WASHINGTON Feb 25 The Pentagon's next budget
will include funds to overhaul Boeing Co's ground-based
missile defense system and develop a replacement for an
interceptor built by Raytheon Co after several recent
test failures, the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer said Tuesday.
"We've got to get to more reliable systems," Frank Kendall,
undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and
logistics, told a conference sponsored by McAleese and
Associations and Credit Suisse.
Asked if the problems were linked to a shortage of funding
in recent years, Kendall said he attributed the issues more to
decisions to rush deployment of technologies that had not been
completely and thoroughly tested.
"Just updating the things we've got is probably not going to
be adequate. So we're going to have to go beyond that," he said,
although he gave no details.
Reuters reported earlier this month that the Pentagon
planned to ask Congress for $4.5 billion in additional funding
for missile defense over the next five years, including $560
million for work on a new interceptor after several failed
The White House plans to send its fiscal 2015 budget request
to Congress on March 4.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel previewed the Pentagon's
portion of the budget on Monday but did not provide specific
details about missile defense.
Missile defense is one of the biggest items in the
Pentagon's annual budget, although Republicans have faulted the
Obama administration for scaling back funding in recent years.
Sources familiar with the process say the department now
plans to fund an effort to develop a new interceptor,
specifically the "kill vehicle," the part of the ground-based
interceptor that hits and destroys an incoming enemy missile on
Missile defense experts say that a big part of the issue
with the Raytheon "kill vehicle" stems from the fact that
testing and development were not complete when the Bush
administration opted to deploy some initial ground-based
The kill vehicle is part of the larger ground-based missile
defense system managed by Boeing, with a rocket built by Orbital
Michael Gilmore, the Defense Department's chief weapons
tester, earlier this month questioned the robustness of the
Raytheon kill vehicle after a series of test failures and said
the Pentagon should consider a redesign.