TEL AVIV, Israel, Oct. 10 (UPI) — Israel’s military chiefs are up in arms over defense budget cuts, claiming these will slow development of vital missile defense systems and immobilize one-third of the air force and 20 percent of the army’s tanks. Read the rest of this entry »
The Senate Appropriations Committee voted unanimously Thursday for a defense spending bill that provides $513 billion for the Pentagon’s base budget, freezing spending at 2011 levels. Read the rest of this entry »
A Times op-ed about the crack down on under-performing missile defense contractors. Also includes a note about confirming Philip Coyle.
It is always encouraging to see a commitment to the Sisyphean task of getting the most out of America’s gargantuan defense budget and reining in costs on expensive, badly managed or poorly performing programs.
The Obama team killed the anachronistic F-22 combat jet and is cracking down on the way overbudget F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Now it is looking at the long-troubled missile defense program. Lt. Gen. Patrick O’Reilly, the program’s chief, told a conference on Monday that some contractors continue to produce poor quality components for missile interceptors.
Lockheed Martin executives have recently come out in recent days to build support for the Airborne Laser (ABL). Doug Graham, vice president of Advanced Programs, Strategic and Missile Defense Systems, told reporters in Washington DC that, “We [Lockheed] have fairly strong convictions that this will work.” He added that “We want to demonstrate [ABL's] ability to protect against long-range threats. We’re figuring out logical [mission applications for] this incredibly capable asset.”
Graham’s argument is basically that the ABL is a first generation project that needs continued investment to become an effective and reliable boost-phase missile defense system in the future. The argument is expanded by others who argue that the laser technology behind the ABL could be shared with other weapons systems in the future and could prove useful in many different circumstances.
However, these comments came at a time when many defense experts see the ABL as a doomed project. It has little public support in the Obama Administration or the Department of Defense. The Administration and Secretary of Defense Gates have said they wish to keep the ABL project but would transfer it to a research and development project. Originally sla
Our latest Legislative Alert was featured on the Heritage Foundation’s National Security Blog
MDAA on the Defense Budget
The Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA) released a legislative alert on the defense budget. Under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2010, missile defense will lose $1.2 billion in funding. Missile interceptors in Alaska and California would be reduced from 44 to 30.
According to the alert, President Barack Obama intends to shift away from national missile defense to theater missile defense. Earlier this month, we noted that the Obama administration planned to shift funds away from weapons and research for future conflicts and focus on weapons needed for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The NDAA passed the House and Senate in committee, and lawmakers are introducing amendments to restore funding.
The MDAA notes that missile defense cuts would cancel the Multiple Kill Vehicle, Kinetic Energy Interceptor, and Airborne Laser. Visit the MDAA site for more information.