Fri, Jul 07, 2006
Aerospace Company Leading Development Of Shield
As North Korea
continues to flex its missile-muscle... who might be feeling the
heat here in the US more than Boeing?
The aerospace giant has the perhaps unenviable task of crafting
America's missile defense. Already stung by a couple of recent test
failures... Boeing will undoubtedly be under the missile-microscope
later this year... during two more interceptor tests.
"This is a very big deal for them," said Philip Coyle, senior
adviser to the Center for Defense Information. "They will say
they've done simulated things on computers, and that's fine. But
the military wants to see the proof in the pudding."
The Trib reports the US government has spent almost $ 90 billion
on the missile shield program since 1985... about half of it since
President Bush took office in 2001. Between now and 2012... the US
will also spend another $58 billion on missile defense sites here
and in Europe.
Here's the problem, though -- the last successful intercept was
four years ago. Since then, there have been failures in 2004 and
again last year.
"Boeing would claim that it has some kind of incremental
capability," Coyle added. "The MDA likes to say it's better than
zero. But, unfortunately, the systems being deployed in Alaska and
California have no demonstrated capability to defend the U.S. under
realistic operational conditions."
While Boeing won't talk about specifics, a spokesman tells the
Tribune that Boeing's customers are confident in the system.
Interestingly, that spokesman wouldn't say outright whether the
system will or will not prevent a successful missile attack against
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