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Pentagon Seeks $212 Million for PAC-3 Interceptors

A present danger from nonstrategic ballistic missiles demands a $212 million acquisition of 58 new Patriot Advanced Capability 3 interceptors, Inside Defense last week quoted the U.S. Defense Department as saying in a call to lawmakers for the funds (see GSN, Jan. 18).

The Pentagon said the money "increases the (combatant command's) ability to defeat the (tactical ballistic missile) threat, better supporting future contingency operations." The department added the Army had to date completed less than four-tenths of its procurement goal, and combatant command holdings "have also been reduced to support the modification of current PAC-3 missiles."

Army spokesman Dov Schwartz said the "hit-to-kill" air-defense armaments "are in high demand from combatant commanders around the globe."

The Army wants "to acquire a balanced amount of PAC-3 missiles in order to meet the [combatant command] need while accommodating both budget considerations and broader Army priorities," Schwartz said on July 5 in prepared comments for Inside the Army.

He added that the weapons "offer the best intercept capability available today" and constitute a critical means of protection for "a prioritized list of U.S. assets" dispersed globally.

Schwartz said "it is regularly requested by combatant commanders who wish to have this asset in their arsenal" (Jen Judson, Inside Defense, July 6).

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