Key US missile interceptor fails test again, says Pentagon
Department of Defense confirms third consecutive failure of system managed by Boeing
A test of the only US defense against long-range ballistic missiles failed on Friday. The Department of Defense said it was the third consecutive failure involving the interceptor system that is managed by Boeing Co.
The military has tested the so-called ground-based midcourse defense system 16 times. It has succeeded eight times, with the last intercept in December 2008.
The Pentagon said this week that the test would not affect its decision to bolster the US missile defense system. Defense secretary Chuck Hagel announced the move in March, following threats by North Korea. Under that plan, the Pentagon will add 14 new anti-missile interceptors at a total cost of nearly $1bn.
The United States has 26 interceptors deployed at Fort Greely in Alaska and four at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
In Friday’s test, a long-range ballistic missile target was launched from the US Army’s Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands. The interceptor missile was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY CONTRACT AWARD
Boeing Co., Huntsville, Ala., was awarded a $6,820,626 modification (P0008), to cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (HQ0277-12-C-0001). Under this modification, the contractor will make aircraft modifications to accommodate instruments and payloads on Boeing’s existing experimental prototype aircraft and gather, analyze, and report flight test data to characterize potential payload environments. The modification increases the total contract value from $2,213,873 to $9,034,499. The work will be performed in Huntsville, Ala.; St. Louis, Mo.; Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.; and Albuquerque, N.M. The performance period is award plus five months. Fiscal 2013 Research, Development, Test and Evaluation funds in the amount of $3,100,000 are being obligated on this award. The Missile Defense Agency, Albuquerque, N.M., is the contracting activity.
Boeing Corp. awarded $3.5 billion missile defense contract
Boeing Corp. has landed a seven-year, $3.5 billion contract extension to oversee Missile Defense Agency work for the Department of Defense, including operations at Fort Greely near Delta Junction. Boeing has held the Ground-based Midcourse Defense contract, known as GMD, for the past decade. The extension will last through 2018, according to a government announcement Friday. Under terms of the contract, Boeing will lead GMD development, integration, testing, operations and other activities. Northrop Grumman will oversee the ground system elements, while providing support for operations, system engineering and system tests, according to Boeing. Carlton said some remaining details, including a formal schedule for a transition to the new contract, likely would be discussed next week. Boeing employs about 80 people at Fort Greely, Carlton said, among the 900 workers employed nationwide through its GMD program. The contract is part of the Global Ballistic Missile Defense System, which is designed to protect the United States from long-range ballistic missile threats. Boeing said it has more than 20 operational interceptors at Fort Greely and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
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