U.S.-Russian Missile Defense Cooperation Should Start With Smaller Projects, Former MDA Chief Says

The failures of a joint U.S.-Russian program to develop two ballistic missile-tracking satellites demonstrates that U.S.-Russian missile defense cooperation should begin by focusing on smaller projects, the former head of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency said earlier this month (see GSN, June 18).

The United States and Russia began the Russian-American Observation Satellite (RAMOS) program in 1992, but the agency is seeking to end the program at the end of fiscal 2004 due to years of stalled progress and bureaucratic disputes, according to Jane’s Defense Weekly.

“If we can be successful in the short run on more modest goals, then we will be able to move forward quicker on more ambitious activities,” said former MDA chief Air Force Lt. Gen. Ronald Kadish, who left his post on July 2. “I think the biggest problem (with RAMOS was) that we couldn’t, at [the] government-to-government level, make the agreements allowing us to proceed without worrying about barriers that have to be overcome,” he added. 

Kadish also said that missile defense cooperation discussions are set to be held soon between the United States and Russia. Defense sources told Jane’s that the United States is interested in using Russian missiles as targets in training and missile characterization exercises. The countries might also collaborate on development of radar to track ballistic missiles (Michael Sirak, Jane’s Defense Weekly, July 14).

 

July 13, 2004
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The failures of a joint U.S.-Russian program to develop two ballistic missile-tracking satellites demonstrates that U.S.-Russian missile defense cooperation should begin by focusing on smaller projects, the former head of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency said earlier this month.