Major Missile-Defense Project Officially Scrapped

NTI: Global Security Newswire
June 12, 2009

Northrop Grumman Corp.’s Kinetic Energy Interceptor project is officially dead, Reuters reported yesterday (GSN, June 11).

The U.S. missile-defense project had undergone $1.2 billion of work, but fell victim to the Obama administration’s plans to cut funding for missile defense activities in the fiscal 2010 budget. The Defense Department delivered a stop work order in May and formally terminated the program Wednesday.

The Kinetic Energy Interceptor was designed to destroy enemy missiles during the early stages of flight. A major test of the technology was scheduled for September, but Defense Secretary Robert Gates argued that the system’s cost and limited capabilities made it expendable.

The project was cut “for the convenience of the government” rather than any problem with the defense contractor, according to the termination message (Jim Wolf, Reuters, June 11).