The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) stopped funding a new ballistic missile defense radar in the Pacific and instead is studying the larger sensor architecture needed in region, the agency’s director said Monday.

During the FY 2021 budget request briefing Monday, MDA Director Vice Adm. Jon Hill acknowledged the previous program of the Homeland Defense Radar-Pacific (HDR-P) did not appear in the agency’s FY 2021 budget documents. The FY 2020 budget request previously cut funding for the Pacific Discriminating Radar down to only $6.7 million to complete program requirements development activities. In FY 2019, MDA requested $34 million for HDR-P.

The radar was meant to support both defending the U.S. from long-range missile threats and regional threats in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) region.

The FY ’20 budget request said MDA expected the Pacific Radar to complete fielding by 2026.

“Last year we pushed Pacific Radar to the right because of host nation issues that we had to come through. We still have that issue, and Pacific Radar is no longer in our budget. We’ve moved it out,” Hill said.

“And I can’t tell you where it goes, because I don’t know, so it goes to other DoD priorities,” he continued.

Hill said while the Pacific Radar was meant to take the Defense Department “to the next evolution of where we estimate the threat to be,” for now the region is covered by deployed TPY-2 radars in Hawaii and other parts of the Pacific, the deployable Sea-Based X-Band radar, and Aegis ships with their mobile radars that can be repositioned.

According to a Center for Strategic and International Studies Missile Threat fact sheet, the TPY-2 X-band radars are used as the primary sensor for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile defense system and several are based in Guam and Japan to monitor North Korean activity.

“So that’s really the answer of how you handle that in the near term,” Hill continued.

However, the MDA director underscored that as the department went through the budget request, “we realized we need to take another look at that architecture.”

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper commissioned a study for the MDA to look at the sensor architecture, specifically in the INDOPACOM area of operations, “and what we need to do and what other options do we have,” Hill said.