Integrated Air Missile Defense: Exclusive Chairman Interview

IDGA Editor

In the run-up to the highly anticipated Integrated Air and Missile Defense 2015, we sat down with this years chairperson COL (R) Art Loureiro to bring you this exclusive one on one interview.


  • 30 year military veteran
  • Extensive experience in military operations in the homeland and abroad.
  • Over 7 years experience working with homeland defense, missile defense & space operations issues
  • Frequently briefed senior DOD officials on the protection of the United States and deployed US forces and coalition partners.
  • Military strategist, knowledge and experience in developing military plans, strategies, and policies

Q1: Given the growing international threat of sophisticated rocket and missile technologies, what capabilities does the Department of Defense envision countering these threats? How is the IAMD community addressing the UAS threat in the homeland and against our deployed forces?

A1A: Active Defense - AMD Force Modernization efforts, FMS to improve coalition capabilities and support deterrence and dissuasion, Coalition live fire exercises to demonstrate capabilities; Passive Defense - DoD support to sanctions (show of force against Iranian naval resupply effort), global sensor architecture to support deterrence pre-launch and provide attribution post launch; Attack Operations – continued support to RDT&E, White Papers to explore the policy and shape thoughts on the subject
A1B: Programs include the Avenger, NASAAMs, and IFPC 2-I; operations include NCR IADS and AMD allocations to GCC plans and operations; tests include JDIAMD, JADO-H, and the JLENS test vic the NCR; RDT&E includes HEL MD; intangibles include support to Israeli RDT&E on Iron Dome and Iron Beam

Q2: The Department of Defense has emphasized the importance of joint operations in order to fully apply its military capabilities across the domains (land, maritime, air, cyber, and space), what efforts is the Department taking to fully integrate IAMD forces in the context of joint-coalition warfare? What are the challenges in fully integrating our partners?

A2A: IAMD is, by its nature, a joint system of systems. There are current operations successfully integrating Army sensors with Navy weapons, and Navy sensors with Army weapons. The purpose of IBCS is to take this a step further and provide for the integration within the engagement architecture of the best sensor paired with the best weapon. Operational testing is also focused on validating ‘launch on remote’ and ‘engage on remote’ architectures.
A2B: There are two principal challenges – technical and operational. Technically, the issue is interoperability due to partner capabilities being provided by industry that is not standardized, nor are communications and message protocols to the same standard (like US DoD Message Formats). Operationally, it is a matter of trust which is constraining bi-lateral full disclosure (principally on the networks and often due to IA concerns) which prevents the seamless integration of partner capabilities into the AMD architecture. The multi-lateral disclosure issue is even more complicated, often due to cultural differences and mistrust.

Q3: IAMD capabilities are inherently complex and expensive investments, what key initiatives is the Department of Defense taking to reduce materiel costs while not sacrificing technological ingenuity leading its modernization efforts?

A3: The cost-curve (cheap missiles and expensive interceptors) is a math equation with two variables. Efforts to develop cheaper interceptors include Directed Energy Weapons which have a very low relative cost and virtually unlimited inventory, less upfront RDT&E costs. The other means to effect sufficiency shortfalls is to defeat the archer and not the arrow. The emphasis here is on full-spectrum attack operations. Cyber weapons attacking threat launcher SCADA, or C2 networks is one option. Repurposing and refurbishing obsolete or inactive kinetic weapons is another option. The M60A2 Main Battle Tank of the 1970s and 1980s integrated the M60 series chassis with the weapon and guidance system from the 1960s-era M551 Sheridan Tank. Likewise, the ENBAD is integrating the airframe, propulsion, and guidance systems of outdated systems.

Q4: What are some of the challenges facing the Department of Defense in assuring its allies through forward presence of IAMD forces while also modernizing the force and maintaining operational readiness and strategic flexibility?

A4: The principal challenge is to develop and maintain a sustainable readiness model that balances the competing demand of current forward commitments with the requirement for modernization of these current capabilities to ensure they can maintain a future advantage over the growing threats. The Army characterizes the challenge using the DoD standard codified on the CJCS Integrated Risk Matrix. The principal risks to the Army lie in the areas of readiness, stress on the force, and DOTMLPF capability versus the threat. Recognizing these growing risks, and the longer term challenges they will pose if not addressed now is an important first step. We have taken this first step, as evidence by the CSA and CNO memo to the SecDef and, to paraphrase Churchill, this may not be the beginning of the end, but it is the end of the beginning.

Q5: Given fiscal realities, the US will never have enough arrows in its quiver to defeat every missile launched against its interests, what left of launch options is the US pursuing to counter this math problem?

A5A: Kinetic
A5B: Non-kinetic
A5C: Shaping, dissuasion, and deterrence operations to forestall the need to conduct ‘anticipatory self-defense’ operations
A5D: Partner building, as directed by PPD-10