SYSTEM PRICE TAG RAISED TO $30 BLN
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
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 system’s initial operating capability.