Transcript

Department of Defense Press Briefing on the President's Fiscal Year 2021 Defense Budget for the Missile Defense Agency

Feb. 10, 2020
Vice Adm. Jon A. Hill, director, Missile Defense Agency; Michelle C. Atkinson, director for operations, Missile Defense Agency

STAFF: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the last briefing of your day. Allow me to introduce your briefers today. On the far left is the director for operations for Missile Defense Agency, Ms. Michelle C. Atkinson. And on her right is the director of the Missile Defense Agency, Vice Admiral John A. Hill. 

I'm going to hand off to Admiral Hill. We'll run through some slides for you on the FY21 budget request, followed by some time for questions. When we do get to the questions, please remember to identify yourself and the agency you represent. Allow the boss one question, the follow-up immediately, and then let me move on so I can make sure we run around the room and make sure everyone gets a chance to ask a question. If there's time afterwards I'll come back to you again. 

Sound fair? 

With that, Vice Admiral Hill. 

VICE ADMIRAL JON A. HILL: Thank you, Mark. 

Thank you for taking time today. We're looking forward to giving you an overview of where we are with the president's budget 2021 for missile defense. And I'm going to go ahead and just turn it over to Michelle Atkinson who will take you through it. 

MDA DIRECTOR FOR OPERATIONS MICHELLE C. ATKINSON: Thank you, Admiral. 

Good afternoon. I appreciate the opportunity to brief you today on the Missile Defense Agency's fiscal year '21 budget request. Our budget request is consistent with the 2019 Missile Defense Review, and the department's commitment to the irreversible implementation of the National Defense Strategy, which is our guidepost and drives our decision-making. 

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In FY21, we will continue to strengthen and expand the deployment of defenses for our nation, deployed forces, allies, and international partners against increasingly capable missile threats. The missile defense program supports our war-fighters and the need for the combatant commanders by developing, integrating, testing, and deploying interceptors, sensors, and improvements to the layered missile defense system. 

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Current global trends indicate that ballistic missiles, hypersonic glide vehicles, and cruise missiles are becoming more and more capable due in part to the proliferation of advanced technologies and systems with more global reach, increasing speed, and greater accuracy. 

Adversaries are expanding missile capabilities in three different directions simultaneously: increasing the capabilities of their existing missile systems, adding new and unprecedented types of missile capabilities to their arsenals, and integrating offensive missiles into their military exercising and war planning. 

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Our current missile defense system can defeat today's current ballistic missile capabilities of our adversaries. First, the system detects the launch of the threat missile and begins development of a fire control solution necessary to track and maintain what we call birth-to-death custody or control of the threat. Based on this fire control solution, our interceptors engage and then negated the threat. 

Our command and control system, called C2BMC, is the all-domain backbone that enables this detect, control, and engage sequence. The projected missile threat is complex and includes evolving ballistic and hypersonic missile threats. It is critical that we develop innovative and break-through technologies to outpace rogue state offensive missile capabilities against our homeland. 

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The president's budget request supports the department's irreversible implementation of the National Defense Strategy by re-prioritizing funds to improve homeland defense. This includes fully funding the Next Generation Interceptor program, or NGI, and adapting regional systems such as AEGIS and THAAD to provide a layered homeland defense. 

Further, our budget aligns with the major department themes to strengthen readiness and invest in modernization, strengthen alliances and interoperability, and implement reform initiatives to improve performance and accountability. 

In aligning with these department themes, our PB '21 budget request focus on -- focuses on the expanding missile threat.

The missile defense system is now being designed to address not only the ballistic missile threat but also hypersonic threats and cruise missile threats to our homeland while also preserving regional missile defense priorities and the advanced technology development necessary to ensure future capabilities.

Next chart. The president's budget priorities for missile defense are nested within the national defense strategy priorities and are as follows. First, continue to focus on sustainment and improve readiness of our fielded systems to maintain the highest level of system readiness and reliability.

Second, continue to build out the missile defense force structure. And third, develop and deliver new capability to address the evolving threats. 

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This chart summarizes the FY '19 through '21 MDA budget by appropriation type. Our FY '21 total request is $9.2 billion of which $7.2 billion is RDT&E. The next three charts will address some of the specific budget line items in our FY '21 budget request and are organized in order of the missile defense system battle sequence that I've described previously. 

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We are requesting $593 million in FY '21 for C2BMC. We continue to support and upgrade C2BMC capability across 18 time zones with hardened networks supporting NORTHCOM, INDOPACOM, EUCOM, and CENTCOM.

We will also continue development and integration of space sensors to track, type, and warn of advancing missile threats. We are requesting $515 million to support and sustain 12 AN/TPY-2 Radars, which includes forward based mode radars in Japan, Turkey, Israel and U.S. central command.

This funding also continues software development for discrimination capabilities and other upgrades to improve AN/TPY-2 radar performance. For the long range discrimination radar, or LRDR, we are requesting $137 million in FY '21 to complete development and fielding of this radar.

This radar, which will be available in December '20 is a critical sensor that improves missile defense system target discrimination capability and a more efficient use of the ground based missile system. 

We are requesting $118 million for the sea based X band radar or SBX, which provides precision mid-course tracking and discrimination to protect the homeland. The FY '21 program continues SBX operations at sea to maintain this important contribution to homeland defense.

Our budget also requests $20 million for the Cobra Dane radar to continue radar refurbishment and life extension in partnership with the U.S. Air Force. We are requesting $66 million for MDA space efforts in FY '21 to operate the space-based kill assessment sensor network and sustain the two space tracking and surveillance system satellites.

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The president's budget remains committed to delivering, expanding and sustaining our nation's homeland missile defenses and requests $1.9 billion in FY '21 for the ground based mid-course defense or GMD system.

In FY '21, the budget supports currently deployed ground based interceptors or GBIs in completion of the additional missile field in Alaska to enable future fielding of the next generation interceptors in the future.

The budget also supports construction of a redundant communication building at Fort Greely, Alaska. The FY '21 request for Aegis missile defense is $1.8 billion to continue upgrades to the Aegis weapon system and procure additional missiles.

We will procure 34 Aegis SM-3 Block IB missiles for deployment on land at the Aegis Ashore sites in Romanian and Poland and at sea on a multi-mission Aegis ships. This brings the total number of SM-3 Block IB missiles procured to 395 by the end of FY '21.

In FY '21 we will also continue the multi-year procurement for the SM-3 Block IB missile. We will procure six SM-3 Block IIA missiles for a total of 60 missiles procured through FY '21.

We will continue to develop and implement Aegis weapon system upgrades to support the Navy's newest destroyers with the newest SPY-6 radar as well as upgrade sensors on the older ships in the fleet.

As previously discussed, the president's budget will initiate the development of layered homeland defense capability that includes upgrades to the Aegis BMD weapon system and SM-3 Block IIA missile to augment homeland defenses to defeat ICBM threats. 

To complete the European phase adapted approach phase III, our budget request includes $96 million for the Aegis Ashore site in Poland. Due to construction delays, the site is now planned to be available in 2022.

The FY '21 request for THAAD is $1 billion. This procures additional interceptors and continues upgrades for the seven fielded THAAD batteries and THAAD training equipment. This budget procures 41 THAAD interceptors in support of the U.S. Army, bringing the total to 625 by the end of FY '21.

Additionally in FY '21 we will complete the integration of missile defense capabilities on the Korean Peninsula. We will initiate the development of an improved THAAD interceptor for layered homeland defense.

The demonstration flight test for this is currently planned for the FY '23 timeframe. 

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MDA develops advanced missile defense technologies for integration into the missile defense system to defeat the rapidly evolving threats.

The investment strategy for these technologies balances the need to address the most dangerous current threats with the need to position the United States to respond to threat developments in the future.

We are requesting $207 million for the hypersonic defense program to assess architecture alternatives and develop a regional glide phase weapon system to keep pace with these evolving threats.

Our request for the technology maturation initiative is $67 million. This continues discrimination sensor development to demonstrate precision track of advanced threats at extended ranges. We are requesting $378 million to conduct flight, ground, and cyber security testing and $536 million to develop and deliver threat representative targets used in our flight test.

Key test events in FY '21 will include FTX 26 an LRDR operational flight test to demonstrate a GMD simulated engagement against an ICBM representative target with counter measures.

FTM-33, an Aegis flight test to demonstrate two salvo engagements firing four standard missile SM-6 Dual IIs against two short range ballistic missiles and also FTT-21, a THAAD flight test to demonstrate THAAD battery control of a patriot missile segment enhancement or MSE interceptor against a short range ballistic missile.

Our budget request of $500 million in FY '21 for Israeli programs, continues our long standing support of U.S./Israeli cooperative programs to include Iron Dome, David's Sling, and Arrow weapon systems.

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This slide provide a comparison of total funding for major MDA programs. This allocation of funds provides the proper balance to support deployed systems, provide force structure to the war fighter, and to address the advancing threat. 

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Our PB '21 request aligns to the three lines of effort previously discussed. While we continue to support deployed systems and deliver capacity to our war fighters, PB '21 shifts investments to -- to deliver new capabilities, to include the next generation interceptor development and the new layered homeland defense effort.

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In conclusion, the F.Y. '21 President's budget for MDA -- request is $9.2 billion and reflects the Department's commitment to the National Defense Strategy and Missile Defense Review priorities to include layered homeland defense while maintaining regional defenses.

The Admiral and I will now take a few questions.

STAFF: Dan, please.

Q: Thanks, Dan Wasserbly with Jane’s. You mentioned the funding for hypersonic defenses. Has that decreased a little bit this year compared to what was enacted last year? And you mentioned a regional glide phase defense program but I thought there was another one, a hypersonic defense weapons system. Has that gone away or has that been renamed?

MS. ATKINSON: That was a lot of questions. So first of all ... 

(Laughter.)

... for the hypersonic -- so last year, we received a $200 and almost 50 million dollar congressional plus-up for the hypersonic defense weapon, and so that's why it looks like our budget has decreased this year, but it actually increased from our previous budget request.

And can you repeat your second question, please?

Q: So the -- there were two programs that I was aware of for hypersonic defense. There was the regional glide phase program that you mentioned but then also a hypersonic defense weapons system.

Has that been renamed or gone away or ... 

ADM. HILL: So I think you might be speaking of the sensor capability that is a -- a space sensing system called Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Sensor System, HBTSS, that could be it. And then what we're doing now is a concept, exploration and technology maturation to support a regional glide phase weapon. So those are the two pieces.

It may have been grouped together as a hypersonic weapons system at some point in -- in the vernacular, I'm not sure.

Q: (Inaudible) liken it to Lockheed Martin's Valkyrie, DART Boeing's hypervelocity interceptor, something from Raytheon ... 

ADM. HILL: I think those were the weapons concepts, the developments that support the regional glide phase weapon.

Q: Perfect, thank you.

ADM. HILL: Yes, sir.

STAFF: Phil?

Q: I -- I was just wondering if you'd let us know the extent to which at all Iran's attack on al-Asad might have informed this budget and if you -- if there's any kind of takeaways about your assessment of -- of -- of Iran's capabilities based on that attack and what you might need to do?

ADM. HILL: You know, there's not a lot I can say in this discussion about that. I will tell you that the -- when Michelle talks about building out force structure, I think that's important. When -- when you look at what we're really trying to do in terms of homeland defense with the GMDs , being as flexible as we can with Aegis ships and Aegis Ashore and -- and THAAD batteries and -- and Patriot with the Army, it is about providing flexibility to the combatant command.

So what we learned from those sorts of things is, you know, the increased flexibility. One of the things that we -- we do all of the time in -- in support of the services is dynamic force employment of many of those systems and it's to demonstrate our ability to quickly move and -- and put it into position, if -- if required.

So I would tell you that the rogue threat, you know, both North Korea and Iran, always drives our thinking and the lay down in the budget.

Q: I guess -- so -- so what you're saying -- I -- I think just to be clear, so I understood, you're saying that you need more flexibility or you -- you -- you're building more flexibility in your -- I didn't understand that answer, I'm sorry.

ADM. HILL: OK, let -- let me see if I can just clarify a little bit. What you were really asking I think is a question more appropriate for the operational forces, so, you know, CENTCOM or INDOPACOM, depending on which state you're -- you're speaking to. They -- they can talk to you about effectiveness and, you know, the -- the outcome of any recent attacks and those sorts of things. I can't really speak to that.

What we do, though, as an agency is we provide, you know, those capabilities to the services and to the combatant commands and we try to give them as much flexibility as possible. That -- that was really what I was trying to tell you.

STAFF: Tony?

Q: Two questions, one for Ms. Atkinson and one for the Admiral. The -- the JEON once it's completed in South Korea, what -- what capability will it give the U.S. forces there, using THAAD and Patriots to talk to each other, that they don't have now?

And for the Admiral, what's the way forward for the next generation interceptor in terms of how much is in the FYDP, when will there be an RFP and how many decades will it take to field this one?

ADM. HILL: OK. All right, let me go, I'll -- I'll answer the JEON question for the Republic of Korea -- right, got you. So I'll kind of break it up into the three phases, kind of give you a sense. So phase one, which we have tested and demonstrated the capability, is to extend or remote the launchers of THAAD.

So if you think of a THAAD battery and some number of launchers, if you can separate the launchers away from the battery, that gives you a lot of flexibility on the peninsula. So you could put the battery further back, you can move the radar back, you can put the launchers forward, you can bring in additional launchers. And so that capability is not in a typical THAAD battery today. 

So that -- that's exactly what General Brooks at the time was asking for, is that ability to -- to move the battery back, add additional launchers or move them forward and take care of southern ports, for example, instead of protecting the north.

The next part of -- of that is to do launch on remote for the Patriot missile using the THAAD radar. So if you take a AN/TPY-2, which can see a lot further than a Patriot battery radar, then now you can extend and -- and take full advantage of the kinematic capability of a Patriot. 

So the PAC-3 MSE missile, now we can fly it out as far as it'll go because now you're controlling it and feeding it information from a forward base radar AN/TPY-2 off the THAAD battery. 

And then that third piece is to integrate Patriot missiles into the THAAD launcher. And what that now gives the -- the combatant command and the soldiers on the ground the capability of doing is using the right missile for the right threat at the right time.

Does that make sense to you? OK, so that's -- that's sort of the overall JEON piece. NGI, in terms of ... 

Q: ... can be complete, though, when you've got ... 

ADM. HILL: No, we complete that in '21. 

Q: This year?

ADM. HILL: So -- so yes, so -- so we're -- we're completing our -- our testing this year and then we have another test scheduled out in '21 and then we'll go ahead and do the material release with the Army.

Q: OK, so next one?

ADM. HILL: OK, and then NGI? So you had asked specifically about dollars over the FYDP, which I'll turn to the Director for Operations and Comptroller and she can talk to the money.

MS. ATKINSON: The number -- $4.9 billion in the F.Y. '21 through '25 budget for NGI.

ADM. HILL: OK. And then the request for proposal to industry is -- is ready to be released to industry and I anticipate right now our plan is to get it out by the end of this month.

Q: OK. What's the -- you must have a feel for when you'd like to have this thing fielded eventually (inaudible).

ADM. HILL: Absolutely. So depending on what industry comes back with, right, that's -- that's always the -- the important part for us to have, cause right now you work off of government, cost estimates, you work over, you know -- you work on government-based costs and -- and scheduled estimates.

But we'll start testing, you know, in the mid-20s, right? '25, '26 or so and you start to put them in the ground out there in '27, '28 and beyond. 

Q: OK. Given that $1 billion was spent on this disaster and nothing came of it, what lessons do you incorporate into this current solicitation?

ADM. HILL: Right. So some great lessons and -- and that's a great question -- the -- lots of great lessons and it is a great question. So you mentioned about $1 billion and that's right, it was, I think, $1.2 billion, is what has been mentioned before in terms of what was invested into the Redesigned Kill Vehicle, RKV.

Now you have to remember, RKV was always meant to be a manufacturing and -- and production improvement to the current GBIs, right, so you could go build more of them. There wasn't a big, I would say, capability that was -- that we were going after at the time, it was just being able to build more of them, build them quickly.

So we learned a lot, right? One of the things that we're doing different in NGI, first of all, taking a hard look at all requirements across the space, and that's everything from environment to man-made and natural environments. And so this thing's going to operate in a tough environment. We know as a threat evolves, it becomes a harder environment.

So what I'm excited about, and I know it's frustrating when you look at how long it takes to go design and develop and deploy these things, the fact is the threat is evolving. It is changing. And we -- this is the first time, when you think about it, when you go all the way back to when the first one was put in the ground in 2004, where we've really taken a holistic look at that full range of requirements. 

We've worked very closely with NORTHCOM and with Strategic Command. And we've come through an Operational Forces Standing Committee. We have a JROC tomorrow. Release the RFP by the end of the months. Get the feedback from industry. And industry has been very responsive. We've had a number of industry days, a number of RFIs, great communications with industry. And they've all come back and said, we can build to that. 

So now the question is, what will they build? And what's the time line? And what will we select in the endgame? So our intent is to go to award by the end of the year. 

Q: December, thank you. 

ADM. HILL: Yes. 

STAFF: Jen, please. 

Q: Jen Judson, how are you? 

Just a follow-up on NGI. You know, you said that it sounds like it's not going to get into the ground until '27, '28 or so. So what are you considering as potential gap-fillers, if anything, in the meantime? You know, you've built missile silos that you won't be putting anything into. So can you talk a little bit about that? 

And my other question has to do with THAAD and the interceptor that you plan to develop for that. Can you talk a little bit more about the characteristics of that? Is that extended range or there is something else that you're looking for to make that more of a homeland defense? 

ADM. HILL: So I think you're connecting the dots in a way Ms. Atkinson briefed it. So if you have an existing fleet like we have today that we're very confident in, it handles the current threat, we can defend Hawaii, we can defend the continental United States against the threats that -- where they stand today. We know they're going to evolve. 

So we know that some time in the mid to late '20s, you'll start to see a fall-off in the ability of that missile to take on those threats. You'll start to see reliability issues, right? Just kind of normal for any weapons system that's deployed for that long. 

So what can we do in the interim? What do we plan to do? And what is in this budget? In this President’s budget request and what this budget really does for us is starts to say, let's take advantage of these regional systems that have been so successful and are very flexible and deployable. 

So Aegis ships, Aegis Ashore, the SM-3 Block IIA missile, we're going to test against a simple ICBM this year. We're going to do that here in the near term. That is not the only test that we'll do. So when we prove that we can take out an ICBM with an Aegis ship or an Aegis Ashore site with an SM-3 Block IIA, then you want to ramp up the evolution of the threat on the target side, right? We'll want to go against more complex threats. 

You have to make sure you upgrade the combat system that's on the ships so it can take and engage on remote data from other sensors, and it can control the missile and do that. 

We've upgraded the Romanian site so that it can fire the SM-3 Block IIAs. We're proliferating that capability out there today on the ships. Flexibility for the combatant commanders again. Flexibility in different theaters with that missile type that can then take on an ICBM. 

So that's one of the layers. When we say "layered homeland defense," what we mean is we want to give the country options. We want Northern Command, INDOPACOM, wherever you happen to be, to have the flexibility to say, I'm going to launch a GBI against this particular threat type. 

If I have NGIs downstream, I can now have a trade between those. If I want to do, particularly defensive -- a particular area that I'm really concerned about, I can park a ship there or I can build an Aegis Ashore site. And I can launch SM-3 Block IIAs. 

So part of that story is, what can you do about THAAD? All right, so we're challenging ourselves with that. And we have a study ongoing today. I can't give you particulars, but what I do know and what I will share with you is the synergy that we get with the Saudi Arabia case, where we're building that line-up again, we're going to start building TPY-2s again, we're going to start building the battery, we're going to do improvements leveraging an FMS case on the missile that can then be leveraged into homeland defense as another layer. 

So I grew up on cruisers and destroyers. It's all about layered defense. Long-range missiles kill the archer as they come in. And they leak through, then you take them out with the mid range or regional defense. And then you get to self-defense. That's really almost the model that we're looking at for a homeland defense capability.

And I think, you know, as an American citizen that, you know, I can sleep better at night knowing that I've got layered defense in case if there's a leaker. Is that ... 

Q: ... THAAD interceptor, if you could talk a little bit more about the characteristics that you're looking for that?

ADM. HILL: It's in a trade space -- it's an engineering trade space today. The -- the -- one of the reasons why THAAD is such an attractive weapon to use against ICBMs -- and we haven't gone against those yet, by the way, right, so that -- that system wasn't designed for that but we know there's capability within that weapons system -- total weapons system and within the missile itself.

So we may consider, you know, an upgraded propulsion stack to give it extended range. Don't know yet. One of the benefits is -- is when you're engaging along the edge of the atmosphere in space is countermeasures strip off.

And so there's -- there's goodness in having it operate in that space. It could be that we don't want to update the propulsion. Maybe there's something in the seeker that would buy us more. So in the trade space now and that's -- that's really a new start for us and we're -- we're working our way through what that program would look like but we're going to go to a demo in the mid-20s.

STAFF: Yes, sir, I didn't get your name?

Q: Sorry, Anson (inaudible) with the Asahi Shimbun. A quick question on the development or upgrading of these missile systems. So I -- you were discussing the developments of Aegis and THAAD on the Korean peninsula but when it comes to Aegis Ashore in Japan, have those new missiles been deployed to that layered defense on the Japanese mainland? What sort of cooperation are you looking for in '21 with the Japanese Self-Defense Force?

ADM. HILL: We -- we have -- we have a great established relationship with -- with Japan already. Japan builds Aegis ships today. They deploy, they're interchangeable with U.S. ships, you know, in the Sea of Japan and even is becoming a -- almost a global kind of partnership there.

And as you know, they have, through an FMS case, procured two Aegis Ashore sites and when they came in with the request, they wanted an integrated air and missile defense version of that, and what -- that -- that would leverage the full capability that you have on a ship today.

So you have a 360 radar. There -- they -- they're asking for a solid state radar so they're going to do direct commercial sales for a solid-state radar. So it's a different configuration than what we have in Europe and we're going to start with the baseline capability of anti-ballistic missile defense and then when they're ready to -- to move to the next step of bringing in other air defense type missiles, we can do that.

And so we're working that with Japan right now. We've got the baseline ballistic missile defense case with the solid-state radar and they're -- they're assuming they're going to use the SM-3 Block IIA, which is a -- a great assumption and that's -- that's what they're -- they're investing in now. So they'll be part of that production over the course of the next few years.

Q: Thank you.

STAFF: Paul?

Q: Yeah, Paul McLeary with Breaking Defense. I want to follow up on the Aegis Ashore site in Poland. You said it's going to be delayed until 2022. It's already been delayed a few times. I think it was supposed to be done in 2018 or 2019 originally.

And $96 million, is that on top of the original funding for this site?

ADM. HILL: I'll talk to you about the delays, and Michelle, you can talk about the funding.

MS. ATKINSON: Yes, it is.

ADM. HILL: So ... 

MS. ATKINSON: ... to the extension and having to maintain the systems that are already there to extend the construction timeline.

ADM. HILL: Yeah. And I'll give you just a little bit as -- as to what -- what drives the -- the -- the delays. I've taken a hard look at it since I've been on board and in fact RDML Druggan, who runs the Aegis BMD program, is inbound now to New York to meet with the Army Corps.

So it's in two phases. You have the -- the Military Construction portion. There's really a Navy naval base portion that the Navy does (inaudible) -- does and then the Army Corps builds all of the major support building to add the -- what we call the deck house, cause it's -- it's very similar to the top end of a destroyer.

So you have that and then we have the Phase II piece, which is the weapons system. The weapons system is on site and has been on site in temperature -- temperature controlled containers and we are ready to install and do check out classic like -- like we do on ships and like we've done at other Aegis Ashore sites.

Our problem has been in the construction but kind of beyond that. Where this is challenging in Military Construction and where the current constructors had problems (inaudible) that last tactical mile, which, as you know, you'll hear numbers like 92 percent complete. Well the part that's not complete is what, you know -- what we really need, which is auxiliary controls, you know, heating, power, cooling, the things that feed a combat system and that's -- that's where that design and engineering that is inside that construction contract has slowed down and where the -- the -- the contractor is having problems.

So we did an independent -- or an independent assessment of that back in December. We sent our team in, took a look at it, we had reached back to very qualified constructors to assess where we really were. You know, it's a fixed price contract, that's -- that's the way the Army Corps does business, but we want to know exactly where we were, cause -- is there something we can do to phase our way in earlier?

Our conclusion was -- is that we need to sit down with the Army Corps and look at contract options and that's what we're doing now. So by the end of the month, I'll meet with General Semonite at the Army Corps and he and I will stack hands on -- on a way forward, which will involve, I believe, some contract modifications to the construction side to -- to get us on track so that we can accelerate beyond, you know, quicker than 22 that we've -- that we've estimated.

That 22 number is based on what we know today and the progress and how things have gone over the last couple of years. So it's a very conservative estimate and that includes Navy acceptance, because you've got to do that, that includes European Command acceptance, and there's always something we talk about, called the technical capability declaration. We -- we do that first, we say the system's up and ready to go and Navy, come accept, EUCOM, come accept.

We're very focused in on that end game, so '22 is what we see as the worst case. We're going to try to pull that in by working closely with the Army Corps.

Q: (Inaudible) need a new contractor to finish it off?

ADM. HILL: We don't know yet. There's -- there's -- there's a whole stream of options, some of them, you know, are -- are straightforward but can we execute them? You know, we've got to look at all of the legalities between MILCON and what we can do on the development side.

It's -- it's tough and -- but we're -- we're -- we've got full agreement that something needs to be done. And so we'll -- we'll -- more than likely by the end of the month, have a ‘go path’ on what we're going to go to. Thank you.

STAFF: Lee?

Q: Lee Hudson with Aviation Week. Hi, I wanted to ask you about the ground-based interceptors. It looks like you're planning to buy five in this fiscal year and I was wondering are you going to buy any additional in the out years or are you waiting until the next generation interceptor comes online?

MS. ATKINSON: So I'll have to… maybe you can share with me afterwards, the five that you're seeing, because I'm not aware. We are not procuring an additional five GBIs this year. It could be the silos, I'm not sure, but we can talk about that.

And so, you know, as the Admiral mentioned, we are going through the RFP and selection timeframe over the next couple of years, at which time we'll be understanding exactly when we'll start procurement of -- of the next generation interceptors.

Q: OK, thank you.

STAFF: Marcus?

Q: Hi (inaudible), Marcus Weisgerber with Defense One. Could we go back to the layered homeland defense for a second? Admiral, if I understand you correctly, you're -- you're assessing now whether or not you -- you're going to put interceptors in the ground around cities in the country. You mentioned parking a destroyer off the coast but it kind of sounded like, reading between the lines, is also something under consideration. (Inaudible).

ADM. HILL: I would say all options are on the table. So when we look at our experience with Aegis Ashore in Romania, you know we have a site in Hawaii, when you look at how the threat's growing, how -- you're going to see increased numbers, you're going to see more complexity.

So layered makes sense to us. But we -- we may have a lot more work to go before we can say we're going to -- we're going to put sites here or we're going to put missiles there. 

We're not ready to say that at this point. We're really in the study phase where what we really need to do is come through this SM-3 test this year to ensure that we've got capability so that's really step one.

And then -- then we'll have the discussion on where you might keep those assets and where they would be the most effective.

Q: And -- also the NASAMS seems to come up on a lot of Raytheon's earnings calls and things and it's deployment around the world, I guess, and other places. And -- and are you looking also into using NASAMS in other places around the country as part of that layered...

ADM. HILL: Yes, NASAMS is part of a cruise missile defense architecture. It's -- it's tied to what we're doing. But it's really not. When I speak in terms of a layered homeland defense for -- against ballistic missiles that system is really built for something else.

STAFF: Justin. 

Q: Yes, thanks. I just wanted to ask… you just built, I think, 20 new silos up at Fort Greely, Alaska. Now that RKV is canceled, what are you putting in those silos?

ADM. HILL: Yes. So those silos won't be complete until we come through '21. And we challenged ourselves back when we canceled the RKV program. Should we stop doing what we're doing? But the missile fields were going along under schedule, under cost and just on track.

We've always had a -- I would say the program was always a little hardware poor and -- and we needed those additional silos to do basic maintenance. You know if you're going -- if you're going pull a missile out and do maintenance on it, you want to put another one in its spot, you need the little -- you need the ability to move them around so in the near term it provides us flexibility for maintenance and repair.

And that -- that's what we're going to leverage them for. And then when we start building more missiles that's when we'll actually use the silos. 

Q: And on that point, will the (inaudible) the NGI use existing GMD infrastructure like the silos or ....

ADM. HILL: Yes. It's -- it's -- right now we are designing to the existing infrastructure. We've done a systems wide look. And so if you were to look at the requirements for that missile it is part of a system. So the ground based systems and the constraints of the silos are part of that.

STAFF: (Inaudible).

Q: So on the INF Treaty. So Russia and the United States both left the INF Treaty. China was never a part of it. But have there been any changes to the current budget with regard to possibly protecting against these new intermediate-range missiles that will possibly be more prevalent or is that kind of already being taken care of?

ADM. HILL: More of a policy question. I -- I -- I don't really have an answer for you. I can't address that.

STAFF: Jen, please.

Q: So maybe I'm missing something but I didn't see anything on Pacific radars. Is there a new plan there for Pacific sensors to fill the mid-course gap at this point?

And if there isn't, you know, I think it was about $2.5 billion that -- that you are looking at spending on Pacific radar. You know where would that be (inaudible).

ADM. HILL: Yes, if you remember last year we -- we pushed Pacific radar to the right because of host nation issues that we have to comb through. We -- we still have that -- that issue and Pacific radar is no longer in our budget. We -- we've moved it out and I can't tell you where it goes because I don't know. It's -- it goes to other DOD priorities.

STAFF: Dan.

Q: (Inaudible). Budget mentions an initial two stage capability for, I guess, legacy GBIs almost as a software upgrade. Is that something that you would do where it just doesn't fire off its final stage or is that a hardware thing?

ADM. HILL: No, that's -- that's done through guidance and control on the missile. So what you -- so what -- what a 2-3 -- a 2-3 stage selectable GBI is, this allows you to burn all three stages so you can shoot out really far.

And as that threat continues to come in, you know then you -- you don't need to burn that third stage.

And so it gives you more -- it gives the command more flexibility again. So shoot out far or take things that are -- that are coming over your head and by not burning that third stage. So it's kind of that simple.

And so we -- we -- we're going to -- we're playing to go to a test for that. We're going through the engineering analysis now. We're reviewing the software changes required to do that.

But it's a -- in my mind it's almost a no brainer capability that we ought to get out there as soon as we can.

Q: So would you then still also consider buying the two stage boosters or is that off the table.

ADM. HILL: Like not building missile with the third stage?

Q: Correct.

ADM. HILL: No, we --we'd always want to have the flexibility to burn a third stage and go out far. Hit them out as far as you can.

STAFF: Tony?

Q: …NGI kind of funding, $4.9 in the FYDP. If you have that can you break out how much is in 21 and procurement R&D break-up. (Inaudible).

MS. ATKINSON: All right. So in FY '21, the RDT&E budget is $638 million. There is no procurement in FY '21 as that has moved out further until we're ready to build those missiles.

Q: So then the remainder of the $4.9 billion is all R&D?

MS. ATKINSON: Inside the FYDP, yes. And then once we award the contract and understand the -- the achievable schedule in procurement time line, then we will change those (inaudible).

Q: And end of the year, a decision by December or in December to down select?

ADM. HILL: So no, the decision would be to award. So we're going to -- after we put out the RFP then there's a specific amount of time for, I just don't recall what it is, where -- where the -- we do the technical evaluation on the bids that come in and then we'll make the award at the end of the year. 

Q: OK. In December -- roughly by ...

ADM. HILL: End of the year, yes sir.

Q: OK. And so -- and it's -- 20 is the goal?

ADM. HILL: Yes.

Q: And is it a winner take all or is that still at this point kind of ...

ADM. HILL: We're actually funded to have two suppliers for a risk reduction through at least preliminary design review. That's another thing we ask is, you know, what we're doing different, what we learned.

Right. So you got a competition in place. We have the ability now to carry two. So the department has supported that. You know help -- you know do the risk reduction piece and then we'll pick the right point in time to do down select.

Right now we're -- we're funded through PDR and you know there's plenty of arguments out there that you got to go all the way to the CDR. So we'll have that conversation when the times' right.

Q: Thank you.

ADM. HILL: Thank you.

STAFF: We've got time for about two more. Justin.

Q: I just wanted to ask about technology maturation initiatives because it looks like they took a pretty significant cut. What -- what are you canceling or jettisoning or otherwise not funding in this risk budget compared to last year's?

ADM. HILL: I'll take a stab at a couple of them. So I wouldn't call it jettisoning or dumping. It's kind of a shift in the priorities and how we do things, you know, across the department. 

Direct Energy is a great example of that. Where the -- the department had come in and said let's have a consolidated approach. Dr. Griffin stood up an assistant director for Directed Energy, they built road maps. We lined up to those road maps and what that does is that allows us to -- to work on different types of technologies and they reach a certain power level, for example. Is that the gate to where you would then send it off to industry? That's one way to do it or is that the gate to say this doesn't really apply to missile defense let's give it to the Navy or it really -- this will work really well on the atmosphere in an aircraft so let's give it to the Air Force. So it's a more holistic DOD approach.

So even though you won't see those dollars in our budget, I'm absolutely confident that when the technology gets to where it needs to be that MDA has access to that technology and -- and can bring that down and use it.

Q: So for Directed Energy, are you saying that that's no longer really on the table for the missile defense agency?

ADM. HILL: For -- for '21 that budget was reduced.

Q: You're no longer thinking we're going to have a test by -- what was it, 25 or something like that?

ADM. HILL: It's -- we won't be pursing that right now.

STAFF: Phil?

Q: (Inaudible) elaborate a little on the AN/TYP-2 project. You know is the idea that you're -- could you just tell me what the goal is. Is the idea to have a more integrated system than -- than you have now. Is it just that it's -- in the last several years it's proven, you know, not as robust as you wanted. What's -- what's the thinking?

ADM. HILL: For AN/TPY-2.

Q: Yes.

ADM. HILL: For this issue with THAAD battery or for the Homeland defense version.

Q: I -- well in the -- my understanding from what you were briefing before where you talking about an upgrade to the -- to the system that I thought, you were talking about the ones in the Middle East that I wasn't sure.

ADM. HILL: Yes, I'm having a hard time tracking where we were in that conversation. So is this tied to the -- to the JEON in South Korea or was I talking about THAAD upgrades?

MS. ATKINSON: Or was it a reference to when I mentioned we were spending money to sustain it as well as continue software upgrades to it.

ADM. HILL: Yes, so every -- every radar across the fleet, we are constantly going in and updating the algorithms for something we call discrimination, that's your ability to pick out the lethal object in -- in a complex. Radars are attracted to -- to track everything and there's just some things we don't want it to track right. We want to get right down to the lethal object.

So there are discrimination improvements that we do. What we're working on with the Army for the THAAD batteries is to -- as we do remove and replace those, say a specific modules will update from gallium arsenide to gallium nitride. So we're going to an all GaN radar face.

And we're going to -- we've got a modernization plan that is basically a maintenance, you know, replace and remove -- remove and replace strategy with the Army. When we got to the KSA FMS case. Those are going to be built straight up as GaN radars. And so if we do it right we'll have the GaN radars that are part of the FMS case that the Army can then leverage or MDA can leverage over time if we increase the numbers of batteries.

But we're also taking the other radars that are forward deployed and those ones that are associate with THAAD batteries and we're upgrading them because that -- that gives you more power and sensitivity and it's much more reliable radar. Does that make sense?

STAFF: Jen, I’ll let you close it out.

Q: So just a follow up on the Pacific radar issue. If you aren't going to get these done anytime soon, what would you do to handle the mid-course gap there? What are some of the things that -- that you can maybe fill in there?

ADM. HILL: Yes, so really Pacific radar was taking us to the next, you know, evolution of where we -- where we estimate the threat to be. Today in that region you have forward deployed AN/TPY-2 radars that handle that load. We have a deployable SBX radar that handles that load.

You've got Aegis ships with their radars that are mobile and can be repositioned as appropriate. So -- so that's -- that's really the answer for how you handle that, you know, in the near term.

The -- the -- the important thing though is part of those discussions as we're coming through this president's budget is we realize we need to take another look at that architecture and so the Secretary of Defense has commissioned a study for us to look at the sensor architecture specifically in the INDOPACOM region and you know what do we need to do and what other options do we have.

STAFF: All right folks that's all the time we have for today. Admiral, Ms. Atkinson; thank you very much for your time. And folks, I'll close it up here. You know the transcript should be posted on defense.gov tomorrow and I'll be happy to follow up if you have questions, I'll stick around for a minute or two and -- and I'll -- we'll see what we can do for you. Thank you for coming.

ADM. HILL: All right. See you. Thanks. Thank you.