recommended reading

Pentagon Plans to Ax Missile-Interceptor Redesign If Sequestration Returns

The Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle, seen in a photo released in late 2002. The Pentagon on Tuesday announced that if sequestration remains in effect in future years, it would cancel plans to redesign the troubled component.

The Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle, seen in a photo released in late 2002. The Pentagon on Tuesday announced that if sequestration remains in effect in future years, it would cancel plans to redesign the troubled component. // U.S. Missile Defense Agency

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 redesignearlier 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.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.