House National Security Committee Hearing: Ballistic Missile Threat from Iran

November 5, 1997

Weapon Program: 

  • Missile

REP. WELDON: The subcommittee will come to order. I apologize for the lateness, but we did have a vote that we had to -- we had actually a series of votes that we had to attend and Mr. Pickett is on his way back. For the information of the public, we did have a classified briefing on this topic at 1:00 o'clock for members, so a significant number of subcommittee and full committee members were at that briefing prior to this public hearing.

This afternoon, the Research and Development Subcommittee meets in open session to receive testimony on HR 2786, a bill to authorize actions in the rapidly emerging threat posed by the unexpectedly rapid development and pending deployment of medium range ballistic missiles in Iran. I want to welcome my ranking member, my good friend and colleague, Owen Pickett of Virginia. I will allow him to make whatever comments he'd like when he arrives. I understand he's already been here.

Finally, I want to welcome our witness today, Lieutenant General Les Lyles, the Director of Ballistic Missile Office. General Lyles, thank you for appearing with us today.

GEN. LYLES: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

REP. WELDON: I know this came up on short notice, but we do appreciate your efforts on our behalf. The subcommittee is deeply concerned over the rapid development of ballistic missiles by Iran, missiles which could be tested and potentially deployed within a year to 18 months. Intelligence assessments don't normally assume a deployment of ballistic missiles can be accomplished soon after developmental testing, but we have already been caught by surprise with the totally unexpected deployment in North Korea of a significant number of Nodong missiles and both fixed site and mobile launchers after only limited evidence of testing. We can't afford to ignore this possibility again.

We were also greatly distressed to learn that Iranian missiles would be able to reach all of our troops in Turkey, the Middle East, the Persian Gulf, and all of our friends and allies in this region including Israel. Another concern is that this missile threat may mature before any of our theater missile defense systems capable of meeting this threat effectively will be deployed.

That means that we and our allies will face superior vulnerability during which we will have no defense against these missiles. Yet another is that our current team doing planning and budgeting seems not to have anticipated the severity of this threat and the speed at which it has progressed.

And finally, as we look into the future and see a stronger range Iranian threat evolving, we are concerned that US TMD systems, such as THAAD and Navy theater-wide, will not progress at a pace that will allow us to defeat longer range Iranian missiles when those are deployed. The bill that I and 106 co-sponsors, 86 Republicans and 20 Democrats, including 44 members of this committee, HR 2786 is intended to address this emerging threat with concrete steps that will allow us to deploy more effective defenses earlier.

We discussed elements of this bill with BMDO, with industry representatives, and with our ally Israel, and we believe that we have put together a set of reasonable proposals that will, in fact, if implemented, increase our ability to meet this challenge from Iran. We directly requested that BMDO provide us with options that made sense from a programmatic and budgetary standpoint, and I know that BMDO was preparing information to support such options.

However, very unfortunately, in my view, the decision was taken, apparently at the highest levels of the Department of Defense, not to forward those options to this subcommittee. That made our task more difficult, and makes General Lyles' appearance before us today even more important. Secretary of Defense Cohen, in a letter to me addressing our requests for information, indicated that, and I quote, "Should such a missile capability emerge, it could pose a significant threat to US interests, military forces, and friends and allies in the region."

The subcommittee, however, is led to believe that this threat will arise and sooner rather than later. General Lyles, we need from you today as clear a sense as you can give us of the Department of Defense's assessment of this threat, whether it was anticipated last winter when you put together your 1998 budget, and whether your program was adjusted during the spring and summer when awareness of this threat was beginning to grow.

Secretary Cohen also wrote in his letter to me that he recommended "no additional resources be applied to accelerate" our TMD programs. We need to know if this statement represents DOD's policy response to the Iranian missile threat. We need, also, General Lyles, your views on the specific authorizations that we included in our bill and the extent to which you think they will address both the near term and the longer term threats the subcommittee believes will arise from the deployment of Iranian ballistic missiles.

I want to thank you for your expressed willingness to be helpful at the beginning of the process of crafting this bill and I apologize in advance for the awkwardness of your position here today. I can only note that this awkwardness results from the Department's unwillingness to share with us information necessary to identify a meaningful response to this emerging threat.

One week before I met with General Lyles in my office several weeks ago, we had a briefing from a senior member of the DOD staff giving us a specific series of options that we, in fact, could look at to deal with the threat that is emerging from Iran. When we asked for information, we were given assurances that within a week those numbers would be forthcoming. Unfortunately, a week later I met with the general and in my opinion, OSD then put the clamps on the general and Secretary Cohen's letter in no way provided us with the specific numbers that we would have liked to have had.

We have, at every possible opportunity, sought to work with the administration, even to giving the administration flexibility in the use of the dollars that we put in this legislation. So if things change, there could be adjustments made depending upon what you, our chief official in the position of responding to these threats, feel would be in our best interests. I expressed my dismay to Deputy Secretary Hamre.

This morning I met for an hour with Vice President Gore in the White House on this issue at his request, and a group of us, five House members and five Senators, attempted to begin to work out a compromise on this and other legislative interests from this Congress in terms of the emerging Iranian missile threat. Tomorrow I've asked my distinguished friend and colleague, Owen Pickett, to join me in meeting with Senator Carl Levin, who has also expressed an interest in working with us in this effort.

John Kyl and Senator Lieberman have been the announced co- sponsors of this bill in the Senate. So we appreciate the cooperation, and again, I apologize for the conditions under which this hearing is being held. I don't mean to get you in trouble, General, but this subcommittee's responsibility, as you know, is to provide for this Congress and this country the best technical assessments of what solutions we have available to us to meet planned and emerging threats.

We have an emerging threat that is here that we have to deal with, and therefore, in this emergency situation, I think you understand the nature of this hearing. With that, I'll be happy to turn to my good friend, Mr. Pickett, for any opening comments you'd like to make.

REP. PICKETT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think you've covered the bulk of the issues that we want to hear about today, but I seem to recall, General Lyles, from previous hearings before this committee that it's not just a matter of money and it's not just a matter of planning. It is not just a matter of coordination, but it's a matter of maturity of the technology that we need in order to build and deploy a reliable system to intercept missiles.

I'd like to hear from you today on that particular point and whether you believe that throwing more money at the problem is the solution or whether there simply must be a certain period of time - - it's going to require a certain period of time in which to mature the technology and do the job right.

GEN. LYLES: Thank you, sir.

REP. PICKETT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

REP. WELDON: General, the floor is yours.

I understand you have a time commitment for a plane and you have to leave here at 3:00. Is that correct?

GEN. LYLES: No, sir. If we could get out of here by quarter to 4:00 or so, that would be great.




Lieutenant General, and
Director, Ballistic Missile Office


GEN. LYLES: But I understand it depends on how the hearing goes.

Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, it really is my pleasure to appear before you today and represent the Department of Defense on the critical issue of Iranian missile defense development and our programs to meet this as well as other emerging missile threats. I know the committee, because we were allowed to sit in at the beginning of this, has just received a detailed presentation from the members of the intelligence community on the Iranian medium range ballistic missile program.

The Department is very concerned about the accelerated development of such a medium range missile capability, especially in the hands of a rogue nation. And I want to clearly emphasize that while this specific Iranian capability appears to be emerging more quickly than previously expected, Mr. Chairman, this is exactly the type and range of threat that we've been basing our theater missile defense program on for quite some time.

In fact, our specific TMD architecture has been designed to address and counter this emerging threat. I might also add that this is not a new threat. We are seeing it developing on the Korean Peninsula for some time. What is new, however, is this rapid emergence in the Middle East. A medium range ballistic missile threat combined with the existing Scud-like systems is the reason why the Department has embarked on, and I believe, Mr. Chairman, why the Congress has consistently supported a TMD family of systems, an approach that utilizes highly interoperable upper and lower tier missile defense systems.

I know the members of this committee are keenly aware of our programs, the Patriot PAC-3, the Navy Area Defense Program, the Theater High Altitude Area Defense Program, or THAAD, and the Navy theater-wide or upper tier system. These four systems comprise our core TMD efforts. Our plan is to ensure that these four defensive systems can work together as a family of systems, and therefore create a highly effective and highly interoperable defense capability to protect the United States, our coalition military forces, as well as friends and allies.

Today our TMD major defense acquisition programs are progressing as fast as they can given technical and fiscal constraints and prudence. The PAC-3 system will begin fielding in fiscal year 1999. The Navy area defense system is to be incorporated into the Aegis fleet beginning in fiscal year 2000. Both of these programs are on track and they are scheduled to meet those dates.

These lower tier systems, Mr. Chairman, will inherently have some capability to defend against a medium range threat potentially posed by Iran. These systems are, of course, optimized to defend against shorter range systems such as the Scud-class missiles already in the missile inventories of several nations around the world. However, there is a force multiplying effect and additional capability gained when we link them architecturally with other TMD systems, with sensors, with radars, et cetera. Mr. Chairman, this is the essence of interoperability and the essence of our family-of-systems approach.

Let me be very clear. As my predecessor and I both testified in the past, Mr. Chairman, only when we deploy the PAC-3 Navy Area Defense and our upper tier systems of THAAD and Navy upper tier will we have what we consider, and I think the Congress considers and is described as a robust and effective missile defense capability to meet the emerging missile systems that we see around the world.

However, although designed for shorter ranges of threat, we project that both PAC-3 and the Navy Area Defense Systems will have some capability against the medium range threat posed by the current threat that we're trying to address. They will give us a hedge against such threats until the upper tier systems are in our inventory. We're currently optimizing the lower tier systems by improving their ability to net data, to receive advanced cuing information, to improve their overall interoperability within the context of our TMD family of systems.

Thus, what we are very interested in, Mr. Chairman, is to test those systems against the longer range threat represented targets, to test those current lower tier systems against the longer range threat targets that we might have available. The development of Navy upper tier systems such as THAAD and Navy Theater-Wide are, of course, planned capability to give us a robust response to the longer range theater ballistic missile threat. The upper tier systems, as you know, engage the enemy ballistic missiles further down range away from the target and at higher altitudes than the lower tier systems can provide.

In addition, they fit in with a layered defense capability, the combination of upper and lower tier systems allow us to increase the overall systems' effectiveness by reducing the numbers of leakers and giving us a much wider footprint than we might have with just the lower tier alone. This enhances our protection capability for our forces, for our friends, and for our allies. As recent testing has realized, however, Mr. Chairman, our upper tier systems are technically challenging. I think the committee is well-aware of the challenges we've had and the problems we've had with both of our systems, upper tier systems, particularly with the THAAD program.

THAAD has been very, very successful in every aspect except the very critical endgame during the four intercept attempts that we've tried to make. We're working towards the next successful flight in the early 1998 and we've done so after thoroughly evaluating all the failures that we've had in the past in looking at both the technical and management aspects of the program, and more importantly, developing aspects that we want to incorporate in terms of fixes for the THAAD program. In my assessment, Mr. Chairman, that next test will be a success.

The Theater-Wide program, as you well know, is just in the beginning stages of our acquisition process. Its current schedule does not call for a systems intercept attempt until fiscal year 2000, and though I, like the Navy upper tier program manager, am committed to defining what we define as an evolutionary acquisition strategy, one that will allow us to fill Navy upper tier as quickly as possible, initially perhaps without all the bells and whistles capabilities that we want to have in a Navy upper tier, but a system that will allow us to get a capability out to the fleet as quickly as we possibly can.

And currently, we're incorporating the lessons learned from our bad experience across the board, not only in our upper tier programs, but all of missile defense programs we have in our plans and inventory. Mr. Chairman, I feel that our core programs are progressing and proceeding as fast as they possibly can given the technical and the fiscal constraints that we've imposed upon them. As the committee and DOD consider appropriate responses to this Iranian missile defense system, we must carefully evaluate the options and not just try to accelerate these programs until we fully understand that they can meet their demonstrated capabilities and that they can meet the constraints that we want to place on them in terms of cost and performance.

Mr. Chairman, I'd like to point to a couple of charts that I've provided in the package we provided to you. We provided you a couple of charts I want to show to try to illustrate the kind of systems and capabilities that we think are very important, and more importantly, to illustrate why interoperability and our family of systems approach is so very important to us. The first chart is described as a generic PAC-3 footprint without a ground-based radar. Do you have those charts, Mr. Chairman?


GEN. LYLES: The next chart describes a PAC-3 like lower tier system and though I kept it unclassified for the purposes of this open hearing, what it represents is a kind of footprint capability we can get to protect against a 1,300-kilometer class threat similar to the threat that Iran poses to us. That shows the footprint you get of protection from the current lower tier systems.

I'd ask you to turn to the second chart. What you see is this generic PAC-3 like capability and how much the footprint of protection is at hand by having a ground-based radar or some sort of cuing capability a family of systems interoperability capability in addition to that inherent PAC-3. I think you can see from the footprint of this particular chart that we greatly enhance the footprint of protection of even our lower tier system like this generic PAC-3. This is the essence of interoperability, the essence of our family of systems capability that we're trying to develop.

Can I ask you, Mr. Chairman, to turn to the third chart? The third chart represents the generic footprint against a generic 1,000- kilometer threat similar to the kinds of threats we're talking about that Iran might be developing. The left hand part of the chart shows the capabilities we have with the lower tier system along. The purple parts shown in that chart shows you the radar range capability of a lower tier system. The yellow part shows a sort of footprint of protection that we can provide.

The right hand side of the chart shows you the inherent capability you get from netting that lower tier system with an upper tier system. This might be a UOES capability of THAAD, as an example. You see a tremendous, tremendous additional capability from the interoperability, the family of systems approach that you get against the kinds of class of threat that this committee and we are all very, very concerned about.

I put those charts together, Mr. Chairman, just to illustrate again why interoperability and why the family of systems approach is so very much important to us and why we want to stick to the course in terms of this sort of architecture for our missile programs.

Finally, Mr. Chairman, as the committee is aware, we have been cooperatively developing the Arrow system with Israel since 1988. We have recently begun work on the third and final phase of the program with Israel. The phase is called the Arrow Deployability Program, or ADP. That ADP program is intended to expand Israel's efforts to integrate the various components of Arrow, the radar system, the command and control system, and the intercept together to give the total system capability that they hope to field by the end of this decade.

Our interest in the Arrow system has been twofold.

First, many of the components of Arrow are similar to those in the US TMD systems, and we both have learned vital lessons from looking at and observing and monitoring each other's testing. And second, we're keenly interested in gaining in interoperability of both the Arrow system with our systems and how our own systems might work with them in that sort of theater. We have been engaged with the Israelis to ensure that our TMD systems can operate side-by-side in the future with their systems, particularly with the Arrow both in terms of future contingencies and potentially in terms of addressing the kind of threat posed by the systems being developed by Iran.

The Arrow weapon system will provide a formidable missile defense capability against regional threats alone. The development and near- term deployment of this long range threat from Iran poses an increased threat to Israel and an increased threat to our forces who might be operating in that region. In that regard, we've already, Mr. Chairman, initiated action with the Israelis to expand our already ongoing interoperability program with the Arrow weapons system. Specifically, we're trying to address this medium range, emerging medium range ballistic threat from Iran and have taken a look from a bilateral standpoint an assessment and examination of the number of options that we might have available to us to address those kinds of threats.

There are many things that can be done. They include improved warning, cuing, netting with our existing systems, and netting with the future systems that we will have in the inventory, and there may be some other programmatic and technical options that we can take as a result of the joint assessment that we're making with the Israelis. This effort, as I stated, Mr. Chairman, is already ongoing and is just an expansion of our already ongoing interoperability activities that we have with the Arrow program.

Mr. Chairman, in closing, I want to assure you and the members that the Department is very concerned about this emerging situation in Iran, as well as the development of any future missiles program along the same state that may be going on amongst some of the rogue states. We're progressing as rapidly as possible with our active TMD systems. We're working to ensure those systems can operate effectively and efficiently as a family of systems from an interoperable standpoint, and we recognize that we haven't reached the point of getting to robust and effective systems that we plan to have in the future, but we're on the verge of doing that. The TMD systems that we have today are technically challenging in that they require a substantial amount of engineering development and integration work. And finally, they certainly require proof on the test range, proof that we can reliably hit and reliably kill incoming ballistic missiles and their warheads. And while I am confident that these systems will succeed, we have to prove it before we're ready to start fielding them.

In the meantime, Mr. Chairman, there are options open to us to continue to improve our posture for rapidly fielding highly effective and interoperable TMD systems, and the Department will review those options as well as many other options available to us in examining the kinds of threats that you are addressing in this particular hearing.

I look forward, Mr. Chairman, to returning to this committee once all of our reviews are completed and once we've done our assessment, both within our own capabilities and certainly how we might do this in conjunction with our allies, the Israelis. And, Mr. Chairman, that completes my opening statement and I look forward to answering yours and the committee's questions.

REP. WELDON: Thank you, General. After having assessed recent intelligence community reports and you just attended the part of the session the members of Congress were involved in and you had to leave during a separate portion of the hearing, in the acceleration of Iranian theater ballistic missile development, does the Department of Defense interpret this to be a military significant event and one that was not previously predicted to occur as soon as current information now indicates?

GEN. LYLES: Mr. Chairman, we do consider it to be a significant military event, we within BMDO. I can't speak for the entire Department because we haven't coordinated that particular threat scenario across the entire Department, but within BMDO, we consider this to be significant. It is certainly much more aggressive and fast-paced, as you indicated from your hearing, intelligence hearing, and as we have received recently from our own intelligence sources.

REP. WELDON: If such a ballistic missile capability does emerge in Iran within 12 to 18 months, will we, under currently funded TMD program schedules, be capable of our deploying an effective defense for US troops, approximately 25,000, and vital US interests currently within the predicted range of this threat?

GEN. LYLES: First, Mr. Chairman, I'd like to just comment or quote on the same comments we all heard in the intelligence briefing. It sounds like the emergence of something in 12 to 18 months will be testing of a capability. Deployment as a capability may lag sometime behind that. Whatever that time frame is, as I just stated, Mr. Chairman, with our inherent lower tier systems alone, but more importantly with interoperability and linking and providing a family of systems netting of our lower tier systems, we will have the capability, some capability to address that particular threat in the short term.

REP. WELDON: So within 12 to 18 months, you will have capability?

GEN. LYLES: Based on our lower tier systems coming into the inventory, and as you'll recall, I just stated, Mr. Chairman, we're basing it on what we've heard from the intelligence community, that within 12 to 18 months, there may be some testing. The actual fielding of the capability would lag behind that. I think that lagging would mesh with when we have our lower tier systems in the inventory and they do have inherent capability against that range and class of threat.

REP. WELDON: Let me phrase it a different way, General Lyles. You're familiar with what happened with the Nodong missile?

GEN. LYLES: Yes, sir.

REP. WELDON: Our intelligence estimates were telling us that we would see a testing scenario take place first before deployment of that system. When the first test was conducted, we were then told that deployment was, in fact, in place. Given that estimate that there is, in fact, a test 12 months from now and that then follows the pattern of the North Korean Nodong system and they deploy the system, will you, in 12 to 18 months, be able to take that threat out?

GEN. LYLES: Mr. Chairman, again, with our lower tier systems that we will have in the inventory by 1999 with PAC-3, by the year 2000 with the Navy lower tier system, and even with augmenting that with the support from the Israeli Arrow program which will be in the inventory by the year 2000, they inherently have some capability to be able to counter that class of threats and perhaps even more enhanced capability when netted together in a very wide net of interoperability.

REP. WELDON: Maybe I'm not being clear, and I understand what you're saying about PAC-3 in FY1999. This is November of 1997. In December of 1998, if Iran has six missiles and a launch capability, will you, in December of 1998 through June of 1999, be able to take out and deal with that threat?

GEN. LYLES: Mr. Chairman, I am not quite sure of the answer to that, and let me tell you specifically why I say that. In 1999 is when we have the PAC-3. We today have the PAC-2 with the guidance enhanced missiles. We actually think, Mr. Chairman, based on some of our analyses, that we want to test to verify. We think, based on some of our analyses, that even the PAC-2 with the guidance enhanced missile, will have some limited capability against that class of threat. So I don't want to tell you that there's absolutely zero capability. I don't think that would be --

REP. WELDON: It will be highly effective?

GEN. LYLES: Beg your pardon?

REP. WELDON: It will be highly effective?

GEN. LYLES: There's a subjective assessment as to what highly effective is. I think both you and I agree that highly effective is when we can engage a threat that's far enough down range and high enough altitude, a threat of this particular type, that we don't have to worry about debris, et cetera, et cetera. I do not say that these kind of capabilities will be what I define as highly effective, but we will have some capability and that capability may be more robust than we actually think. That's one of the key things that we want to go out and test and analyze in a very short period of time to find out what we really do have to meet that class of threat, Mr. Chairman.

REP. WELDON: General Lyles, you know my feeling on these issues. I and my colleague, Owen Pickett, made the statement we don't want to throw money away. I don't either. I have no dog in any of the missile defense fight that some of my colleagues do on this committee and in the full House. I'm willing to let you make those decisions and I've told you that repeatedly and you know that, I think, from the conversations we've had.

GEN. LYLES: Yes, sir.

REP. WELDON: But my job as the chairman of this subcommittee is to make sure that we are as robust as possible, and I'm not going to consider the budget implications because that's not my job here. My job is to give the Congress the best judgment on what we can do to meet the threat in the quickest possible time period to deal with the threats that are emerging. The Budget Committee and the full Congress can then impact on us the budgetary limitations that we have and that's what our job is here today.

In doing so, we reached out to you and to the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, not to anyone else, to you to tell us what improvements could be made. Three weeks ago, I met with you in my office and I went over this assessment with you and I said, "General Lyles, these are my concerns. We did not have the value of this to consider in our defense authorization bill this year. Therefore, based on the intelligence briefings that I've had for our members, and many of our colleagues have been at numerous briefings on this issue, we want you to tell us what things we could do to improve existing systems that you're working on, improve the footprints of those existing systems like PAC-3, and give you additional enhancements to deal with this threat.

" A week prior to that meeting that you and I had, one of your senior officials, General, met with six staffers, including the gentleman sitting next to me, and your senior person gave us a list of very specific improvements, in some cases with dollar amounts, that BMDO suggested if we provided could give you additional capability to deal with the Iranian threat. And each of those is in the bill we're talking about today.

Therefore, for the record, would you comment on the funding that is in the bill for BMCQ, for the Joint Composite Technology Tracking Network, for the appropriate Cobra Gemini radar, as well as for interoperability. Would you comment on each of those which are in the bill which your senior staff person briefed our committee on one week before I met with you?

GEN. LYLES: Mr. Chairman, I'll be very happy to do that, but I want to put this in context. The list of things that were enumerated during that meeting with the staffers, and indeed, the comments that I made to you when I met with you and Senator Kyl, were intended to be examples of things that could be done. Even when we started our initial analysis of responding to yours and Senator Kyl's letter, all we did was expand upon that list of potential options.

I think the key consideration and why we are very hesitant, and I speak specifically for myself, on giving you specific dollars amounts for those specific systems is that that was off the top of our head assessment of the kinds of things we smartly and intuitively think can be done to enhance our current capabilities. I owe it to you, Mr. Chairman, I owe it to the Congress, I certainly owe it to the Department of Defense, the Secretary of Defense, and even to the American public of doing a more thorough analysis to figure out exactly what are the right kind of things to do and what are the dollar amounts before we come back and tell you with certainty to give a million dollars to this project, another million dollars to that project.

If I could give you an example, Mr. Chairman, I mentioned it upstairs to one of your staffers recently. One of the projects that we mentioned, my senior member of my staff and I mentioned also, we thought was a wise thing to do was a radar program. You specifically mentioned a program called Cobra Gemini. It's mentioned within your proposed bill. In hindsight, after going off and talking to the experts, particularly the inventors of Cobra Gemini and the contractors involved, in doing this over the last couple of weeks, even they have told us that's not the right answer.

We gave you a preliminary assessment of what we thought made sense. We were hesitant in coming back and telling you that that is absolutely the right answer until we'd had the chance to do the netting, to do the analysis so we can give you a real answer of what really makes sense to address this problem. I would have been very remiss, Mr. Chairman, if we had told you or asked the Secretary to sign a letter to say Cobra Gemini is one of the answers. We now have information from the contractors that tell us absolutely that is not the right answer.

We're trying to be responsible, Mr. Chairman. We are very concerned about this issue just as much as you are. We're trying to get the right answers. We don't want to give you something off the top of our head that may not be the right approach.

REP. WELDON: I understand, General, and perhaps I'm overstating my feelings on this issue. I just find it troubling that four weeks ago, a senior assistant to you would come in and in a classified session brief our staff in a bipartisan way on specific enhancements, and in some cases, with specific dollar amounts. A week later, you meet with me and indicate your willingness to work with us, but to give you some time. I asked for a week; it took three weeks. And then when the response came, there was nothing, nothing, nada, zero.

I don't think that's a good faith effort, and I understand that you can't give us a specific dollar amount, which is why when you asked me to give you flexibility in the bill, we built that in, total flexibility in the final bill to allow you to make the decisions as the situation changes, and you know that's in the bill.

GEN. LYLES: Yes, sir.

REP. WELDON: Let me ask you specifically. Are there things that we could do to enhance your capability in the area of BMCQ?

GEN. LYLES: Yes, sir, there are some things that we think we can do to enhance the capability of our existing systems and certainly the future systems, and even our cooperative systems with Israel within the area of BMCQ.

REP. WELDON: Are there things that we could do to assist you in the short term for enhancing our capability in the Joint Composite Tracking Network?

GEN. LYLES: The Joint Composite Tracking Network, Mr. Chairman, is one avenue of BMCQ, so it's sort of a subset of the previous comment about BMCQ. REP. WELDON: A subset?

GEN. LYLES: Yes, sir. There are probably some things that could be done there.

REP. WELDON: Are there additional things that could be done if we gave you additional assets in the area of interoperability of the systems?

GEN. LYLES: We think there are some smart things to be done in the area of interoperability. Mr. Chairman, if I could caveat right now in response to those three questions, contrary to your earlier statement that you got nothing in the response back from the Secretary, if you look at Secretary Cohen's letter, he talked about interoperability.

REP. WELDON: No, I said dollar amounts.

GEN. LYLES: There were no dollar amounts, Mr. Chairman, and I tried to explain why even I don't think it would be prudent and smart for us to give you dollar amounts that may not be correct. But the generic areas of battle management command and control, the same things you've captured in your proposed bill, they're enumerated in a short term in a very succinct manner, but they are included in the response that you got back from the Secretary.

REP. WELDON: General, in the legislation, as you know, there is a provision that attempts to what I would characterize as -- this is probably a bad term, but to call Russia's bluff. The Russian government has officially stated that they have not been involved in a knowing transfer of technology to Iran for development of the two systems that we're discussing today. However, privately, as reported in the media, Russia has acknowledged that that technology transfer has occurred and still continues to this very day.

Part of what we do in the bill is to fence existing missile defense cooperative money that I have worked with you and your predecessor on putting in as a line item in our bill each year for joint Russian-American missile defense programs which in this case is the Ramos (sp) project, which I think is around $20 million and which I heartily support. We fenced $3 million of that money and provide an additional $2 million of new money if Russia, in fact, will make available the scientists from the institute and from those entities that helped design the technology that Iran is now developing, and also to work with either BMDO or whoever you would assign, whether it be the Utah Russian Institute or some other entity to help reverse engineer that system.

Would that money be of any benefit to BMDO if, in fact, we could get Russia to cooperate in that regard?

GEN. LYLES: Mr. Chairman, I can only give you my own personal view on that. This is not my expertise obviously. It sounds like a wise thing to look at and consider and that's about all I can say about it. I do not know the specifics of their cooperative efforts in detail, that the intelligence community can talk to that in more detail, nor am I sure as to whether or not there will be some actual real cooperation. So I probably shouldn't say any more.

REP. WELDON: Well, I would think you could comment on the record, General. I mean, you are overseeing a $20 million project called Project Ramos with Academician Savan (sp) in Russia and the Utah Russian Institute. You must know if there's a high level of cooperation there with the Russians.

GEN. LYLES: Yes, sir. The Ramos program is one, as you know, we've been working since about 1992. There are some definite things that we are benefitting from that program. In all honesty, there are probably more that are beneficial from a technical standpoint to the Russians in that regard, but the program has other benefits beyond just the technical aspects. From that context, an initiative like that might be a wise thing to consider, but I don't know the specific details.

REP. WELDON: General, in the legislation, the THAAD program, we provide additional funding fork, and the reason we do that is -- and we do it in a unique way and I share your concern that THAAD has not yet had its first intercept and until that happens, no one can give a go for that program. I agree with you fully and have said so publicly and you know that.

What we do, however, is assuming that intercept occurs in the first quarter of next year, which you have stated today that you expect to occur and which I expect to occur, we fence money to allow you to buy additional missiles and also if, in fact, you make the decision then as is currently planned to go into the first UOES system, then instead of buying one for an early capability, that we buy two, that that second system be deployed in the theater. What are your comments on that idea and that initiative in the legislation?

GEN. LYLES: Mr. Chairman, I think you notice in the letter response you got back from Secretary Cohen, the last paragraph, the last sentence, if you will, of the third paragraph, it specifically mentions that we will assess that sort of option and we do think it's a prudent thing to do once we know for sure that THAAD is a valid weapons system and it really can work. There are a lot of things we need to assess there.

I might just add, even though our current exit criteria for the THAAD program to go into the EUOS program is one intercept, there's enough questions from the GAO, from Congress, and certainly the technical community as to whether or not that one intercept is sufficient.

So we'll have to look at the data to make sure we really understand what we have before we're ready to tell you that that's the wise thing to do. From a consideration standpoint, Mr. Chairman, we think that's a smart issue.

REP. WELDON: General Lyles, in terms of Navy upper tier, you have repeatedly said that you think we're putting too much money into that program. As you know, this authorization bill that's currently sitting before the president authorizes $65 million less than what the appropriators appropriated in the defense bill. And by the way, I guess the president did not line-item veto that $65 million above what we authorized. I don't know whether he could have done that or not, but he certainly didn't do it even though he line-item vetoed $500 million of other funding.

But we recapture that authorization in our bill, not just for progression of the Navy upper tier system, but also we encourage the exploration and use of additional radar enhancements and additional capabilities with the AEGIS system. Is there a need? In terms of that portion of our bill, what are your feelings on the portion of the bill that deals with Navy upper tier and the already-appropriated dollars that we would simply authorize in this bill?

GEN. LYLES: Mr. Chairman, I want to make it very clear that I am a big supporter of the Navy upper tier program and it's a capability we absolutely have to have in our family of systems, missile defense activities. My concern, and it's really a concern to make sure that we really understand what the program is doing, is that it has not been defined yet. It is a core program, it's scheduled to go through the Defense Acquisition Board, acquisition review process in February of 1998, and as part of that, we are to lay out and define the actual acquisition strategy, the areas of risk with the program, the detailed schedules, how we might have an evolutionary approach so that we can get an early capability.

The program has not been defined to that detail. My only concern about stating of additional funding to the Navy upper tier at this particular point is that I cannot, in all honesty, tell you, even as the missile defense acquisition executive in the Pentagon, what the specifics of the program are.

Now, I'll let you know, Mr. Chairman, the Navy program office is going to be coming to me as part of their responsibility of reporting to me and giving me those details within the next couple of weeks. I will then have a better feel for how the strategy looks. But until we know exactly what we're going to do and unless it has been blessed within the Pentagon, I am remiss to tell you that we can use more money in the Navy upper tier.

REP. WELDON: Thank you for that response. The only thing I would say in closing on this issue, and I'm going to turn to my friend, Congressman Pickett, is you're aware that the Navy has publicly stated that they anticipate a need of $200 million a year for the next four years, I think it is, to effectively -- in addition to what the president asked for, and, General, I don't know how to express this.

I mean, it gets frustrating. We fought this battle on national missile defense for three years and each year we put money in the administration took out, and then they came back last year and said, "Well, we made a mistake," or "We didn't make a mistake, we've changed our scenario, so give us $500 million a year more," which we had to then go find above the president's request this year. It just gets frustrating.

When the Navy is telling us that they need $200 million a year more for four to five years and we come in and in the money that's been allocated already by the appropriators, which we did not fully authorize, we hear, "Well, we're really not sure how we're going to use that funding." Maybe I'm over-simplifying this, but I just wish the left hand would know what the right hand is doing.

Mr. Pickett.

REP. PICKETT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. General Lyles, going back for a moment to maybe where we started off this hearing on, are there other nations around the world, that are not allies of the US, who now have missiles comparable in size, range, and payloads with the missile that is being developed by Iran?

GEN. LYLES: Mr. Pickett, we seem to have some indications of the North Koreans and their Nodong system relative to its deployment status. That would be the primary one.

REP. PICKETT: What about the Chinese?

GEN. LYLES: The Chinese have some capabilities. I am remiss in that I do not know for sure if they have a 1,300-kilometer, 1,000- kilometer range missile in their inventory today. We know they do development, but I do not know for sure if they have that class of missile in their system today.

REP. PICKETT: Well, directing your attention then to the North Korean system, what type of defense mechanism do we have to that system today with respect to 37,000 troops we have in South Korea?

GEN. LYLES: Well, Mr. Chairman, I would point out the fact that -- excuse me, Mr. Pickett -- I point out the fact that the Nodong is what one of the major threat scenarios and threat systems that we've been developing our current family of weapons systems against. So we've always anticipated that we needed to have the capability to counter the Nodong.

The same systems I talked about earlier, our lower tier systems again have some inherent capabilities, but more importantly, the upper tier systems are going to have the robust capability against the longer range threats like the Nodong and certainly things that are a little longer than that.

REP. PICKETT: We've talked here on numerous occasions about priorities, and it was my understanding, as we went through the budget process for 1998, that the clear priority with regard to missile defense was the theater and missile defense and the upper tier or area missile defense and that the next order of priority was national missile defense. And yet, it seems that are putting an inordinate amount of money into national missile defense with little idea of exactly what we're going to get for it and we're not making the theater and area missile defense a real priority. Is that true or not?

GEN. LYLES: No, sir, Mr. Pickett. On the contrary, I think the money that was added to the national missile defense program, as stated by the chairman, was the right thing to do to make sure we give that program a chance of meeting its already aggressive schedule, the three-plus-three program that we have defined.

Theater missile defense has always been our top priority, and granted, as stated earlier, this emerging threat in Iran has come about a lot quicker than anybody had anticipated, but we do have the inherent capabilities within our systems, but more importantly, our netted interoperable family of systems to be able to counter that threat, at least as a hedge, until we get the more robust upper tier systems. So I would not say that our priorities have changed any and we certainly have not put any less attention against the theater systems.

REP. PICKETT: Well, it's hard for me to believe, with all we've done in other areas of technology and weapon system development, that if this nation is truly committed to getting a theater ballistic missile defense system up, running and deployed, that we can't do it, can you tell us what the problem is? What's the fundamental problem here?

GEN. LYLES: The major problem, I think, Mr. Pickett, has been the technical --

REP. PICKETT: You say it's not money.

GEN. LYLES: It's been the technical difficulties. I will not point to just the funding for it. I will point primarily to the technical difficulties of meeting the challenge of intercepting a bullet with a bullet, if you will, in space. I think probably one indication of how challenging this is, there's been some statements made to me by senior leadership of one of our major corporations, major industries, who are part of some of our missile defense programs.

They basically have stated that one reason, one of the reasons why THAAD had some difficulties was because of the rush by which the contractors went about trying to get the job done and trying to do it too quickly and forgetting the basic steps of systems integration and engineering that we do in all of our other programs.

It's a technically challenging thing, but it's not one you want to rush into; otherwise, you'll end up with a system like we had with the failures with THAAD and we won't have any capability at all. We need to make sure we understand what we're doing, test it, prove it, et cetera, before we're ready to actually start fielding the system.

REP. WELDON: Would the gentleman yield? I just find that amazing. General, we were rushing? In 1991, we lost 28 troops in Saudi Arabia. We're now in 1997 and to say that somehow we're rushing really confuses me. The former Soviet Union put up an operational ABM system that protected 80 percent of the people in Russia in the 1970s, 25 years ago, and we've spent billions of dollars and we have nothing to show for it because we're being rushed? I just find that incomprehensible.

GEN. LYLES: Mr. Chairman, I don't want you to take that statement out of context. I gave you a quote from one of the CEOs of one of the major corporations. It was put specifically in the context of the THAAD program and some steps that were left out of basic engineering integration of that program that led to our failures that they did because they rushed to try to do things quickly.

Now, I'm not saying that's correct, Mr. Chairman. I'm telling you it was a statement made by a contractor who admitted that if he had paid attention and did the job right, we would not have had the kind of failures that we had, and he attributed part of the reason for rushing to try to do things and skipped steps to the fact that they were trying to get that capability done quickly. I think we can do things quickly, but also do them smartly and that's the things that we're now incorporating in all of our programs today.

I might add one other thing, Mr. Chairman -- excuse me, Mr. Pickett -- you quoted on the Russian system. You have to remember they are not trying to hit a bullet with a bullet with their ABM system.

It's a big different situation when you have a nuclear explosion as your means of kill mechanism in space versus trying to hit a bullet with a bullet. We have a very technically challenging job ahead of us.

REP. WELDON: I would just add for the record. The Israelis have hit a bullet with a bullet, if I'm not mistaken, with the Arrow program, have they not?

GEN. LYLES: Yes, sir, they did. They didn't intend to. It was not a hit-to-kill system. It just so happens that there are two intercepts they've hit.

REP. WELDON: Amazing. We ought to give all the money to Israel, General.

GEN. LYLES: As you'll recall, their last test was a failure, though, Mr. Chairman, and we're working those issues with them.

REP. PICKETT: General, I think you're telling us that the challenge here is the intercept. If you don't have an intercept for the theater system, do you have an intercept for the national system?

GEN. LYLES: Sir, the national system is on a schedule right now so that we will have our first intercept attempt in the year 00. We are hoping that we are structuring that program and actually taking lessons learned from the THAAD, the negative lessons learned from THAAD so that that will be a success.

REP. PICKETT: Common sense would tell me that if the key technology challenge is the intercept, that you would put all your resources into perfecting the intercept for the priority, which is theater ballistic missile defense and then take the technology and develop it for national missile defense. I don't understand why we've got parallel tracks going. It's got to be more expensive, just throwing money at the problem in two different programs.

GEN. LYLES: Sir, there is some synergy in terms of the technology, obviously, the physics of both scenarios, both the theater scenario and the national missile defense scenario. One of the reasons why my organization exists is to make sure that we leverage those synergies between the programs and that we work on the kinds of shared technology, common technology, common engineering to ensure that we don't put money down two parallel tracks, but we're putting the money where the unique capabilities to address the two unique scenarios. I can assure you that's a major focus of our job.

REP. PICKETT: Well, I cannot understand how that would be a different physics that apply to an intercept for the theater system than what would apply to the national missile defense system. It seems to me the physics would be the same.

GEN. LYLES: That's what I stated, Mr. Pickett, the physics are the same and that's the kind of thing that we're leveraging on. They are the similar sort of physics. We're dealing in different regimes. Obviously, except for our upper tier systems, we're dealing at a very, very high exo-atmospheric regime with national missile defense where the physics are the same and that's the reason why we can leverage the technologies between the two different scenarios.

REP. PICKETT: Well, neither one of the systems are going anyplace until you develop the capability to intercept. Isn't that what you're telling us?

GEN. LYLES: That's correct, sir. Until we get the intercept capability, we don't have a program. We don't have the ability to counter the threat. That intercept is obviously the key aspect of the job.

REP. PICKETT: So what does it take, in your judgment, to accelerate and perfect the intercept capability?

GEN. LYLES: Sir, I think the things that we're doing today are the right pace for us given the technical problems that we've addressed. We will hopefully be able to prove, in the next attempt with THAAD, that we can intercept an upper tier capability, theater missile defense capability. We will be able to prove, with the lessons learned from our theater programs and all the technologies that we will be able to do that from a national missile defense perspective with the program we have for NMD and an intercept attempt in the year 00.

REP. PICKETT: What assurance can you give this committee today that your organization or these groups that are pursuing this technology are going to be able to be successful?

GEN. LYLES: Sir, I can tell you that we are looking at and examining every aspect of all of our programs. We're leveraging the technologies and the capabilities not only of the individual programs, but making sure that there's synergy between the programs. We are bringing on or have brought on the best that industry can provide. We're looking at every other additional technical assets we can get to help overlook our shoulders and make sure we're doing the right things. We're bringing in the best technical minds in the country together to make sure we can address these particular problems. And then the kinds of testing and the sort of evolutionary approach we have for each program, I think, are giving us confidence day by day that not only can we have intercepts, but we will have successful intercept attempts.

REP. PICKETT: Well, I would certainly urge you to focus your resources on this intercept challenge and not do some of the other things that I think you're doing now where you're wasting money. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

GEN. LYLES: Thank you, sir.

REP. WELDON: Thank you, Mr. Pickett. Mr. Bateman.

REP. BATEMAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I must confess that I'm very disquieted at some of the things I'm hearing. I made a notation, and I think it's a quotation, on the PAC-3 with whatever add-ons or adjustments may be more robust than we think, may be more robust. It occurs to me it may be less robust than we think. I don't have the highest level of confidence that we know whether it will be more or whether it will be less. But the only thing that is said with any degree of certainty is it may have some effectiveness against a potential threat that is a very near term threat.

I think that is a very, very difficult, unfortunate, potentially tragic position for us to be in. I am not reinforced in my degree of confidence where in a part of your testimony, General Lyles, is your conversation with the CEO of some major aerospace company who says, "We really screwed up. We didn't integrate, we didn't coordinate the systems in our engineering." Wow. Have you had some rather strong remonstrances with him about, "Well, have you now got your act together?"

GEN. LYLES: The answer to that question, Mr. Bateman, is an absolute yes, and I have every confidence, and all my reviews since that time period and looking at that particular program, that the contractor's act is together now and they are addressing all the kind of concerns that not only we found out with the THAAD program, but they also found out independently on their own.

REP. BATEMAN: What are the consequences to the taxpayers of their having precipitously done things without integrating systems? How much more is it costing us in money to undo and redo and reshape and rethink, re-engineer, re-integrate and the delays that are attendant to all of it? What is that costing us?

GEN. LYLES: The biggest impact, Mr. Bateman, has been to time. In order to make sure that we incorporate all the fixes that we have identified and the contractor has identified for the specific program, the THAAD program, we delayed the next intercept. Originally that intercept was supposed to have taken place last summer in the July time frame. We have delayed that obviously until all those fixes, all those engineering issues that we've addressed have been incorporated and we can assure ourselves that we know exactly what we have and assure ourselves that we're going to have a successful intercept.

REP. BATEMAN: Let me, if I may, Mr. Chairman, get into this matter of the $65 million appropriated for the Navy theater-wide missile defense system. Do I understand this correctly, that the appropriators appropriated $65 million more than -- Mr. Chairman, I want to clarify something about the $65 million appropriated for the Navy theater-wide missile system. Am I correctly understanding it that the appropriators appropriated 65 million more dollars than we, in our bill, authorized?

REP. WELDON: The gentleman is correct.

REP. BATEMAN: And in the bill that I see attached to our material for the hearing today, what is being done there? Are we essentially saying, "Take that 65 million in appropriations above what was originally authorized and use it for things which we now recognize as being more necessary?"

REP. WELDON: The gentleman would be correct and what's interesting to me is that the president exercised his line-item veto that $55 million that was not authorized. Now, whether he had that capability or not, I don't know. I would assume he did. He has line- item veto authority. He didn't choose to do that. And so, I mean, the General is sitting here saying that it's very difficult to justify additional funding, yet we have the Navy going out and publicly stated they need $200 million a year more over the next four years if we, in fact, expect the Navy upper tier to do what we expect it will do at the end of that four-year time period. Now, if that's not confusing, Mr. Bateman, I don't know what is.

REP. BATEMAN: Well, part of my confusion and aggravation about this is you've pointed out that the administration has been beating up on us and the committee for having appropriated a lot more money than they can wisely use and yet, after the president's budget request for FY98 was submitted, they come back and say, "Hey, we need $500 million more."

REP. WELDON: Would the gentleman yield?


REP. WELDON: Not only did they ask for $500 million more per year for national missile defense, correct me if I'm wrong on this, but you originally came back and said, "Cut the THAAD program by $202 million." As soon as we got in the middle of the deliberative process, you come back and say, "Whoops, sorry, made a mistake.

It's only $116 million that we want you to cut." Is that correct or not?

GEN. LYLES: That is correct, Mr. Chairman.

REP. WELDON: Thank you.

REP. BATEMAN: I hope you will understand and you can take back to some people in the Pentagon and maybe even in the Office of Management and Budget where too many of these decisions are made, that when you come in and ask for $500 million above the president's request in an inadequate defense budget, that you're doing some horrendous things to all kinds of other programs because the president didn't say increase my budget and give me the $500 million. He's making us take it out of somebody else's hide.

Now, that just inspires the lowest level of confidence, that the people that are making decisions about the funding streams and the need for money and how wisely and well it can be spent as it relates to either national missile defense or theater missile defense have got a lot of improvement to do in their performance.

GEN. LYLES: Mr. Chairman, can I respond to at least one comment?

REP. BATEMAN: The general has a comment. I'd like to hear it.

REP. WELDON: Absolutely.

GEN. LYLES: Just a clarification, Mr. Bateman, because I obviously did not do a good job of explaining this earlier. My comment about PAC-2 and PAC-3, I stated that PAC-2 might have better capability than we thought against this class of threat. The key thing to remember, Mr. Bateman and the members of the committee, the PAC-2 system, the PAC-3 system were not designed to meet this class of threat. I won't talk about specifically what their designs were in this open forum. That information is classified.

I actually think it is good news that it turns out that the PAC- 2, which wasn't even designed to meet this kind of threat and the PAC- 3, which was not designed to meet this kind of threat, we think, have more robust capability against this kind of threat than what was actually the design go. I think that's good news, and one of the things we want to go off and prove is exactly that our analysis is correct, and if it is so, that does give us the kind of hedge capability for this kind of threat until we get the more robust systems like THAAD and Navy upper tier. So I wanted to clarify, sir, to make sure that was clear.

REP. BATEMAN: Well, thank you, General. I appreciate the clarification, but my basic point remains the same. Like you, I hope it will do more robust against these systems for which they were not originally designed or intended to meet. But the problem remains even if they have some degree of effectiveness, we're left with a very, very modest capability in light of the nature of the threat. That is indeed unfortunate. I'm not blaming you for that, but it is indeed unfortunate that the best we can say is that a system designed to do other things might have some capability against a new threat that we should have been able to see was coming.

REP. WELDON: Thank you, Mr. Bateman. Mr. Spratt.

REP. SPRATT: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for letting me participate in your hearing, and General Lyles, let me thank you for your forthright answers and also for the fine manner in which you've taken charge at BMDO.

GEN. LYLES: Thank you, sir.

REP. SPRATT: You're doing a superb job. As I read your testimony, you caution us in a very discreet way to be careful how we push money at you. You say, "Our TMD major defense acquisition programs are progressing as fast as they can given technical constraints and fiscal prudence." Are you concerned that you really have already about as much money as you can prudently spend given the technical problems you're experiencing?

GEN. LYLES: Mr. Spratt, I guess I'm really saying that I don't want to pour good money after bad until we understand exactly what we have and we've been able to prove that we have successes, and that's really the only hesitancy there relative to formally asking for additional money for our programs until we've actually been able to prove that we have some capability and we've solved the technical problems. I think that's the fiscally prudent thing to do and the kind of thing that we should look at with all of our programs.

REP. SPRATT: You wrap up by saying, "The Department will review these TMD options as well as other program and policy options available. I look forward to returning to the committee once that review is completed to share the Department's recommendations with the committee." I read that to mean that this is an ongoing analysis or assessment that you're making and that you expect to come to some conclusion which you will share with us when you've reached it?

GEN. LYLES: Yes, sir, Mr. Spratt. Actually, we have been working from the standpoint of looking at that particular theater, looking at the Middle East theater and looking at our cooperative efforts with Israel. We've been working from an interoperability standpoint for some time. We now are going to focus or have started focusing that to look specifically at how we and our allies and Israel can jointly address that particular threat.

We need to do the analysis not only amongst ourselves about how we can enhance our inherent systems that we will have in the very short time period, but also how we will work cooperatively with the Israelis and their systems like the Arrow program, and that analyses is ongoing right now.

REP. SPRATT: So in view of this threat, this emerging threat, interoperability is sort of at the top of your priority list and things where you could likely get the most results?

GEN. LYLES: Technically, Mr. Spratt, the most bang for the buck to immediately address that particular scenario, we know, just as Mr. Chairman has pointed out, we're not going to have the Navy upper tier and the THAAD program for some years downstream. We're trying to accelerate both those programs and be successful, but they're not going to be here within the next two years. That's a fact of life.

So from the standpoint of how can we enhance our protection capability, how can we enhance the ability to take care of not only our forces, but our allies, we need to look at the smart things that can be done with the existing systems that will be in the inventory in that time period, and those smart things fall into the rubric of interoperability, battle management command and control, netting and cuing and sensors and things like that.

REP. SPRATT: You requested $195 million for Navy upper tier and the Congress appropriated $410 million, a substantial plus.

GEN. LYLES: Yes, sir.

REP. SPRATT: Can you prudently, in the face of technical constraints, spend $410 million or obligate $410 million in the current fiscal year?

GEN. LYLES: Mr. Spratt, let me give you sort of an expert assessment on that and my assessment personally is that I think we can and we can do it very, very wisely and also meet the goals that we have, I know the Navy has, and certainly the chairman and the members of the committee have to get a capability as rapidly as possible with Navy upper tier. Now, I just gave you an educated expertise guess from my own perspective. What I cannot tell you are the details of that program right now because the Navy owes that to me so I can assure myself that it's meeting that particular objective, and that question we can give you an answer to with certainty.

REP. WELDON: Would the gentleman yield on that point?

REP. SPRATT: Certainly.

REP. WELDON: Did you recommend a line-item veto of the $65 million that we didn't authorize?

GEN. LYLES: No, sir, I have not.

REP. WELDON: Why not?

GEN. LYLES: I beg your pardon?

REP. WELDON: Why didn't you?

GEN. LYLES: We have no say-so on that.

REP. WELDON: If we authorized one level and the appropriation was $65 million above authorization, which you obviously knew about, why didn't you recommend the White House, that since they were line veto, they line veto that $65 million, if, in fact, we're throwing money at projects that we don't need.

GEN. LYLES: Mr. Chairman, I just stated earlier in the answer to Mr. Spratt that I, from an educated standpoint, think we can smartly spend that money. We have no process whatsoever to deal with the veto situation.

REP. SPRATT: On THAAD, General Lyles, I believe your request was 456 and I think the appropriation ended up being 406, and that was partly because you diminished your own request in midstream. Is this adequate? Could you spend more if you had it, to spend it prudently?

GEN. LYLES: Mr. Spratt, I am hesitant on saying an absolute yes to that until we have defined specifically all the things that need to be done for THAAD and we have actually gotten through that successful intercept. The request that came over from the Pentagon, the request that came from the president, I think, is the right level for the program today given where we are technically. In the future, we may have a different answer to that, but right now, our priority is to make sure we have a technical success, intercept success.

REP. WELDON: Would the gentleman yield a minute?

REP. SPRATT: Certainly.

REP. WELDON: General, in light of that comment, you gave us this chart, and maybe I'm misreading the chart. It says generic PAC-3 footprint and GBR.

GEN. LYLES: Yes, sir.

REP. WELDON: Showing enhanced capability of the PAC-3.

Is GBR not the ground-based radar of the THAAD system?

GEN. LYLES: In this particular system, the generic ground- based radar, we use the sort of parameters that we are developing for the THAAD radar and the answer to that is a qualitative yes. Yes, sir.

REP. WELDON: If that's the case then, General, what you're saying is we have this enhanced capability. Do you have the money in your budget to buy that enhanced capability right now that you're selling us on this chart?

GEN. LYLES: Not in that particular architecture or scenario and that's one of the things we want to analyze.

REP. WELDON: What you're saying to the gentleman is that you don't need more money for THAAD, but you're showing us a chart that shows the enhanced capability of PAC-3 using the THAAD radar. Am I right or wrong?

GEN. LYLES: Sir, you have to look at one, what my statement was, and certainly look at the chart.

REP. WELDON: And what is the cost of that? Is it not $7 million?

GEN. LYLES: Sir, Mr. Chairman, that is an assessment of what we think we can get with the kinds of capabilities of netting things together. That's exactly why I said we wanted to analyze not only how we put them together, what the architecture would be, but also come back and tell you if it makes sense what kind of costs might be associated with that.

REP. WELDON: But, General --

GEN. LYLES: I gave you a notional chart, Mr. Chairman, to try to answer the point.

REP. WELDON: You answered the question to Mr. Spratt that you do not think you could realistically use additional money for THAAD. I am pointing out that in your own chart where you show an enhanced capability with PAC-3, which you've acknowledged is a variant of the THAAD ground-based radar, that it would cost an additional $7 million. Therefore, how can you tell Mr. Spratt that you couldn't use any extra money for THAAD?

REP. SPRATT: Mr. Chairman, does your bill call for more money? Does it specify more money for the THAAD radar?

REP. WELDON: Yes. It allows for both radar enhancements as well as for financing of the PAC-3 system as well as other interoperability, all of that is in the legislation.

REP. SPRATT: I was just having -- okay, I see, including use of an existing prototype THAAD ground-based radar --

REP. WELDON: Yes, that's correct.

REP. SPRATT: -- for this PAC-3. I see what you're talking about. That is a matter under consideration, as I understand it, General.

GEN. LYLES: Yes, sir. And if I can respond, in regard to the chairman's question, again that chart was to illustrate the kinds of capabilities that we can enhance with a notional ground-based radar with some of our lower tier systems. We want to show what interoperability can do for you, what netting and cuing can do for you. For me to say specifically that we definitely have to have a ground-based radar at this particular point, I think, is folly. It's not correct for me to state that to you, sir.

REP. SPRATT: There was additional money also for PAC-3 in the appropriation, $50 million, I think, taking it up from the request of $349 million. Could you purchase a GBR using that additional money?

GEN. LYLES: Our best understanding of what that number is in that particular proposed bill is to also enhance or help the issue of interoperability and netting and cuing for a PAC-3. I think it's labelled PAC-3 remote launch. What that basically defines is somewhat the scenario pointed out in the chart that I tried to use to illustrate a point. That is, if you have some netting and cuing, you can potentially do remote launch. I assume that money that's identified there is to ask us or allow us to develop that capability.

REP. SPRATT: What we're talking about is a pretty substantial sum of money even for the defense budget. It's not really pocket change. I get the impression it's also not just a one-time commitment. If we really wanted to accelerate the development, production, and deployment of these systems, this would probably be the first payment in a number or series of payments that would be required to bring what we have in mind here to fruition. Would you agree with that?

GEN. LYLES: We think that might be the case, Mr. Spratt, and I can tell you that's one of our concerns. Our concern is that accelerating, particularly if we don't do it smartly, accelerating or applying money to some of these ideas until we have had a chance to analyze it may end up taking money away from some of our other programs, other missile defense programs, in the out years. So we're hoping that we can sit down and do the analysis, obviously work with the committee to figure out what the smart thing is to do before we come back and list to you what kind of things might make sense.

REP. SPRATT: The THAAD is zero for four in testing; upper tier, zero for five if you include the last test that the Navy says wasn't a test because the pin on the burster didn't work, but still, you've yet to have a successful test in either of these systems despite substantial sums spent already. If we were to give you a $100 million to buy an extra UOES, would you be able to obligate that money in the next fiscal year prudently?

GEN. LYLES: Again, sir, I think as written in the statement and even rewritten in the response from Secretary Cohen, we would want to make sure we had a successful intercept first before we can say we're ready to commit to even examining the UOES program. But given that, assuming that scenario were correct, the testing was successful, we all felt, with analyses, et cetera, that we're ready to move into the UOES phase of the program, perhaps that sum of money would be something that we could use.

REP. SPRATT: Do you think you'll make that decision with just one successful test?

GEN. LYLES: We will have to analyze not only the intercept itself, sir, but the performance of every aspect of the system, the radar, the battle management command and control, the launcher. Every aspect of the THAAD program would have to be examined thoroughly and we have to make sure we address even some of the concerns raised by the GAO relative to making such a decision based on one data point. The thing that we also have to look at, and I think the chairman would support this, is given the potential urgency that we're dealing with, we may have to make that kind of decision with one test as originally planned, as opposed to doing a detailed engineering and having lots of tests. So we would have to examine all of those options.

REP. SPRATT: Thank you, sir.

GEN. LYLES: Thank you.

REP. WELDON: Mr. Bartlett.

REP. BARTLETT: Thank you very much. I know your time is short. Thank you very much for being here. I have just a couple of quick questions. Everyone admits that they have been very surprised at the rapidity with which Iran has been able to develop a potential capability that we're here today talking about. Someone asked you, one of the members here asked you about the Chinese capability. It's my understanding that the Chinese are now launching synchronist satellites. Is that not true? GEN. LYLES: I am not sure about that, Mr. Bartlett. I know they obviously launch satellites. I don't know if they've been able to get one to geosynchronist altitude.

REP. BARTLETT: It's my understanding they can do that and I would suspect that with that kind of capability, that it's not a giant leap to be able to land a payload anytime you wish, anywhere you wish around the circle of the globe if, in fact, you can launch a synchronist satellite which I understand they can do.

My question is, if we have been in the past surprised and presently surprised by the rapidity of these developments, don't you think that we might anticipate Iran or China or some nation not necessarily our friend, in the more immediate future this kind of capability that we are suspecting? If that's true, why shouldn't we be spending additional sums of money in developing a ballistic missile defense?

GEN. LYLES: Mr. Bartlett, of course the scenario you just defined is primarily a national missile defense scenario, protection of the homeland.

REP. BARTLETT: I understand that.

GEN. LYLES: Yes, sir. And the program we currently have, our three-plus-three program is specifically designed to give us the capability to protect the homeland as rapidly as we possibly can with a hedge, if you will, that if the threat, after we've had our first intercept, is not there, we'll continue developing the system. In other words, three-plus-three was designed specifically to be able to protect against the rapid capability or threat against us from either a rogue nation or an accidental or unauthorized launch of one of the nuclear powers.

REP. BARTLETT: It's my understanding that one of the missiles that we believe Iran is planning to develop would, in fact, reach our homeland. Is that not true?

GEN. LYLES: I think, as I've heard it from the intelligence community and I can only give you from what we've heard from them, again in the context of this open hearing, there are longer range missiles that they seem to be developing.

REP. BARTLETT: The Russians had, as our chairman said, a homeland ballistic missile defense system in the '70s that would protect 80 percent of their citizens. I would just like to affirm the fact that we now have no such capability to protect even one of our citizens.

Is that not correct?

GEN. LYLES: Today, sir, that's correct relative to our national missile defense program, but that's why we have this aggressive three- plus-three schedule, to get that capability.

REP. BARTLETT: The Russians are now selling SA-10s and SA-12s. What level of capability do they have relative to the type of defensive systems that we are attempting to develop?

GEN. LYLES: Mr. Bartlett, based on the information that I am aware of and our own analysis, we do not think that, as an example, the SA-10 has the kind of capabilities that we're developing with our systems. I don't want to go into any more detail than that in this open forum. I'd be more than willing come show you what information we have to give that comparison in a closed forum.

REP. BARTLETT: I understand that it is generally known that in their homeland ballistic missile defense program, that they are not using hit to kill, they're using proximity fuses and an explosion.

GEN. LYLES: Yes, sir. As far as I know -- if you're talking about the theater systems, I'm not quite exactly sure what their lethality method is. Obviously they're anti-ballistic missile national system uses nuclear warheads as the kill mechanism.

REP. BARTLETT: Since they're selling SA-10s and -12s to whoever has money to buy them, have we bought any?

GEN. LYLES: No, sir, not to my knowledge, but again, I'm not an expert on that.

REP. BARTLETT: Do you think we might be a little wiser if we bought them and looked at what they're doing?

GEN. LYLES: Sir, I think we have a pretty good understanding of their capabilities, et cetera, and again, I don't want to go into more detail, but I'd be happy to sit down with you and any of the other members to talk about that very subject in a closed forum.

REP. BARTLETT: I share the skepticism of my colleagues here that in this nation that's as technologically advanced as we are, that we can't move more aggressively to develop both a theater system and a national system. I think that there are reasons that go beyond technical reasons why we aren't moving faster and I share their skepticism and their concern. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

GEN. LYLES: Thank you, Mr. Bartlett.

REP. WELDON: Thank you, Mr. Bartlett. General Lyles, and for the record, if I'm not mistaken, it was the New York Times that carried a front page story plus an editorial about the CIA buying an SA-10 that was delivered to Alabama, if I'm not mistaken. So, in fact, we do have an SA-10.

GEN. LYLES: I'm not personally aware of that, Mr. Chairman. That's why I answered the way I did.

REP. WELDON: Let me get to other specifics in terms of enhancement. This is the footprint of the PAC-2 as it was in the Patriot as it was used during Desert Storm, and obviously for classified reasons, we can't give you the actual distances. But if you put into place the remote launch capability, which you've talked about today, does that not, in effect, give us a larger footprint for this system that we are currently in the process of getting ready to buy?

GEN. LYLES: Yes, sir. That's exactly why I talked about interoperability and netting and cuing and our family of systems, is to enhance what you already have there in your hands.

REP. WELDON: Is this not one of the options then which is contained in the legislation which would enhance our capability in a quicker manner with a larger footprint to deal with the Iranian threat?

GEN. LYLES: Yes, sir, it is. I'd like to caveat that when you talk about the list of options, the specifics of architecture and how you bring those things together and the specific dollars, it's the only thing that we've been reluctant to provide until we've done that detailed analysis. The capabilities, as you see in that chart, is exactly, Mr. Chairman, what we talked about and it's exactly what's referenced in the Secretary's letter.

REP. WELDON: Well, pardon me for my frustration, General, but again, when is the analysis going to be done? Can you give me a date? Is it a month? Is it a year? Is it two months after we have the first Iranian missile launched at Israel? When is the analysis going to be done?

GEN. LYLES: Mr. Chairman, I talked to you originally and we talked about the potential of you introducing a bill. I specifically asked if you could give us anywhere from 60 to 90 days to be able to do that detailed assessment.

REP. WELDON: I thought it was more like 30 days.

GEN. LYLES: I thought 60 to 90 and we recorded that 60 to 90. We did not end up with that. Your letter asked for a -- (inaudible) -- in one week. We were able to give you the generic information, but we would like to do the detailed analysis of what makes sense.

REP. WELDON: Well, General, was the analysis based upon my letter to you or was it based upon when you saw the threat emerging in Iran? I mean, are you responding to my letter as a threat?

GEN. LYLES: No, sir.

REP. WELDON: Or is it the threat from Iran?

GEN. LYLES: No, sir, I did not say that. I just want to let you know that we've been looking at this and always look at this particular area. Our knowledge, particularly within BMDO, of the same kind of information you got from the intelligence community came about the same time that you got it, as a matter of fact.

REP. WELDON: General, the intelligence community started to bring forth this information over the summer. In fact, the president of Israel started a public aggressive action against this administration when the tech transfer took place in August. I would assume the analysis was started when you got the intelligence information as we did over the summer, not three weeks ago when I met with you, but back two months ago when this threat first emerged. Isn't that when the analysis started?

GEN. LYLES: Mr. Chairman, we are always analyzing the kinds of potential threats that might be available and looking at what ways we can provide capability to protect against it. What I talked to you about, Mr. Chairman, was when I personally became aware of that information from the intelligence community and it was literally the same time at which you became aware of it.

REP. WELDON: I just, General, find it extremely troubling that you're telling me the analysis for -- I mean, this is not about a bill. This is about a job that you have and that we have to respond to threats that are emerging and when you or I see a threat emerging, it is our responsibility to decide what kinds of resources this country should bring to bear. And it shouldn't be triggered by me meeting with you and saying I'm going to do a bill.

I would think it should be triggered by the intelligence community saying to the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization that there is a threat that we'd better be prepared to deal with and we'd better start looking at the options that we outline in our bill. That's when the analysis should take place.

So my question again is, when will your analysis will be done? You say in 60 days from now it will be done or is it 60 days from when I met with you three weeks ago? GEN. LYLES: Mr. Chairman, we are always analyzing that sort of scenario and I go back to my original point. Our family of systems approach, our interoperability approach, the architecture that we have defined from the very beginning of our theater missile defense programs is the right answer to this particular problem.


GEN. LYLES: If you wanted specific information about dollars of specific systems, that's what we need to analyze to address your specific request, Mr. Chairman.

REP. WELDON: But those are based upon ideas that your deputy gave to us a week before I met with you as potential enhancements to the systems that (you're currently on?) They weren't ideas that we came up with. Everything in the bill were ideas that your assistant gave to us a week prior as enhancements that you were considering. My point is, when will you, in your time frame, have that information relative to dollar amounts available for this committee and for the Congress? Give me a date that you feel comfortable with.

GEN. LYLES: Mr. Chairman, I want to get back to you on a specific date by which we will have information to give you the kind of specificity that you're looking for.

REP. WELDON: And it will be 60 to 90 days? Is that what you're saying?

GEN. LYLES: Roughly in that time frame.

REP. WELDON: General, is there any capability for us to assist Israel, an enhancement of the Arrow program, or do you think that's not possible and, in fact, a waste of our money?

GEN. LYLES: Mr. Chairman, we're already assisting and helping the Israelis with the Arrow program. It's an interoperable joint cooperative effort, as you well know. I mentioned earlier in my comments that we've already started analyzing with them specific things that could be done for the Arrow program to address that specific threat. The program was merely designed to look at a wide variety of threats in the region, but to look at specifically what needs to be done to address just that one threat is one thing that we kicked off with the Israelis.

REP. WELDON: General, just let me say in summary for myself. I'm very disappointed at today's hearing, and I agree with my colleague, Mr. Spratt. I don't want to throw any money at you. In fact, I wish you could do all these things you want to do within the existing budget. It's amazing to me that you have exactly the right amount of money that you need. Even a year ago we didn't see this threat emerging, but you have exactly the right dollar amount, even though the Congress gave you more, that was exactly the right amount and now that we have a new threat, we have exactly the right amount of money again.

I don't have confidence in this process, especially when I've seen a half-a-billion dollar request above what the president wanted. After we start the budget process for national missile defense over the next -- after I see changes in THAAD from a cut of $200 million to coming back a month later and saying, "Well, really it's 110," and now saying that we can do additional enhancements with money that we've not yet asked for. It's very confusing.

And all I can tell you is, General, in 1991, this Congress saw a number of our young troops killed in Desert Storm by a Scud missile. This Congress is not going to sit by and see this happen a second time from a threat that we know -- and I don't care about the budgetary concerns, General. That's not my responsibility on this committee. It's the Congress's responsibility. It shouldn't be yours either. It should be your job to assist us in understanding what technologies will give us enhancements. Whether we can afford them or not is a different debate for a different time and we all know that.

But when the constraints of the budget determine what our parameters are, then we get nowhere. We spin wheels and that's what I feel like we're doing today. I see these devices come out of Russia, an accelerometer and a gyroscope that went from Russia to Iraq, 120 sets. And I'm sure that same guidance system is going to Iran giving them the capability that will allow them to deploy a system perhaps a year to 18 months from now that's going to take out our kids.

I'm, unfortunately, very distressed by the fact that I think the cooperation in trying to put together an enhancement has been nil. We made a good faith effort to try to reach out to this administration to understand what could be done and to give you -- and you didn't even testify to some of them here today. And you're saying, "Well, we don't know what the dollar amounts are." And I've given you the flexibility in the legislation to let you move money around, and we end up with a letter from the Secretary with no dollar amounts saying, "We'll just tread water because next year we'll be able to take what we have and we'll be able to meet the threat." Well, I don't buy it.

Any other members wish to make comments? The hearing stands adjourned. Thank you.