The Pentagon is postponing plans to request congressional approval for a multiyear production contract for a new missile intended for fielding in Romania.
The Standard Missile 3 Block 1B is slated to be deployed in Romania next year as part of the Obama administration’s “phased adaptive approach” for European missile defense. Additionally, sea-based variants of the interceptor, which is designed to counter short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, are to be fielded on warships based in the Mediterranean.
However, the Defense Department’s Missile Defense Agency has determined the antimissile technology has not yet fulfilled all of the requirements to warrant a multiyear production order worth $3 billion to producer Raytheon, Inside Defense reported on Friday.
MDA spokesman Rick Lehner, in an email to the newsletter, said the agency still needs to show evidence of a consistent need for the antimissile technology, a stable design, reliable funding, a realistic price projection and the probability of significant savings compared to a yearly acquisition order.
The Pentagon is deferring until fiscal 2016 any effort to seek congressional authorization for a multiyear contract on the interceptor, according to Inside Defense.
Congress’ watchdog organization in a report issued earlier this month recommended the Missile Defense Agency hold off on ordering full production of the missile until a decision is made about needed modifications to the system’s hardware or software and until any design changes have been proven through testing. The Government Accountability Office recommendation followed an intercept trial last September in which one of the launched Block 1B missiles failed to perform for reasons not yet disclosed.
Some funds planned to purchase Block 1B systems between fiscal 2015 and fiscal 2019 have been shifted to other MDA initiatives. This was due to congressionally mandated sequestration cuts, which resulted in a “realignment of funds to higher priority ballistic missile defense system” activities, Lehner said.
The Defense Department anticipates fielding 100 Block 1B interceptors as part of the second phase of the administration’s European missile defense initiative. Amid concerns about the possibility of new Russian incursions against Eastern European countries, the timing of deployment of U.S. antimissile systems on the continent has taken on renewed geopolitical prominence.
What We're Following See More »
Perhaps Donald Trump can take a plebiscite to solve this whole messy immigration thing. At a Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity last night, Trump essentially admitted he's "stumped," turning to the audience and asking: “Can we go through a process or do you think they have to get out? Tell me, I mean, I don’t know, you tell me.”
Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.
Donald Trump probably isn't taking seriously John Oliver's suggestion that he quit the race. But he has canceled or rescheduled rallies amid questions over his stance on immigration. Trump rescheduled a speech on the topic that he was set to give later this week. Plus, he's also nixed planned rallies in Oregon and Las Vegas this month.
Donald Trump's Fox News brain trust keeps growing. After it was revealed that former Fox chief Roger Ailes is informally advising Trump on debate preparation, host Sean Hannity admitted over the weekend that he's also advising Trump on "strategy and messaging." He told the New York Times: “I’m not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States. I never claimed to be a journalist.”