White House Requests $4 Billion Boost for Missile Defeat and Defense

On November 6, the White House submitted an FY18 emergency budget request for the Department of Defense for $5.9 billion in additional funding “to support urgent missile defeat and defense enhancements to counter the threat from North Korea.” Most of this request, $4 billion, is designated for missile defeat and defense activities. $2.1 billion would be used to increase capability and capacity including: the construction of a fourth Ground-based Interceptor (GBI) field at Ft. Greely Alaska, initial procurement of 20 new GBIs, procurement of 16 Standard Missile (SM) 3 Block IIA interceptors, and the procurement of 50 Terminal High Altitude Air Defense Interceptors.

The request also asks for $839 million for combined missile detection, disruption/defeat, and defense, including the purchase of 147 PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement missiles. $214 million was requested for missile detection, focusing on updating radar systems and intelligence and reconnaissance assets, and $116 million was allotted for missile disruption and defeat and long-range strike capabilities. An additional $743 million would be designated for “other associated missile defeat and defense activities.” Lastly, $674 million has been requested in Navy operation and maintenance funding to repair two guided ballistic missile destroyers damaged in collisions at sea this summer, the USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) and USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62).

In a joint statement the Chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, Representative Mac Thornberry and Senator John McCain, said they welcomed the president’s amendment and noted that many of the missile defense programs in request have already been authorized by their committees. “This request also underscores the threat posed by the rogue North Korean regime and the urgent need to boost our missile defense capabilities to meet it.”

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