Another $250 Million Spent on a Missile Defense System (Almost) No One Wants

Sunday, May 20, 2012
The Department of Defense has refused to give up on a costly missile defense system that has yet to prove its worthiness for the battlefield, arguing that hundreds of millions of dollars more should be spent to keep the program alive.
The program, known as the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS), was first conceived in the mid-1990s as a replacement for the Patriot missile. Over the last two decades, MEADS “has been plagued with so many cost overruns and delays that [the Pentagon] and Congress both agreed last year to pull the plug,” according to iWatch News.
This year, however, Defense officials lobbied lawmakers for more funding to keep MEADS from being shut down. The program received $250 million, and the Pentagon wants at least another $400 million next year.
The U.S. has worked in partnership with Germany and Italy to develop MEADS. But the U.S. has paid for the majority of the project so far (58%), with the Germans contributing 25% and Italy 17%.
Lockheed Martin is the prime American contractor, with assistance from Germany-based LFK-Lenkflugkörpersysteme and the international MBDA-Systems Inc.
MEADS was originally supposed to cost $3.4 billion. The latest estimate from the Government Accountability Office now places the price tag at $16.5 billion.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
To Learn More:

Army vs. Lockheed Martin in Battle to Cancel Missile Defense System (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov) 


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