System? Bush’s missile defense plan isn’t a system. A system is something that works.
[quote]U.S. Missile Defense Test Fails
Latest Setback in Pacific Fuels Doubts About System’s Future
December 16, 2004
The Bush administration’s effort to build a system for defending the country against ballistic missile attack suffered an embarrassing setback yesterday when an interceptor missile failed to launch during the first flight test of the system in two years. . .
The aborted test cast fresh doubt over when Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld would decide to put the new system on alert. That decision had been expected earlier this fall, after the installation of an initial set of six interceptors at a launch facility near Fairbanks, Alaska.
. . . Pentagon officials have described the facility as going through a “shakedown” phase and have insisted that the decision to declare it operational would be made independent of the outcome of the flight test. Lawrence Di Rita, the Pentagon’s top spokesman, reiterated yesterday that “the test was not connected to any decisions about operational capability.” :loco:
. . . the Pentagon’s top spokesman, reiterated yesterday that “the test was not connected to any decisions about operational capability.”
The previous flight test, in December 2002, also flopped when the kill vehicle failed to separate from the booster. Pentagon officials suspended further flight testing until a new booster could be developed, but that effort took longer than expected.
By spring of this year, the new booster was ready, but the discovery of a faulty circuit board in the kill vehicle prompted Pentagon officials to order a lengthy bottom-up review of all components.
In mid-August, the missile interceptor was again set to go when technicians found a glitch in the booster’s flight computer. Replacing the computer created another delay.
In September, program officials announced yet another postponement after discovering modifications that had been made to the interceptor without thorough ground testing. . .[/quote]
washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/ar … Dec15.html
[quote]U.S. Missile Defense Again Fails Key Test
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
For the second time in as many months, the Bush administration’s new missile defense system failed to complete a key test yesterday, automatically shutting down a few seconds before an interceptor missile was to launch toward a mock enemy warhead. . .
Yesterday’s miscarried test was created to duplicate a Dec. 15 trial that also failed. Both tests were to have marked the first flights of the advanced interceptor missile. Earlier tests had used a slower, less sophisticated interceptor.
The latest tests called for the interceptor’s booster rocket to shoot into space and release a “kill vehicle” that closes in on a mock enemy warhead and destroys it in a high-speed collision.
In both recent tests, the mock enemy warhead was launched successfully from Kodiak, Alaska, but the interceptor failed to get off the ground. . .
Since 1999, the Pentagon has conducted 10 tests of the missile defense system, five of which have resulted in hits. But only the last two tests have used the actual interceptor designed for real-world missions; earlier tests employed surrogates.
David Wright, co-director in the global security program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in a statement that yesterday’s failure showed “the program is being pushed ahead for political reasons regardless of its capability.” . . .[/quote]
washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/ar … Feb14.html
Well, besides me, how about the General Accounting Office.
[quote]Auditors Fault Missile Defense Plans
Jun 1, 2006
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has spent about $91 billion since the mid-1980s to defend against enemy ballistic missiles, but it has no clear criteria for deciding to use the system and its operational costs remain unclear, the Government Accountability Office said on Thursday. . .
The GAO, the non-partisan, investigative arm of Congress, urged the Pentagon to draw up standards that each component and the overall ballistic missile defense system must meet before they can be used, just as other major weapons programs do.
It also recommended that the Department of Defense (DOD) set up a new structure to identify all the costs of operating the missile defense system, some of which are now being funded with research money, and report them to Congress. . .
“Without the ability to identify and assess total ballistic missile defense operational costs, neither DOD nor Congress has complete information to make funding and trade-off decisions among competing priorities,” the report said.
The Bush administration asked Congress for $10.4 billion in fiscal 2007 for all missile defenses, up from about $8.8 billion for the current year.
Combined spending on missile defense projects remained the costliest item in the defense budget. . . the GAO report was the latest in a string of critical reviews by various watchdog agencies. All see “serious deficiencies” with the program. . .
“They’re spending a lot of money, but no one has an idea of what it will do and … whether it will work” . . .[/quote]