Missile Defense Redesign on Hold; Guard Impacted

The Pentagon has temporarily suspended an effort to redesign part of the nation’s Ground-based Midcourse Defense System.

Defense News and Inside Defense have reported that military leaders have issued a stop-work order to Boeing, who is developing a Redesigned Kill Vehicle.

The RKV is intended to eventually replace the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicles that are part of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense System, which is designed to protect the nation against possible ballistic attacks.

Army National Guard soldiers in Alaska, California and Colorado are part of the 24/7 defense mission. Ground-based interceptors are located at Fort Greely, Alaska and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

Defense News reports the RKV was previously delayed two years and had been slated to be installed in Alaska in 2025. But defense officials said the system had reliability issues. Instead, the Pentagon will now look at possible “alternative courses of action” for the program.

The exact problems with the RKV are classified, officials said.

Earlier this year, the Ground-based Midcourse Defense System was successfully tested when two ground-based interceptors were launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base. Both interceptors hit their marks, an ICBM-like target launched from more than 5,000 miles away.