Cost to Test U.S. Global-Strike Missile Could Reach $500 Million
Monday, March 15, 2010
By Elaine M. Grossman
Global Security Newswire
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Defense Department could spend as much as a half-billion dollars to flight-test a new conventionally armed ballistic missile with a sophisticated capability to destroy targets virtually anywhere around the world, Global Security Newswire has learned (see GSN, July 1, 2009).
Obama administration officials are touting the emerging technology as a partial alternative to nuclear weapons. Conventional "prompt global strike" arms could be used against targets thousands of miles away that must be dealt with quickly, from al-Qaeda safe havens along the Pakistani-Afghan border or an impending North Korean nuclear-armed missile being readied for launch.
The only hitch is that the premier weapon system for the Pentagon's conventional prompt global strike mission -- the Air Force's Conventional Strike Missile -- is in the throes of cost hikes and management tangles that could complicate hopes for rapid fielding.
Senior defense officials, aware that a more public role for the weapon is likely to attract additional congressional scrutiny, are seeking greater cost and planning discipline in the Conventional Strike Missile effort…
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Monday, March 15, 2010
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