Strategic Weapons: December 27, 1999

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The Pentagon has revised its 2001-2005 budget plans to add another $2.2 billion for the national missile defense system. This brings the total for that period to $10.5 billion. This will be used to buy more interceptor missiles, upgrade radars, and (most importantly) even more testing. The Pentagon says that the money will be used to develop the technology even if President Clinton decides to delay deploying such a system. The general outline of the current system design is 100 interceptors based in Alaska. Only from this position could the interceptors cover all 50 states, a key policy goal. Basing the missiles in Alaska would be another violation of the 1972 ABM Treaty requiring Russian agreement. --Stephen V Cole

The Pentagon's next test of the National Missile Defense system is set for January. This test will incorporate new elements, including ground-based and satellite sensors, and the new X-band radar to guide the interceptor. --Stephen V Cole

 


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