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US announces multi-billion missile defence request

A U.S. Army Terminal High Altitude Area Defense launching station sits at the ready in Israel, March 4, 2019. Photo: Air Force Staff Sgt. Cory D. Payne.

The US Defense Department has detailed a massive spending request to drastically improve its missile defence capability.

The US Defense Department has detailed a massive spending request to drastically improve its missile defence capability.

The request to US Congress asks for $3.3 billion to improve Ground-based Midcourse Defense, including $2.2 billion for a Next Generation Interceptor.

It also details around $1.5 billion for the defence of Guam, $64 million in air surveillance and defence improvements for Hawaii, $423 million to continue fielding over-the-horizon radars, and $1.5 billion to counter lower tier missile threats.


Also, nearly $5 billion for modernising space capabilities with new missile warning, missile tracking and next-generation overhead persistent infrared architectures. Around $259 million for hypersonic missile defense sensors and development of the glide phase interceptor, and $2.2 billion for the Standard Missile Three, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense and Patriot PAC-3 interceptors. There would also be $308 million allocated for directed energy development. 

Space and Missile Defense, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense John D Hill, said Russia China, Iran, and North Korea are developing, testing, and fielding advanced missile systems of all classes and ranges.

“Missile defence is a notable element of our $35 billion of support to Ukraine since Russia’s further invasion last year," Hill said.  

“Ukraine endures today as a sovereign and free nation in large part because it made air and missile defence top priorities as it leveraged extensive assistance from the United States, our NATO allies, and many others.

“Missiles have become foundational to our adversaries’ way of war and missile defence has become foundational to integrated deterrence and defence of the nation.

“To that end, the best thing Congress can do to support the warfighter is pass on time the Defense and Military Construction Appropriations Act.” 

The department is making improvements to its Ground-based Midcourse Defense system as part of a comprehensive missile defeat approach to stay ahead of the threat, he said.

Earlier this month, the Peoples Republic of China also announced a focus on missile defence after it successfully conducted a land-based mid-course missile interception test on 14 April.

The test achieved the desired test objective, was defensive in nature, and not targeted against any country, according to the PRC Ministry of National Defense.

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