COLOGNE, Germany --- The United States and Germany continue to negotiate behind the scenes over access to a highly classified computer model that Berlin needs so it can build its next-generation anti-missile system, according to sources and documents.
The spat, which is only partially resolved, is mentioned briefly in the German Defence Ministry’s newest report to parliament on the status of big-ticket weapon programs, released late last week. Without mentioning the missile model by name, the document laments a “very restrictive” stance by the U.S. government on the question of making the sensitive algorithm available for Germany’s TLVS program, short for Taktisches Luftverteidigungssystem.
At issue is a “six degree of freedom” simulation for the interceptor missile in that weapon, known as the PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement, or MSE. In its most sophisticated form, the model can predict precisely how the interceptor would fare against the performance characteristics of enemy attack missiles, relying on data often obtained through spy craft.
“If you have the model, you know exactly, ‘Here is what the MSE can do, and here is what it can’t do,’” said one source close to the program. Confidence in any interceptor’s hit probability is key in the missile-defense world, where minute performance variations can mean the difference between an incoming missile shot down or a so-called leaker delivering its warhead to Earth. (end of excerpt)
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