Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
U.S. Interceptor Plans Carry Cost Risks: GAO
Congressional auditors on Thursday issued a new warning on the financial and planning risks of fielding ground-based ballistic missile interceptors while key components of the weapons continue to be refined.
The Defense Department this month announced plans to field 14 more Ground-based Midcourse Defense interceptors at a facility in Alaska to counter a potential future threat of long-range missiles from North Korea. The GMD technology has not conducted a successful intercept test since 2008, with two 2010 trials failing.
"Committing to production and fielding before development is complete is a high-risk strategy that often results in performance shortfalls, unexpected cost increases, schedule delays and test problems," the Government Accountability Office said in a report on the status of the Pentagon's major weapons programs.
Development has moved forward for the Standard Missile 3 Block 1B system, but recovering from past technical setbacks has "contributed to significant program schedule delays, production disruptions and cost growth," the GAO assessment indicates.
This article provides an overview of the United States’ historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.