The Pentagon would ax a redesign of the front-end kill vehicle atop its strategic missile interceptor if future sequestration cuts remain law.
Sequestration levels were relaxed in defense spending legislation for fiscal 2014 and 2015. However, should these congressionally mandated reductions slated for 2016 and beyond remain in effect, the Defense Department plans to cancel an effort to correct design problems in its key missile-defense interceptor.
The Defense Department revealed this budgeting contingency plan for the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle in a report released on Tuesday, titled “Estimated Impacts of Sequestration-Level Funding.” The department also announced it would eliminate a separate program to acquire an additional land-based, long-range radar in the event that spending reductions required under the 2011 Budget Control Act will kick in, come fiscal 2016.
The Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle is mounted atop the Ground Based Interceptor and is designed to destroy incoming ballistic missiles by kinetic force. The three most recent intercept tests that employed the kinetic technology all ended in failure, leading the Pentagon’s head of weapons testing to recommend a redesign earlier this year. The long-range interceptor is a critical element of the broader Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, which is considered the principal U.S. defense against a potential strategic missile attack.
The department’s Missile Defense Agency announced in March it would seek a redesign of the EKV technology and requested $100 million for the project in fiscal 2015. Total funding for the project from fiscal 2015 through fiscal 2019 was planned to be $738 million. The bulk of project funding was slated to come in fiscal 2016 and 2017.
The Missile Defense Agency last month said it was requesting $80 million for the radar in the upcoming fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1. The sensor is expected to monitor the Pacific Ocean, in line with a directive by Congress under the fiscal 2014 Defense Authorization Act to deploy an additional X-band radar that would focus on any threats coming from North Korea.
What We're Following See More »
The Commission on Presidential Debates put out a statement today that gives credence to Donald Trump's claims that he had a bad microphone on Monday night. "Regarding the first debate, there were issues regarding Donald Trump's audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall," read the statement in its entirety.
"A video of Donald Trump testifying under oath about his provocative rhetoric about Mexicans and other Latinos is set to go public" as soon as today. "Trump gave the testimony in June at a law office in Washington in connection with one of two lawsuits he filed last year after prominent chefs reacted to the controversy over his remarks by pulling out of plans to open restaurants at his new D.C. hotel. D.C. Superior Court Judge Brian Holeman said in an order issued Thursday evening that fears the testimony might show up in campaign commercials were no basis to keep the public from seeing the video."
No matter that his recall of foreign leaders leaves something to be desired, Gary Johnson is the choice of the Chicago Tribune's editorial board. The editors argue that Donald Trump couldn't do the job of president, while hitting Hillary Clinton for "her intent to greatly increase federal spending and taxation, and serious questions about honesty and trust." Which leaves them with Johnson. "Every American who casts a vote for him is standing for principles," they write, "and can be proud of that vote. Yes, proud of a candidate in 2016."
"By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump." That's the message from USA Today editors, who are making the first recommendation on a presidential race in the paper's 34-year history. It's not exactly an endorsement; they make clear that the editorial board "does not have a consensus for a Clinton endorsement." But they state flatly that Donald Trump is, by "unanimous consensus of the editorial board, unfit for the presidency."