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Nukes & Spooks: Missile defense flight test "successes" questioned

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laststeamtrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-06-08 05:19 PM
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Nukes & Spooks: Missile defense flight test "successes" questioned
Missile defense flight test "successes" questioned

Is the U.S. Missile Defense Agency playing fast and loose with its flight test record?

Victoria Samson, a research analyst at the non-profit Center for Defense Information, an arms control policy institute, believes it is. The MDA begs to differ.

In a new report released today, Samson takes issue with a March 31 assertion by Lt. Gen. Henry "Trey" Obering, the MDA chief, that his agency has had "26 of 27 successful flight tests just since September of 2005."

That count "is overly generous" and "leaves one with a misleadingly optimistic view of how missile defense is progressing," she writes, explaining that 11 of those tests did not involve an interceptor hitting a target.

"Historically, calculating missile defense testing's effectiveness focuses on whether an intercept occurred during a flight test," Samson says. "This is not to say that important things cannot be learned during other types of testing, But these other tests do not instill confidence that missile defense can work reliably."

Her report also questions why Obering picked September 2005 as the starting point in his success count, pointing out that his tabulation would be hurt if it included failed flight tests of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) program in December 2004 and February 2005.

<more>

http://washingtonbureau.typepad.com/nationalsecurity/20...
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Eagle_Eye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-06-08 05:26 PM
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1. If you are looking only at failures, why don't you take it all the way back to Nike-Zeus in 1959
When looking at the progress of a development program, consider the first air plane the Wright brothers constructed.

"Well it did fly, but can it go into orbit? When you can put wings on that silo over there and make it fly out of the atmosphere, we will consider it a viable technology."
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