WASHINGTON, June 24 Sunday's successful
intercept test of the U.S. missile defense system will allow the
Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency to buy 14 more ground-based
interceptors as planned, the Defense Department's top financial
official told Reuters on Tuesday.
Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale said the fact that the
Boeing Co-run system hit and destroyed a dummy missile
during a critical test on Sunday was good news, but further
tests were needed to improve confidence in the system, the sole
U.S. defense against long-range ballistic missiles.
"It certainly paves the way," Hale said in an interview at
his Pentagon office. "If we had had continued failures, we would
have had to rethink. But I think our plan now remains to buy the
original 14 interceptors."
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Eric Beech)