US weighs options for new ‘kill vehicle’

US weighs options for new ‘kill vehicle’

Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:23PM GMT
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/07/14/371276/us-weighs-options-for-new-kill-vehicle/

The Pentagon hopes to fund a much more reliable “kill vehicle,” or warhead, for the homeland missile system.

Defense Undersecretary Frank Kendall, the Pentagon’s top arms purchaser, said decisions had not been finalized on whether to upgrade the existing warheads, built by Raytheon Co., or design a new one, according to Reuters.

“It’s going at the end of the day to be a question of affordability,” Kendall told reporters Saturday on the eve of the Farnborough air show.

Raytheon, Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing have all expressed interest in bidding for a new design of kill vehicle.

After the missile system successfully intercepted a dummy target over the Pacific last month, defense contractor Raytheon which is a subcontractor to Boeing Co. said it expected to go into production shortly.

On June 22, the system managed to hit a simulated enemy missile for the first time since 2008.

Kendall said the test marked “a very positive step that will [prompt] us to move forward.”

The US Missile Defense Agency has failed half of its tests on intercepting a mock enemy warhead, government records show.

The Obama administration has agreed to expand the system from the current number of 30 ground-based interceptors.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has called for deployment of 14 new interceptors at Ft. Greely by late 2017.

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