, 10 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Oh wow. @calbon and @JLSdefense report that after spending nearly $700 million, the Pentagon is terminating the current program to develop a new kill vehicle for the ground based midcourse defense system and will begin a new analysis of alternatives insidedefense.com/daily-news/gri…
The GAO has been warning about this outcome for the past two years.

First in May 2017:
Despite these warnings, the Missile Defense Agency in late 2017 announced plans to accelerate development of the redesigned kill vehicle (RKV) pursuant to growing the number ground-based interceptors in Alaska from 40 to 60 by 2023
The GAO predicted in May 2018 that this plan would be “more likely to prolong the [RKV] effort rather than accelerate it. gao.gov/assets/700/692…
Sure enough, in March the Missile Defense Agency disclosed in its FY 2020 budget request plans to delay the RKV (as well as the fielding of the additional 20 interceptors in Alaska) by two years citing design issues armscontrol.org/act/2019-04/ne…
Now that the RKV program has been terminated, the delay in fielding the additional 20 interceptors is likely to extend beyond 2025
Meanwhile, another new MDA kill vehicle development effort, the multiple object kill vehicle, was significantly scaled back by the FY 2020 budget request missilethreat.csis.org/masterpiece-th…
The RKV now joins the ranks of several high-profile missile defense efforts over the past decade that have bit the dust including the precision tracking space system (~$230 million spent), airborne laser (~$5.3 billion spent), and kinetic energy interceptor (~$1.7 billion spent)
And so while MDA figures out what to do next, the 44 GMD interceptors in Alaska and California will continue to rely on the existing aging generation of kill vehicles that sport an intercept test record of 11 out of 19. One of the variants hasn't had a successful hit since 2008
If your Michael Griffin, a major boost phase missile defense proponent, maybe the issues with national midcourse defense aren't that big of a deal. I'm reminded of this gem from last year:
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