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Pentagon needs extra $4.5 bln to fix failed missile defense systems

8 February 2014, 17:36

The United States Department of Defense intends to request $4.5 billion in additional spending over the next five years to boost its missile defense systems, according to a Reuters report.

The move is seen partly as a reaction to the failed tests that have shown the interceptors by Raytheon Co. to be less than reliable.

About $560 million of the requested funds would be put towards building a brand new interceptor, a process that could take up to five years, while nearly $1 billion would be used to purchase and install a new homeland defense radar in Alaska.

Until that is ready, the Pentagon would use the interceptors that are part of the ground-based missile defense system to strike and destroy enemy missiles in midair.

The missile defense request is expected to draw support from both Democrats and Republicans concerned over missile development programs in North Korea and Iran. But some congressional members may hesitate to okay the funding request considering they would be authorizing the purchase of currently faulty kill vehicles, and a replacement would not be available for at least five years.

All 30 of the United States' ground-based interceptors carry either one or the other of Raytheon's two kill vehicles – the CE-1 or the CE-2. Both interceptors have suffered test failures.

The Pentagon's request for additional funding comes after China successfully tested a hypersonic missile delivery vehicle last month that is capable of penetrating the current US defense shield and can deliver a nuclear warhead.

The United States also continued to bolster its anti-missile system in Europe when it deployed a ballistic missile defense destroyer to Spain earlier this week. Another three are expected to arrive in Europe over the next two years in a move that's intended to protect allies from possible Iranian missile strikes, according to Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel.

The move sparked condemnation from Russia, whose top disarmament official, Mikhail Ulyanov of the Foreign Ministry, said continued action by the US to expand its missile defense program in Europe could force Moscow to withdraw from the new START nuclear treaty.

Voice of Russia, Reuters, RT

Source: http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_02_08/ Pentagon-needs-extra-4-5-bln-to-fix-failed- missile-defense-systems-6289/

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