The White House “strongly objects” to missile defense provisions in the House Armed Services Committee’s mark of the FY ’20 defense authorization bill reducing Missile Defense Agency (MDA) funds.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a Statement of Administration Policy on July 9 regarding the House’s FY ’20 National Defense Authorization Act outlining its objections, which includes a $413 million reduction in Missile Defense Agency (MDA) funds.
The administration specifically opposes a $150 million reduction in the Improved Homeland Defense Interceptor Program, also known as the Redesigned Kill Vehicle (RKV). The White House argued this is “premature pending the result of DoD’s analysis of alternative courses of action for the Redesigned Kill Vehicle effort and could cause even further delays to the delivery of 20 additional Ground-Based Interceptors.”
In May, Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Mike Griffin directed MDA to issue a stop-work order to Boeing on the RKV work due to technical issues. Griffin also started an analysis of alternative courses of action to examine the RKV issues (Defense Daily, May 24).
Then, in June, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report revealed the issue, which originally caused MDA to first delay the program by two years, is expected to increase RKV costs by nearly $600 million (Defense Daily, June 6).
The RKV issue has also delayed procurement of 20 additional Ground-Based Interceptors, which are planned to be fitted with the RKV and based in Alaska as part of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense missile defense system.