Funding included in a fiscal 2013 continuing budget resolution for a controversial battlefield missile defense program must be used to wind down the initiative as required by law, a House staffer told The Hill on Tuesday.
"At this point in time, the enacted authorization language stands," the unidentified aide said, referring to fiscal 2013 defense authorization legislation that orders the Defense Department to not spend additional money on furthering development of the Medium Extended Air Defense System. "So the program is terminated, and those funds are to be used for termination costs."
The MEADS program is being jointly developed with NATO members Italy and Germany.
Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) unsuccessfully attempted to amend the continuing resolution to remove the $380 million assigned to MEADS for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30.
Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-III.) said he would prefer to see funds used to complete preparation of the system so the United States might recoup a portion of its multibillion-dollar investment by seeing new military capabilities completed.
The Pentagon has said it would not purchase any MEADS systems when they eventually become available but that the U.S. government should maintain funding for one more year to avoid having to pay more expensive contract liabilities.
Separately, the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency has taken receipt of its eighth AN/TPY-2 long-range radar, United Press International reported on Tuesday.