that's why they're so interesting. 

ADM. HILL: Yes. In FTM-44 we did demonstrate that back in '20, but we -- that's not -- that was outside of our design space.

Q: OK, thanks. 

ADM. HILL: Yes. Thanks, Tony.

STAFF: Theresa?

Q: Hi, Theresa Hitchens, Breaking Defense. Thanks for doing this. 

ADM. HILL: Yes, ma'am.

Q: My question has to do with a discrepancy between the 1.6 billion that you guys asked for Aegis and then -- and in the OSD budget briefing documents they talk about sea-base defense and they give a number of $3.07 billion. And so, I just wondered if you could tell me what's in the OSD packet that's not in yours. And I don't know, because it kind of doesn't explain it very well. So.

ADM. HILL: Yes. So we -- we have a partnership with the Navy. So when you think about a multi mission Destroyer, the Navy owns those multi missions. What we bring to Aegis ship, primarily in the Destroyer fleet and -- and what's left of the Cruisers is the ballistic missile capability and hypersonic capability for sea base terminal. So think about all the other missions of mines, anti-mine warfare, strike warfare, that all belongs to the Navy and that's what you see in the OSD numbers for Navy.

Our numbers our tied to ballistic missile defense, integrated air missile defense and the sea base terminal.

STAFF: OK. Lady right there.

Q: My voice is (down ?). Sorry. (Inaudible) Daily. Madam, you spoke about detect, control, and engage. So detect, control I understand. You can base a budget doing figure on past projections. But I was wondering, like to get engaged. So how will you focus to that budget, how will you allocate a certain amount at sea if North Korea, China or Russia does something?

So like can you speak a little about budget being based on or allocated on engagement. 

ADM. HILL: Yes, great question. We always look for a way to kind of simplify the complexity of defense. So when we talk about the sensor architecture, that's the detection portion. And there's a lot involved in that, right.

There's actually a planning function that comes before that. Then you have your detect it. You want to go to track like we do with the space side of the house and then one of the important things you didn't mention is the discrimination aspect. And that is picking out the lethal object in a -- in a complex.

So that's the detection portion and we just do that for a simplification when we're talking about overall sensor capability. When Ms. Atkinson mentions control, that is really the -- the command and control battle management. That's the fire control system. 

You can think of Aegis. You can think of THAAD, you can think Patriot, you can think of the ground base fire control system. So that's what we mean when we say control. And then you get to engage, you know, it uses the sensing capability, it uses the command and control to do a weapon selection or weapon tasking, launch and control those missiles while they're in flight. Because we talk to our missiles, right; up link, down link, in flight communications. 

And so the way we broke out the budget is to show you primarily interceptor procurements within that engagement space. But it's tied to that total system. Does that make sense?

Q: Yes, kind of. But I was like my -- I was wondering like to get engaged is very uncertain. I mean what is your response within seconds.


Q: But this is very critical. It's not -- it's like (inaudible). So as you just (inaudible) and controlling but in order to get an engagement war. So --


Q: -- how are you (inaudible) certain about a separate -- I mean if you go out of the budget how do you -- how do you, you know, manage that?

ADM. HILL: Right. Well I was prefer to give you a full system answer, right. Many of the things that you're talking about in terms of weapons control actually are in place within the fire control portion. I think that's what you're really talking about.

So threat flies, we detect the threat. We build a track on it, we discriminate what the lethal object is. We build a fire control system, then we launch the weapon and then we do in-flight target updates. And then we get to an engagement and then we do a hit assessment at the end to determine whether or not we're successful and then we'll go back and do it again if we have to.

Q: So does it get out of the budget like my (inaudible).

ADM. HILL: You would have to dig into each fire control system. So ground based fire control. Aegis fire control, THAAD fire control, Patriot fire control as an example.

Q: OK. So you keep a separate amount for that reserve -- kind of reserve.

ADM. HILL: Yes, if you tear apart the line items you can find it. Yes. Yes, ma'am. Thank you.

STAFF: Yes, lady in the jacket please. Right there.

Q: Hi. Patty Nieberg with Bloomberg Government. I'm wondering if you can kind of break down MDA's part of JADC2 initiative and kind of the budget -- the parts of the budget that kind of go into that?

ADM. HILL: Yes. So we will integrate, you know, our program of record with the Joint All-Domain Command and Control. For us, it's command and control battle management and communication. So when you say "C2BMC," as Ms. Atkinson mentioned, it is our integrating element built out of necessity -- and I'll use the ballistic missile defense capability as the example as to why we had to do that.

So I'm a ship guy, right? So everything would be on the ship. I have my sensors, I've got my command and control, I've got the operators and we've got the launchers on a ship, but when you spread that out to where -- in a BMD engagement to protect the homeland, you've got overhead assets that will see the initial warning, you've got radars on the ground that will put it into track, you have radars at sea that will then discriminate, and then eventually you get to the fire control and you're controlling it out of Colorado.

So something that -- that is -- that -- that is that distributed has to have a system integrated, and that's our command and control battle management and communications. It is the version of JADC2 for missile defense. And so integrating into JADC2 is part of the program because we want to be able to provide data where it's needed, and if there's data that we can use from sensors that are not part of the missile defense architecture, then we want to bring that data in, right? That's -- it's really about getting that data to as many places as possible so you can leverage it.

Q: ... the C2BMC number that we saw part of the $1., I think, 3 or 4 (billion ?) overall for JADC2?

ADM. HILL: We -- we're -- we're separate and distinct from JADC2.


Q: Hi. Richard Abbott, Defense Daily.

ADM. HILL: Hi, Richard.

Q: I didn't see this in the budget estimates overview -- is there any additional funds this year for SLEP of current GBIs and refurbishing the current GBIs?

ADM. HILL: The answer is yes. Did you want to provide any detail, Michelle?

MS. ATKINSON: Yes, the answer is yes, but I -- I don't recall off the top of my head how much it is. And we are continuing with the GBI SLEPs that have been initiated in prior years with congressional plus-ups.

STAFF: Jen please?

Q: Hi again. I wanted to ask a little bit more about the Guam architecture. I know you mentioned Aegis Guam system, there's the AN/TPY-2, 6 radar that's tying in, and then a mention of a new Army launcher. Can you talk a little bit more about what those are? Like, what is the Aegis Guam system? Is that an Aegis Ashore-type thing? And then a little bit more on the Army launcher.

ADM. HILL: OK. I'll -- I'll try to walk the dog for you. So if -- if you think about the types of threats that are -- that are projected to come into Guam, you're going to -- you're going to want to defend against ballistic missiles, right, from -- from -- from all attributes, right, you're going to want to defend against the cruise missile threat and you'll want to defend against the hypersonic threat.

So you need a sensor architecture, you need command and control, and you need weapons that are in launchers. And so if you were to look at the -- the map of Guam and say "what would that look like based on that" -- when we mention TPY-6s, it's a different version of the radar. We'll have those on the island, on the periphery, so that we have -- so that we meet INDOPACOM's requirement of 360 -- you know, being able to see -- see 360 degrees. So we have that and that's tied to the Aegis system.

Then you have the Army's IBCS system that'll use LTAMDS radars and Sentinel radars, right? So those -- those will fill in gaps for cruise missiles and for hypersonics. And then we tie that together in a command suite that is brought together on a C2BMC screen so that the commander has the ability to understand that -- that total battle, from what we're seeing coming in from space, which are your ballistic tracks or your hypersonic tracks, so that when we pick up cruise missile tracks over an LTAMDS, we can make sure that those are being seen and deconflicted by the other parts of the system.

So it really is a combined, at the simple level, Aegis and IBCS working together on the island.

Q: OK. And the -- the new Army launcher that's mentioned, is that just something ... 

ADM. HILL: So we have a mix of launchers on the island. We'll have a -- vertical launch systems and we will have a -- a mobile version of that launcher, just because of the -- the way the island is situated. And -- and so we -- we -- it is not an Aegis Ashore -- you asked that -- it is -- it is a disaggregated version of that, just given the -- the land and the topography of the island.

Q: OK, thank you.

STAFF: (Inaudible)? Yes.

Q: Brian Everstine with Aviation Week. I had a couple quick follow-ups if I could. On the GPI, the GAO last June said that it -- MDA had downgraded the goal of GPI from fielding an operational prototype to performing a field demonstration of an interceptor with no specific path to an operational capability. Is that still true?

ADM. HILL: Yeah, so it kind of follows on to the question that I was asked earlier. Where we are right now in time and space is at the mission analysis perspective. We'll be moving soon into the technology development phase. And we -- we're in a competitive environment.

And so we will -- we will, along the way -- you know, prototype different technologies and then pull that together into a fieldable weapons system, is -- is the plan that -- downstream.

Q: And I wanted to follow up on the JADC2 question as well. At Project Convergence last year, the services depended heavily on the joint track management capability. And has there been interest from the services to adopt this, to proliferate more to other operations?

ADM. HILL: What I -- what I've seen is that it's been primarily in the cruise missile defense world. It's -- it's a translator between the way we do track management within Aegis and the way we do track management in IBCS.

And so it -- it's in the long term plan for Guam but there's a lot of learning to be done because it's really a demonstration of program at this point but we're going to continue to mature it cause we see value in -- and -- in sharing track data, and it kind of almost goes back to the JADC2 question, is just another technology that's out there that has been proven in a couple demos to be very promising. And so we're -- we're on top of it and we're maturing it as a program.

STAFF: The lady right there?

Q: Kris Anderson, AWPS News. So I have a naive technical question about JADC2 and your battle management control system. So MEO and LEO satellite layers are -- this is all, I presume -- excuse me -- critical to the success of the communication in the battle management control system because the communication has to be so quick. What happens if there's a problem with latency? What happens if you have bad weather, something like that? Is this a problem or is this a whole -- calculated and already -- there's already a big solution ... 


ADM. HILL: ... and tracking really fast flying and maneuvering targets is always a challenge, which is why we were -- when we have our first two HBTSSs up and we're going to take live data from them, that is to characterize them in space.

We have characterized their performance on the ground, but to your point -- I can't remember how fast the LEO satellite goes, something like 7,000 kilometers a minute -- it's -- it's -- it's a really fast speed. And so yeah, a handoff of tracks is -- is real challenging. So that's why we're in space, to characterize how we're doing there.

And we will leverage, you know, every sensor that we've got -- and we do that today, by the way. One of the things that I think a lot of folks walk away thinking that we don't have -- hypersonic capability today. We have the ability to fuse sensors from DOD and from the Intelligence Community, bring them in and provide that -- that -- that warning today, is where we're at.

We can do engagements at a limited basis, you know, from a ship, if we're, you know, in an area where we can actually see them with the sensors that we have today and take them out with a sea-based terminal. Where we want to go is the -- having the -- the glide phase weapon and making sure that data goes to any user that needs it.

So tough -- tough question. Not -- not a geeky technical question at all, it's a -- it's a -- it's a real one. Thanks.

STAFF: We've got time for a couple more. Tony?


... Tony, can you get the mic? I'm sorry.

Q: (Inaudible) I'm sorry. Is the Missile Defense Agency working at (all ?) (inaudible) the Ukraine defense minister, in terms of crafting, in theory and practice, an integrated air defense system? They're going to be getting the Patriots. Their guys have been practicing at, I guess, Oklahoma. Does MDA have a role at all?

ADM. HILL: I -- given that it's an ongoing conflict I'm not going to answer the question here, Tony, but I'll be happy to talk to you about it later.

Q: (Inaudible).

ADM. HILL: I -- I can talk to you about it in broad terms later but I don't -- it's not something I can talk about in this forum.

STAFF: Jen , please.

Q: I didn't see anything on cruise missile defense -- particularly cruise missile defense of the homeland. I'm just curious if there's any contributions in the budget for FY '24 from the Missile Defense Agency on that front?

ADM. HILL: Yes, thanks, Jen. So last year, don't remember the exact date, but the Department made the decision to give that mission lead service to the Air Force. So we're supporting the Air Force. We have a demo program to protect the national capital region. We've come through our first hardware in the loop testing on that and we'll go to a live demo. 

We have one (inaudible) test, I don't know when -- I can't remember when that is but then we'll get to an actual demo but all that data gets turned over to the Air Force and we're in full support of what the Air Force is doing. You may ask what's in it for you.

From a Missile Defense perspective, if they're going to bring new sensors online, we want access to those sensors. And so if we can help with the command and control and if we can bring the data down to serve the ballistic missile defense mission as an example, we will do that. 

So we're working that very closely together to insure we help U.S. Northern Command meet that mission.

STAFF: And we're about out of time. We've got time for one more. The last question.

Q: Just one quick follow-up. On detect, control, engage; do you have -- madam, do you have any budget for under the sea threats to respond to threats to submarines?

ADM. HILL: We -- we -- we don't go after threats to the submarine force and so that's a separate battlefield. None of the weapons that we have in place fight under the ocean.

STAFF: Ladies and gentlemen, I think that wraps it up for today and for the budget -- all the budget briefings today. So you're welcome for that. Admiral, thank you. Ms. Atkinson, thank you for your time today. And everyone have a lovely day and contact me if you have any follow up questions and I'll get them answered the best I can. Thank you.