Russian government claims that the United States’ ballistic missile defense presence in Europe is a threat to Mother Russia’s strategic nuclear deterrent may be based, at least in part, on faulty Russian math, according to testimony on Capitol Hill Wednesday by Army Lt. Gen. Patrick O’Reilly, Missile Defense Agency director. O’Reilly told the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense panel that MDA has supported the State Department with technical analysis as US diplomats have engaged their Russian counterparts. “The nature of our work has typically been when the Russian government claims that we are building capability to upset the strategic balance, we’ve been able to analyze that and provide them data to show that we are not,” explained O’Reilly. MDA’s analysis has included finding “where the errors are in their estimates, such as missiles flying faster than anyone’s ever built, and so forth,” he noted. (See also Rose-colored Glasses) (O’Reilly’s written testimony)
Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) seems increasingly likely.