Congress wants Hawaiian missile defense radar operational by end of 2028

WASHINGTON – Congress wants the Missile Defense Agency to install a radar in Hawaii that can protect the homeland from ballistic missiles by the end of 2028, according to the 2022 National Defense Clearance Tax Act released this week .

The House passed the bill earlier this week and the Senate is expected to consider it for a vote next week.

Lawmakers want the agency to include in its budget request for fiscal year 23 and in the years to come sufficient defense program funding to develop, build, test and integrate the missile defense radar for homeland defense at Hawaii, as available.

The MDA must declare the Hawaiian radar and its associated in-flight interception communication system data terminal operational “no later than December 31, 2028,” it said.

Although the agency did not include any funding in its FY22 budget request for radar, traction for the capacity has grown on Capitol Hill among authorizers and appropriators.

Senate officials, in their version of the FY22 defense spending bill, recommended an additional $ 41 million for the Homeland Defense Radar-Hawaii, or HDR-H.

The committee would also demand that the director of MDA, as well as the commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific command, provide congressional defense committees with updated, unclassified and classified briefs on current and evolving threats and the capacity of HDR-H to cope with these. threats by the end of January 2022, as the bill reads.

Homeowners would provide $ 75 million in funding for an HDR-H.

MDA’s previous budget requests in fiscal years 19 and 20 requested funding for the discriminating radar as well as funding elsewhere in the Pacific. The plan for FY19 was to deploy the HDR-H, by FY23, which meant that military construction would have taken place from FY21. Then, in FY20, MDA requested $ 247.7 million for the radar. Lockheed Martin received an award for developing the radar in December 2018.

But in FY21, funding for the Hawaiian Radar and the Pacific Radar was lacking in demand. MDA Director Vice Admiral Jon Hill said in February, when posting the request, that the agency had decided to put the brakes on its plans to install the radars in the Pacific, considering instead throwing a new look at the sensor architecture in the INDOPACOM region to determine what is needed to manage emerging threats.

Hill noted that the area is covered by an AN / TPY-2 radar forward deployed in Hawaii as well as the Sea-Based X-Band deployable radar. In addition, Aegis ships with their radars are mobile and can be repositioned as needed to deal with short-term threats, he added.

The INDOPACOM Commander placed HDR-H fourth on his “wish list” of unfunded needs sent to the Hill earlier this year after the release of budget request FY22.

The commander wants $ 41 million in research and development funding as well as $ 19 million in military construction funds to support initial operational capability by FY24. The list notes that the request has been in line with the guidelines of the National Defense Authorization Act over the past six budget cycles.

INDOPACOM also listed HDR-H as an unfunded requirement in FY21.

Meanwhile, the new defense clearance legislation also supports the establishment of a missile defense architecture in Guam.

MDA requested $ 78.3 million for missile defense in Guam in FY22 and an additional $ 40 million for the purchase of long-term items for Guam architecture, but the agency no has yet to reveal what this architecture will look like.

The Secretary of Defense and the Director of MDA, as well as the Commander of INDOPACOM, “must identify the architecture and procurement approach for the implementation of a 360-degree integrated air and missile defense capability. degrees to defend the people, infrastructure and territory of Guam from the reach and scale of advanced technology. threats from cruise, ballistic and hypersonic missiles that are expected to be deployed within the 10-year period starting from the date of enactment of this law, ”the language of the NDAA states.

Lawmakers call on the Pentagon and MDA, when developing the architecture, to “leverage existing programs to accelerate the development and deployment of the architecture during the five-year period starting from the date of the enactment of this law with the aim of achieving initial operational capability by 2025.

The benchmark programs are the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, Standard Missile-3 and -6 variants, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System, Patriot Air and Missile Defense System and Integrated Battle Command System.

Other systems include the lower level air and missile defense sensor and “other lower level capabilities, as appropriate” and should consider integrating future systems and interceptors – such as directed destruction systems based on the system. energy – which have the ability to tackle threats from hypersonic missiles in slip and terminal phases.

NDAA requires a report no later than 60 days after promulgation on the system architecture and procurement approach.

Jen Judson is the Ground War Reporter for Defense News. She covered defense in the Washington area for 10 years. She was previously a journalist for Politico and Inside Defense. She won the National Press Club’s Best Analytical Reporting Award in 2014 and was named Best Young Defense Journalist by the Defense Media Awards in 2018.

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