Pentagon Seeking $4 Billion Hike
By Harold Hutchison
The Pentagon is seeking an increase in funds for missile defense, with the funds going towards both a new radar and possibly a new kill vehicle for the current ground-based interceptors.
According to multiple media reports, the Department of Defense will ask for $4.5 billion more for missile defense over the next five years. Of that figure, $1 billion is intended to provide a new radar in Alaska, and $560 million is intended to design a new kill vehicle.
The current kill vehicles have been suffering reliability issues in tests, with one version suffering a recent failure to separate from the launch vehicle. Another version of the kill vehicle has suffered a number of issues as well. The Pentagon is also asking for 14 more ground-based interceptors.
Barack Obama had cut back on missile defense earlier in his administration, chopping plans for a missile defense site in Poland in 2009. Obama also had been pressing to retire Ticonderoga-class cruisers that can carry the SM-3 missile, which has proven to be very effective in defending against ballistic missiles. In 2012, Obama was caught on a hot mike asking then-Russian president Dmitri Medvedev for space on missile defense until after the 2012 election.
See Obama’s request for “flexibility” for yourself on this CNN report: