The Missile Defense Agency was unable to achieve a planned intercept of a ballistic missile target during a test over the Pacific Ocean today. The flight test included the successful flight of an intermediate-range ballistic missile target from Ronald Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands and a long-range interceptor missile launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
A test of the sole U.S. defense against long-range ballistic missiles failed on Wednesday, the second failure in a row involving the system managed by Boeing Co (BA.N), the Defense Department said.
“The Missile Defense Agency was unable to achieve a planned intercept of a ballistic missile target during a test over the Pacific Ocean today,” Richard Lehner, an agency spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement. No preliminary explanation of the failure was provided.
The miss brought the so-called ground-based midcourse defense’s batting record to eight intercepts out of 15 tries, as reckoned by the Missile Defense Agency.
“This is a tremendous setback for the testing of this complicated system,” Riki Ellison, head of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, a booster group, said in a statement. He said it raised troubling questions about the reliability of the 30 or so interceptor missiles deployed in silos in Alaska and California.
The test was a repeat of a Jan. 31 exercise in which an advanced sea-based radar had not performed as expected.
Well, more testing and development is in order and at least with the GOP control of the House there will NOT be an attempt to defund the Missile Defense Agency. Being that the Democrats and President Obama have been reluctant to support missile defense, the GOP success in November looms even bigger.
But, there is nothing better than success and Boeing will have to demonstrate it or make way for other contractors. Missile defense is too important for failure.