WASHINGTON, March 4 The U.S. Missile Defense
Agency is evaluating a range of options for redesigning the
current Raytheon Co "kill vehicle" on its ground-based
missile defense interceptors, and may opt for a competition, the
agency's director said on Tuesday.
Vice Admiral James Syring told reporters the fiscal 2015
budget included funding for the redesign effort, a new
long-range radar, and other improvements aimed at helping the
ground-based midcourse missile defense run by Boeing Co
better identify, track and destroy potential enemy missiles.
He said early work on a new common kill vehicle by Raytheon,
Boeing and Lockheed Martin Corp meant the agency could
choose from three "viable industry concepts."
Syring said the decision about how to structure the
acquisition program for a redesigned kill vehicle had not been
made, but cost, schedule and performance would factor into the
He said the agency aimed to deploy the new kill vehicle, a
new long-range radar and other improvements aimed at improving
the system's ability to better discern threats by 2020.
Syring said the agency's review of a July 5 intercept
failure was ongoing but officials were nearing an understanding
of the root cause. It was not an issue involving simple quality
problems, he said.