Alaska Could Receive Another Eight Ballistic Missile Interceptors

A U.S. Defense Department agency has informed lawmakers it could deploy eight more ground-based ballistic missile interceptors at an Alaska installation before 2016, a move that would raise up to 38 the quantity of active weapons at the base and another site in California, InsideDefense.com reported on Wednesday (see GSN, Feb. 14).

The Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency now intends to deploy 26 Ground-based Midcourse Defense interceptors at Fort Greely in Alaska and four of the weapons at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, according to agency spokesman Rick Lehner (see GSN, Oct. 19, 2011).

"We will have silos in Missile Field No. 2 at Fort Greely that will be able to accept the additional interceptors if directed to do so," the official said this week. "The number of operational interceptors is determined by the combatant command and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, not MDA."

Existing launch facilities can hold up to 34 interceptors in Alaska and four in California, he said.

The agency has finished an assessment of its GMD interceptor procurement aim and has added funding for five more of the weapons to its fiscal 2013 funding proposal, Lehner said.

The Pentagon office's GMD funding request totals $903 million for the budget year that begins on Oct. 1; one year ago, it projected it would seek in excess of $100 million more for the program in the upcoming fiscal cycle (Thomas Duffy, InsideDefense.com, Feb. 29).

March 2, 2012
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A U.S. Defense Department agency has informed lawmakers it could deploy eight more ground-based interceptors at an Alaska installation before 2016, a move that would raise up to 38 the quantity of active weapons at the base and another site in California, InsideDefense.com reported on Wednesday.

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