Pentagon Seeks $12 Billion for Missile Defense, Plans More Space-Based Systems in 2023

by | Mar 29, 2022

Pentagon Seeks $12 Billion for Missile Defense, Plans More Space-Based Systems in 2023

by | Mar 29, 2022

THAAD Test

The first of two Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptors is launched during a successful intercept test. The test, conducted by Missile Defense Agency (MDA), Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) Operational Test Agency, Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense, and U.S. Pacific Command, in conjunction with U.S. Army soldiers from the Alpha Battery, 2nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, U.S. Navy sailors aboard the guided missile destroyer USS Decatur (DDG-73), and U.S. Air Force airmen from the 613th Air and Operations Center resulted in the intercept of one medium-range ballistic missile target by THAAD, and one medium-range ballistic missile target by Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD). The test, designated Flight Test Operational-01 (FTO-01), stressed the ability of the Aegis BMD and THAAD weapon systems to function in a layered defense architecture and defeat a raid of two near-simultaneous ballistic missile targets

The whopping $813 billion war budget proposed by the White House on Monday includes $12.3 billion for missile defense programs. Over $9 billion will go to the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). The Pentagon is hoping to deploy more space-based systems next year. 

The bulk of the MDA’s budget – $7.9 billion – is for research and development. Some of those projects are space-based sensors meant to detect hypersonic or ballistic missiles. The Pentagon is seeking to spend over $200 million on these programs in 2023. 

The spending proposal allocates over $100 million for the Aegis Ashore systems in Poland and Romania. The Aegis systems are capable of launching nuclear-capable tomahawk missiles. Russia demanded the removal of the systems in its December security offer to the US and NATO.  

Overall the MDA’s $9.6 billion requests is slightly lower than its FY 2022 budget of $10.4 billion. However, the agency only asked for $8.9 billion. Then Congress added $1.5 billion. 

No matter how much taxpayer money gets allocated to missile defense, the military-industrial complex has been unable to produce results. “Despite decades of work and costs totaling more than $350 billion, the United States still has not been able to field a defense that would be able to intercept even a small number of relatively unsophisticated ICBMs reliably and effectively,” said Frederick K. Lamb, chair of the study, physics professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of Antiwar.com and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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