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:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.


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