06.04.2000

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MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM PRICE TAG RAISED TO $30 BLN

Building and operating a national missile defense system would cost taxpayers $30.2 billion, about 27% higher than previous estimates, according to Pentagon officials. The higher price tag includes expanding the number of interceptor missiles to 100 (from 20) as well as X-band radar improvements.

The previous lifecycle cost estimate of the program operating through 2026 was $23.8 billion (using 1999 base-year dollars). The system would be designed to defend North America and Hawaii against limited, long-range missile attack from a nation such as North Korea. In addition to interceptors, the system includes sensors in space to identify and track incoming missiles and ground-based radar.

The Clinton administration has set 2005 as a deadline for the systems initial operating capability.

AviationNow.com 6.04.00