The Pentagon’s $10-billion bet gone bad

Leaders of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency were effusive about the new technology.

It was the most powerful radar of its kind in the world, they told Congress. So powerful it could detect a baseball over San Francisco from the other side of the country.

If North Korea launched a sneak attack, the Sea-Based X-Band Radar — SBX for short — would spot the incoming missiles, track them through space and guide U.S. rocket-interceptors to destroy them.

Crucially, the system would be able to distinguish between actual missiles and decoys.

SBX “represents a capability that is unmatched,” the director of the Missile Defense Agency told a Senate subcommittee in 2007.

In reality, the giant floating radar has been a $2.2-billion flop, a Los Angeles Times investigation found. Continue reading

Major US, Israeli air defense exercise begins

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military says its largest ever exercise with the United States has begun.

A major air defense drill called Austere Challenge 2012 started Sunday and includes more than 3,500 Americans and 1,000 Israelis. The militaries are practicing their ability to work together against a range of threats facing Israel, the main U.S. ally in the Mideast. Continue reading

Russia develops air defense lasers

According to CEO of Russia’s Almaz-Antei advanced arms makers Dr Vladislav Menshikov, his company continues work, started decades ago in the Soviet Union, to develop powerful airborne lasers capable of shooting down hostile aircraft and incoming missiles. Sources say a weapon of this kind can destroy targets travelling at altitudes of up to 40 kilometers.

Full article: Russia develops air defense lasers (Defence Talk)