dling larger raids. In addition, to serve as a training tool for the operators and to build their knowledge and confidence, the battle simulation facility could use real system elements in the loop and introduce failures or unexpected threat behavior.
Defining, developing, manufacturing, and deploying multiple systems to defend against various often ill-defined potential offensive systems is a significant challenge. In response to this challenge, MDA, in concert with the DOD Operational Test Assessment Office and the Services test organizations, has created an overarching Master Integrated Test Plan. A key concern is the signatures of incoming missiles, reentry vehicles, and associated penetration aids, which cannot precisely be duplicated or tested. The availability of test missiles also limits the number of flight tests that could be conducted with the GBIs at FGA and VAFB.
The committee believes that the MDA Master Integrated Test Plan developed and approved by the Office of Testing and Assessment (OTA), is a reasonable approach to developing estimates of the initial reliability of the deployed systems while considering the complexity and costs of any potential test plan. This master plan also takes advantage of significant simulation testing of all the MDA systems. However, the committee has not seen a follow-on operational test plan for deployed systems that would provide an ongoing reliability assessment with associated confidence levels. In short, today’s deployed GBIs do not have identical configurations, and the missile could have different reliabilities and confidence levels that would need to be utilized by the war planners. MDA does maintain an accurate configuration for each deployed GBI, so that the situation of “no two alike” does not now appear to be an important concern. In summary, MDA’s comprehensive, overarching Master Integrated Test Plan for all of its deployed assets and supporting activities was distributed in July 2010, but the actual results and benefits of the plan remain to be seen.
Testing aside, the most important contributor to an effective missile defense is the robustness of the architecture and the CONOPS that define its capabilities, even given uncertainties in the threat and reliability of the system elements. For that reason, the committee believes it is important to specify the CONOPS and the architecture.
1. There is no tenable place from which to launch surface-based or air-launched interceptors within 1,000 km of central Iran, where that country’s longer-range missiles are likely to be based for security reasons. Therefore, it would not be practical to engage any long- or medium-range threats during their boost phase and they would have to be engaged during their midcourse or ter-