Pentagon aims to replace Raytheon missile 'kill vehicle'

Handout of Raytheon's JLENS aerostat on the White Sands Missile RangeThe U.S. Defense Department’s fiscal 2015 budget includes $8.5 billion in funding for missile defense programs and reaffirms the Obama administration’s plan to build 14 additional ground-based interceptors by 2017. The budget request, which must still be approved by Congress, includes $99.5 million to start work on a new common “kill vehicle,” the top part of the ground-based interceptor that hits and destroys an incoming enemy missile on contact. The new kill vehicle would eventually replace the current one built by Raytheon Co, which has suffered several test failures, the Pentagon said in budget documents. Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall told a conference last week that a new kill vehicle was needed, noting that the reviews of the program had revealed “bad engineering” on the current system.

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