An official website of the United States Government 
Here's how you know

Official websites use .gov

.gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS

A lock ( lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

You have accessed part of a historical collection on Some of the information contained within may be outdated and links may not function. Please contact the DOD Webmaster with any questions.

Department of Defense Briefing by Vice Adm. Syring on the Fiscal Year 2016 Missile Defense Agency Budget request in the Pentagon Briefing Room

STAFF: The director of the Missile Defense Agency, he's going to speak for a short period of time, and then he'll take some questions afterward. So if you could please wait until the end of his remarks before asking questions, and if you could identify yourself (inaudible), affiliate (inaudible).

VICE ADM. JAMES SYRING: Okay, a follow-on from last year, this year MDA is requesting 8.127 billion dollars in '16 to improve and expand the development of defenses for the nation's deployed forces, allies and international partners, with an ever-increasing ballistic missile threat capability. Our missile defense program does support the war fighters and combatant commanders, and is in line with the priorities set last year.

It preserves homeland and regional defense priorities driven by the president and the Department of Defense Strategic Guidance. First and foremost, it will maintain our commitment to operate and sustain homeland defense. We're requesting 1.763 billion dollars for the ground-based Midcourse Defense program to continue the development and sustainment of the GMD weapon system, including the planned development of 40 GBIs at Fort Greely and four GBIs at Vandenberg for a total of 44 by the end of '17.

The budget continues to fund flight tests and supporting the IMTP requirements and enhances the Stockpile Reliability Program and component agent testing in order to understand and maintain the health of the deployed system.

We're also requesting formal requests from last year is $279 million to continue development of the GMD, redesigned Kill Vehicle for improved reliability, availability, performance and producibility. In addition to budget requests, funding to conduct design and reliability characterization of the current GBI fleet.

One of our highest priorities is to continue to demonstrate homeland defense capability through GMD flight testing. Plan testing the GMD in '16 includes a non-intercept test flight to evaluate alternate divert thrusters and to support algorithm development for discrimination improvements for homeland defense.

As well as an intercept test followed roughly a year later on an ICBM target. Deployment of regional defense is to protect our deployed forces, allies and coalition partners remains our top priority. The FY 2016 budget continues the development of and deployment of defenses against short, media and intermediate range ballistic missiles in the geographic combatant commanders AORs.

EPAA is designed to protect U.S.-deployed forces and allies in Europe from BMD attacks from the Middle East. PAA phase one is now deployed, and provides coverage of NATO territory in Europe.

Phase two and three will be implemented in 2015 and 2018 respectively.

The SM-3 IB directly supports EPAA phase two, and will also be deployed globally by the Navy as needed for regional threats.

We anticipate a full-rate production decision of the SM-3 Block IB in the second quarter of 2015. Deliver SM-3 IBs to the Navy for deployment on land, Aegis ashore in Romania, and at sea on -- on the multi-mission Aegis ships with BMD capability.

In addition, we're requesting $559 for procurement of Aegis BMD, including the procurement of 40 SM-3 IBs, for a total of 209 IBs procured by the end of 2016.

This also supports the installation of BMD Forward-based ship sets and one BMD Baseline 9.C1 Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense ship set. In addition, MDA is also requesting $148 million for future buys 2017 through 2019 utilizing MYP authority to significantly reduce outyear production costs through EOQ buys. These MYP buys will result in estimated 14 percent long-term cost savings.

MDA is co-developing the SM-3 IIA missile with the government of Japan and upgrading the Aegis BMD Weapon System to increase the area that can be defended and the probability of defeating a larger set of threats.

The IIA development is ongoing, and it's going very well. Continue to build upon the established joint research investments by both the United States and Japan, and in 2016, request $173 million for the IIA cooperative development program.

The United States remains on track to complete land use agreements with the government of Poland for EPAA phase three. Aegis Ashore construction for EPAA phase three is scheduled to be done in 2018.

We're requesting $169 million of MILCON for construction of the Aegis Ashore site in Poland.

We're also requesting $464 million for THAAD in procurement funding, which includes the purchase of 30 THAAD interceptors and training devices for the THAAD institutional training base at Fort Sill. Procurement supports the fielding of THAAD batteries based on warfighter demand and operational need.

By the end of 2016, MDA will deliver 48 additional THAAD interceptors to the Army for a total of 155 interceptors delivered.

Continue the support for the TPY-2 radar as part of our forward deployed THAAD battery in Guam.

Services and combatant commanders with logistical support from MDA are operating the TPY-2 radars in five different locations. These radars continue to the regional defense and also provide significant contribution to the U.S. homeland.

We're also requesting $500 million to develop, deploy, and sustain the TPY-2 radars and the UEWRs in the (inaudible) radar in addition.

MDA is requesting $450 million to integrate additional space sensors into the BMDS and enhance C2BMC track and discrimination, important to all the geographic combatant commanders. Another highlight, requesting $73 million for the continued operation of SBX. In addition, $138 million to continue the development of a long-range discrimination radar. I'll take your questions on that when we get to it.

And finally, there's various requests through the advanced technology lines for discrimination, sensoring, weapons technology, technology maturation initiatives, and -- and the common kill vehicle technology effort as well.

We're implementing phase two of our kill vehicle strategy, working jointly with industry to revolutionize some of the concepts from the missile defense interceptor architecture, specifically MLKV.

Budget continues to support MDA's long-standing support of the Israeli, U.S. cooperative BMD programs to include David’s Sling the upper tier interceptor, and Arrow weapon system improvements. We're working closely with IMDO on these programs, in addition to the joint development funding in the budget, 2016 budget includes $55 million of procurement funding for additional Iron Dome radars and associated equipment.

Those are the highlights. I didn't go through everything, but I wanted to more importantly get to your questions and answer them about missile defense.


Q: (OFF-MIC) just wanted to ask about the EKV redesign effort. When are you going to announce your strategy and, you know, we've heard that you're -- you're looking at a national team, you know, and asking all, you know, instead of just having a competition and bringing it down?

VICE ADM. SYRING: We're -- we're very close to approval of the strategy, just to give you some -- some insight. It -- it will -- we're seeking approval for a government design authority approach where we would manage the participation of three contractors, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Boeing, in the development of the design for the new EKV. We would make the decisions on the design, we would decide on trade studies that will be conducted in terms of best components, best subcomponents, and in some cases, ask for contributions from the labs, the UARCs, and the FFRDCs in addition with some of their technology ideas.

In the end, it will be our design, we'll be the final design authority. Our intention is still to compete production of that design in 2018 for the follow-on -- it'll be part of the follow-on DSC contract competition. So government design of the new EKV followed by competition production. Competitive production.

Q: And the advantage to doing the -- taking control?

VICE ADM. SYRING: Sure. The -- as you know, we did several, three concept development proposals from the three companies. And we've evaluated all three over the past year.

They all have positive and negative attributes, and it's our desire to get the best of all three, and that's what we intend to do.

Yes sir?

Q: Sir, it says that in addition, you're requesting funding to conduct design reliability characterization of the current GBI fleet. Do you know how much money you'll be spending on that, and can you describe how you actually do that process of -- of you know, characterizing them?

VICE ADM. SYRING: Sure. I'll have to get you the exact number for that specific level of effort. So, I'll take the number for the record, if I can.

Very important for us to go back with the GBIs that have been fielded to date, and do the system engineering and analysis of the current design to better predict and help us understand in more detail the reliability number that we're using to inform our shot doctrine.

It's a very important effort for us and the warfighter. Some of the efforts that we'll conduct are subcomponent, component level reliability testing of the currently fielded components to better inform our models and our effort in that area.


Q: In the overview provided to us, there's mention of a THAAD follow on program. So, I'm wondering, how committed the agency is in '16 and you know, what's involved in this particular budget year, and then what's the status for deciding what to do next?


The -- the -- I think the effort you're referring to is THAAD-ER, and -- and some of the ideas that are out there.

We have spoken to Lockheed Martin, who's proposed the idea. And they've done some very low level conceptual analysis of the concept. Without going into the threat, we are always concerned about the growing threat and its capability. THAAD-ER is one solution. I think it's fair to say that we'll look at others in conjunction with THAAD-ER and I think by next year, you'll see a more definitive answer on our path ahead with either that program or -- or a evolution of other interceptor programs.

Q: Would you call what you're doing right now an analysis of alternatives or --

VICE ADM. SYRING: I wouldn't. I would say early concept development, early evaluation of an industry concept.

Yeah, Tony?

Q: Efforts toward expanding the field from 30 to 44, Secretary Hagel announced a year ago.

What's the progress?

VICE ADM. SYRING: Going very, very well. And -- in -- in integration and finishing the interceptors that are under contract, on track with a little margin, and working our way through the corrections. For example, the IMU, and getting those back into the flow for production. But I would say today we're on track.

Q: Have you actually started installing the -- any of the additional 14 in silos?

VICE ADM. SYRING: There's been -- there's been a pull one out and put one in to-date. As you know, there's a -- there's a shell game that goes on to 44.

Q: September 30th of 2017, you'll -- all 44 will be in there, or roughly?

VICE ADM. SYRING: All 44 will be in the ground by the end of calendar year '17.

Q: OK. I need to ask you a quality question.

Five years ago, the late Dave Altwegg’s your executive director of the agency, caused a lot of concern when he pretty much lambasted the quality of primes and subcontractors. Rick Lehner was (inaudible) four, five years later, what's the state of quality generally, and where do you still have pockets of concern?

VICE ADM. SYRING: Overall, at the prime level, there's been -- and we'll get you the details if you -- if -- if it's required. Overall, at the prime level, meaning at the Boeing, Raytheon level, we've seen significant improvement on quality control on the factory floor, and everything that they're doing to improve not just the quality of what they do, but at the integration level as well.

If there's one pocket of concern, it would be at the third and fourth and fifth tier suppliers, and we're aggressively attacking that with them to get at any outliers there as well.

Q: Has there been any outliers that have caused major delays in SM-3 or THAAD or the GBI reproduction?

VICE ADM. SYRING: Recently, not since I've been here.

Q: And what do you attribute this significant improvement to?

VICE ADM. SYRING: Two things. One, the company's taken a turn on quality, and there were concerns with SM-3 quality, as you know, several years ago. And I think the strength of our organization, our quality organization at MDA as well, working hand in glove with the contractors.

Not entirely there yet. I'm not entirely satisfied, but there's been progress. And I think you'll see me rest when we're confident at the fourth and fifth tier level.


Q: (OFF-MIC) You talked about testing for the GMD program, tests for Aegis, either you've got to, you know, test out the IIB and some of the other programs, test program for Aegis Ashore or Aegis Afloat?

VICE ADM. SYRING: I think as you know, last year the IIB was canceled, so there's no testing plans for the IIB. The IIA will be an active program this year with two controlled test vehicle flights for the IIA. Current schedule is May and November. Very, very confident that we're on track to the May date with some margin, so those are two big tests for us.

The IB, as you knew -- as you know, went through extensive testing, last calendar year. Very successful. They'll be part of the operational test. This summer, we'll actually do an IB intercept test from the facility at PMRF.

There's several other lower-level tests planned for Aegis this year as well, so we're continuing.

Yeah, Amy?

Q: The other services have been able to articulate what would have to come out of their budget if BCA holds.


Q: Do you have this sort of first-kill list?

VICE ADM. SYRING: We're -- we're working that list with the department real-time.

Q: Okay.

VICE ADM. SYRING: And it would be premature for me to talk about that, but there are discussions going on in that area.

Q: Okay. And can you go into a little bit more detail about what was described in the materials as an advanced sensor being added on to MTS-B, and a UAV-borne laser?

VICE ADM. SYRING: I can't talk about the first other than that it's an advanced sensor being added to the MTS-B.

Right, correct.

And the second question was?

Q: The airborne UAV laser?

VICE ADM. SYRING: Yeah, as we -- as we mature the technology, we are -- are driving towards a more robust flight test on UAVs over the next two to three years.

Q: In the interest of a boost phase intercept goal?

VICE ADM. SYRING: Primarily, at the power levels we're talking about today, forward discrimination and tracking in the near term.


VICE ADM. SYRING: What's that?

Q: Is that a new study?

VICE ADM. SYRING: It was a technology effort from last year. I think, you know, what you guys may see in some of the budget rollout is that there were some P.E.s that moved around by Congress that are now accounting for things slightly differently, but that'll show up in our budget books.

Q: So, is there a specific demonstration or anything associated with both the classified sensor on MTS-B and the UAV-borne laser?


Q: Can you be specific?

VICE ADM. SYRING: I can't. I can't.

Q: Okay.

VICE ADM. SYRING: And just due to classification level, I'd just like to leave it at that for today, thanks.

Q: Can you say more about the long-range discriminating radar and what the planning is for that?

VICE ADM. SYRING: Sure. We -- we -- we released the RFP on January 8th. It is S band. It is -- we're asking for a two phase capability. The location has not yet been decided by the combatant commanders. Suffice it to say, it will be Alaska.

I expect proposals back in March, and I expect to award before the end of the fiscal year. And we're very encouraged by -- by the RFI responses we got, and I think it'll be a healthy competition.

Q: And some of the -- I mean, it's a very relatively small amount of money for that program in this budget now, but what's the overall cost going to be of that radar program. It's over a billion, right?

VICE ADM. SYRING: It's just about a billion if you include radar development production and MILCON.

Q: There were some competitions in other parts of the military over this past year that had, you know, that track similarly with the radar that you're looking --


Q: So is it a false assumption to suggest that the -- you know, Navy's radar decision mix will affect yours or the Air Force decision, you know, which has now been contested, will affect yours?

VICE ADM. SYRING: I think it's safe to say that we feel the technology maturity and the different offers from the various companies sets us up for a very competitive landscape for this procurement.

Q: So there's no, you know, presumed winner?

VICE ADM. SYRING: Absolutely no presumed winner. I can assure you of that.

Yeah, over here.

Q: I just want to go back to THAAD Extended Range.


Q: I believe Lockheed completed their concept study and you guys received it. Is that analysis still ongoing?


Q: Okay.

You said that there are other concepts you might consider to sort of address this -- this threat, I know you can't talk about the threat, but can you talk about what other concepts you might be considering?

VICE ADM. SYRING: One would be SM-6.

And let me just leave it at that.

But again, nothing's been proposed in that area, but it -- it would be safe to say that before any program would start that we would work closely with the CAPE on what the other alternatives would be to meet the threat.


Q: Sir, hi.

You moved a second radar to Japan. If I remember correctly, that was a radar from Vandenberg. Is there any plan to put a radar in Vandenberg? Because that was a training radar, if I remember correctly.


There's no plan to permanently station a radar at Vandenberg.

Q: So how is it then -- how is that training going?

VICE ADM. SYRING: The agreement that we have with the Army is that they obviously have radars that are available with the THAAD batteries that we're fielding, and as we need a radar for testing or upgrade or whatever development we need to do, we have an agreement with them that we can use one of their radars that we've turned over.

And that'll be on a case by case basis, Geoff.

Q: Thank you.


Q: I'm curious, there was a note in the budget materials saying that there were dollars set aside for additional space (inaudible) for integration. Can you go into detail about that?

And also, is there a plan ahead for an STSS or a PTSS or whatever it's called now follow-on?

VICE ADM. SYRING: There is no plan today for STSS or PTSS follow on. We're certainly working through, you know, concepts in terms of what might be possible, but there's no concrete plan yet, and I think you'll see us work closely with the Air Force on those opportunities.

And then on integration of other sensors, I'd just like to leave it at we're -- we're watching capability is fielded, and we want to be able to integrate that capability.

Q: So, can you articulate for us to what extent SBIRS is integrated into the system at this point, because it's been fielded for some time?

VICE ADM. SYRING: I'd rather not in this forum, okay?

Q: Okay.

And in the PTSS follow on issue, you've been saying repeatedly that you'll be working with the Air Force on this. Is it safe to assume that this would become an Air Force program and MDA would serve in an advisory role, or would we -- should we expect for there to be an MDA-led program at some point?

VICE ADM. SYRING: I think one, there's no decision been made on it. But -- but it's -- it's safe to say that any -- any mission in space for missile defense cannot be just unique alone MDA, in my view, that we have got to
partner with the Air Force and other partners to -- in conjunction to -- with what they feel have the opportunity for missile defense functionality as well. I think that's prudent for us in terms of the limited budget and the opportunity we have with them.

But I don't think -- you're not going to see an MDA only sponsored program.

Q: Okay.

So (inaudible) are harping on the space figure, but it is -- because there is no follow on, there was such rhetoric for a point of time saying this must have a follow on. Is it safe to assume that -- that some risk is being accepted? Is there a potential gap here?


And -- and I talked about this last year in terms of, you know, the answer is not just in radars, that there needs to be a more persistent, space-based tracking and discrimination capability as the threat progresses.

And I think you'll see us work closely with the partners I mentioned plus the CAPE on what those opportunities are.

The -- the requirement has not gone away, in my opinion.

Q: On the DSC --


Q: -- when is the follow-on DSC contract going to come up for renewal?

VICE ADM. SYRING: We'll run the competition in 2018.


Q: Israel signed an MOU with the MDA last year to co-produce to the extent possible Iron Dome components in the United States.

One year later, what's the progress on that?

VICE ADM. SYRING: In -- in very close coordination with them, coming very close. Obviously, it's contract negotiations that are going on, coming very close to the percentages that we've signed up to, and they have signed up to. Very satisfied with how that's going.

Q: Well, have they actually signed any contracts with the U.S. companies yet?

VICE ADM. SYRING: I'm talking the negotiation that's going back and forth between Raytheon and Rafael and --

Q: Okay.

VICE ADM. SYRING: -- and at a level below that, I'm not -- I don't have that level of detail. But I'll get -- I'll get the answer.

Q: That would be good to know. You have a lot of members of Congress who care about that.

So the Rafael-Raytheon negotiations on shared lines are continuing?

VICE ADM. SYRING: Right. And then it just would be premature if I knew it to talk about how that's flowed down to companies below Raytheon.

Q: Okay, but it's still going on.


Q: Can I chair one more on the SBIRS?


Q: You know, they cost like $10 billion over budget, it was like seven or eight years over budget, over delayed. The public needs, they have some sense that if -- how this thing is being used for missile defense, can you talk a little bit about it, given its track record of dollars spent and the delays?

VICE ADM. SYRING: It obviously is a factor and helps with missile defense, okay? But I'd like to leave it at a overhead, persistent assets as opposed to targeting a specific platform.

Q: I understand that. Did it help in the successful June test? Was that part of the --

VICE ADM. SYRING: I can't go into that.

Q: Fair enough.

VICE ADM. SYRING: It's right up against classification level. I'd rather not.

Q: Right, but it's an active player in the MDA architecture.

Is that accurate?

VICE ADM. SYRING: It is. That's correct. You can say that.

Q: Okay. Thank you.


VICE ADM. SYRING: Again, I'd -- I don't want to go into the warfighter aspect of this on how we operate the system, but it's safe to say it did help, and we've been public about this in terms of how that test went off.

Any other questions?

Q: If there's nobody else, North Korea, the threat from North Korea, this KNO-8 road mobile missile that's been acknowledged by the commanders up there that this is potential, it could be operational soon.

Has any of the -- have any of the -- those requirements to counter that missile flowed to MDA in terms of discrimination capabilities or different architecture for monitoring North Korea?

VICE ADM. SYRING: Without talking specifics, we're -- we're constantly aware of the threat's evolution, including the KNO-8.

And we constantly monitor other technologies that may feed the KNO-8. And suffice it to say that we have effort underway to pace and stay ahead of the threat.

Q: Pace and stay ahead of the threat?

VICE ADM. SYRING: Pace and stay ahead of the threat.

And I'll just leave it at that.

Q: Okay. There's no improvement you can point to in the '16 budget that's somewhat tailored to that?

VICE ADM. SYRING: In a generic sense, all of the discrimination money that we've asked for and are executing helps with the KNO-8 -- against the KNO-8. The - the radar in terms of tracking and discrimination would help against that threat.

And certainly, the other parts of the kill chain for homeland defense.

Q: It did say in the material that there was, quote, additional funding set aside for key capabilities to meet the maturing threat from North Korea. Can you -- can you say how much additional funding was over what was
already, you know, set aside in '15?

VICE ADM. SYRING: I think it would get to the discrimination funding that we've asked for to follow on to Tony's question in terms of us working towards a midrange discrimination capability by 2020, and certainly that funding that we've asked for last year and continuing this year, go to the heart of that -- that comment.

Q: Okay, and then it looked as though in the -- in the chart that was provided to us, that space-based X band versus sea-based X band is getting a new lease on life indefinitely. What's the plan for that radar?

VICE ADM. SYRING: It (inaudible) continues to act and deploy as a contingency capability for -- for the warfighter on an as-needed basis and continues to be in a -- in a limited test and support role. And the funding that we've asked, I think, has been consistent with that role. And --

Q: And you foresee that, it looked like on a funding line, it's going to go through the FYDP.

VICE ADM. SYRING: The -- certainly that'll be the decision of the warfighter, but until we have another radar deployed in Alaska, it'll continue to serve that function.

Q: And when is LRDR supposed to be --



I think the -- I know the SBX budget request line is (inaudible).

Q: Would you (inaudible) test the schedule for this year or for the (inaudible). We had one in June? What's (inaudible)?

VICE ADM. SYRING: It'll be later this year.

Q: Later this year.


Q: Why so (inaudible)?

VICE ADM. SYRING: The -- the test is going to be a non-intercept test, and it was being paced by the development -- design, development and qualification of the alternate divert thrusters, which I talked to you about last year. That is finishing up qualification in the next few months, and we're ordering the ships that will go on the interceptor later this year to test that out, and it's going to be anon-intercept flight, so we'll fly it through the whole range of motion with a complex target to adequately test it before we decide to field it.

Q: When you have a next intercept test, though?

VICE ADM. SYRING: It'll be next year, 2016.

Q: Well, how do you answer critics saying, "You're doing this once every year and a half or two years, why should we feel this is a reliable system?"

VICE ADM. SYRING: We're testing roughly on nine to twelve month centers, and I'm doing it to inform fielding capability. Okay. So the next capability that I would like to field would be properly designed alternate divert thrusters, to solve the vibration problem. Okay.

The next test needs to inform and test the CE-2 block-one capability, which will complete the 44 interceptors.

Q: I see.

VICE ADM. SYRING: So the way I've structured the test program is to fly before you buy, and each test has a purpose, and there is development that needs to go on so you can't just rush to it test to test; that in our constrained resources and everything else that we're constrained by, I think it's important the structure of the program on this pace to inform fielding for a -- with successful intercept test.

Q: To meet that 44 requirement by the end of calendar '17?

VICE ADM. SYRING: That's correct.

Q: Okay.

Q: (inaudible).

This is probably a remedial question, but the ultimate (inaudible).


Q: Can you fill me in on, is that associated only with CE-2?

VICE ADM. SYRING: So it's alternate divert thrusters.

Q: Oh, okay.

VICE ADM. SYRING: And it will go back to the CE-2 fleet and what it does it adds a level of assurance to the already isolated IMUs, which will be fielded, and it's a double-safety layer.

Q: But that only impacts the CE-2s.

VICE ADM. SYRING: And then those thrusters will also then flow to the new RKV. So it's important for the current fielding, (inaudible), and the future as well.

Q: Got you.

VICE ADM. SYRING: So we've got to get that right.

Q: The additional '14, though, those would be the CE-2s, the latest model of the CE-2, right, not the redesigned one that you were hoping for later this decade?

VICE ADM. SYRING: Everything that is under contract today makes up the 44 by 17. I don't have to put another interceptor under contract --

Q: Okay.

VICE ADM. SYRING: -- to get to 44. What we're talking about is the future procurement with the new Kill Vehicle and the new thrusters, to make up, you know, spares and continued flight testing, and everything beyond 44, so.

Q: Can you (inaudible) the (inaudible) number associated with the RKV. In other words different pieces in the chart that we were provided. Do you have a topline where we could say it's an X-100-million-dollar program or whatever?

VICE ADM. SYRING: I do -- 658 million dollars.

Q: (off mic)


Q: And then what about for the CKV, which is a separate, but I suppose equal program?

VICE ADM. SYRING: Roughly it's about 47 million a year. And the other thing that I think you saw in the budget overview was that we're really striving to focus that more toward what's after RKV, meaning back to maturing some of the technology and architectures on MOKV.

Q: So then the line item that we saw from Multiple Object Kill Vehicle and (inaudible) Kill Vehicle will contribute to the same --


VICE ADM. SYRING: That's correct, yes.

Q: Okay.

VICE ADM. SYRING: And the other big, important development that I don't know if you picked up on was the two-stage booster development as well, and that'll be starting. It's very important for the war fighter and for us.

So lots of improvement and activity in GMD.

Q: Sir, I missed the boat on the two-stage booster (Laughter.) What was --

VICE ADM. SYRING: The two-stage -- the GBI is a three-stage booster. We want to be able to fly it as a two-stage, and adds battle space and time for the war fighter.

STAFF: Do we have any last questions.

Q: You know, I wand to ask you -- or I want to use intelligence as the (inaudible) update on the ballistic missile defense.


Q: You know, the late '90s it was: North Korea and Iran may have a missile this year. That was 1998. All right, what are you working off of in terms of NIEs. Is there a more current one than that, or is there one in the works that they're finishing up to present to you?

VICE ADM. SYRING: We're still working off the, Iran may flight-test an ICBM in 2015.

Q: The late 1990s, late '90s NIE?

VICE ADM. SYRING: And I would refer to DIA on anything beyond that.

Q: Does it strike you as somewhat odd that they haven't updated an NIE on missile threats in that long?

VICE ADM. SYRING: I think they maybe have not updated the entire one, but they continually update and provide assessments that help us in terms of how we inform our development.

Q: Okay, working off of that then, 2015 that they -- this is, again, a projection a long time ago, that they may have something by this year, and that's -- that's your working hypothesis, that --

VICE ADM. SYRING: There's a much more active dialogue that goes on with the intelligence community, okay, in terms of what are they seeing, what the developments and then that flows back to us, okay, what do we need to do. It's not that I'm mired back in 1999; it's a continual dialogue on their recent development.

Okay. All right, thanks everybody. Great to see you.