Navy Vice Adm. James Syring said the Missile Defense Agency plans to allocate $1.3 billion of its $7.46 billion budget request for fiscal year 2015 toward homeland defense, including a purchase of ground-based interceptor missiles to beef up MDA’s fleet, the American Forces Press Service reported Thursday.
The press service noted that past test flights to assess a key component of the GBIs, referred to as the exoatmospheric kill vehicle, have come back with issues, but the MDA chief assured lawmakers that the agency remains committed to the technology.
“My highest priority remains the successful intercept flight test of the CE-2 (variant) exoatmospheric kill vehicle,” Syring said Wednesday in testimony before the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee.
The director added that the agency is looking toward addressing the EKV’s cost and reliability in a proposed redesign next year.
Syring also discussed other aspects of the budget request, including $929 million funding for the continued development of the Aegis ballistic missile defense system, as well as MDA’s milestones with respect to NATO activities, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense interceptors and cybersecurity efforts.
Syring noted that for fiscal year 2015, MDA is set to add to its arsenal 31 THAAD interceptors, which works to shoot down incoming warheads inside or outside the atmosphere before they hit their targets.
Development of a long-range discrimination radar is also in the works, with a planned launch in six years’ time, Syring told the senate panel.
“The new mid-course tracking radar will provide persistent coverage and improved discrimination capabilities against threats to the homeland from the Pacific theater,” he said.