Pentagon 'to boost missile defence spending by over $6b'
WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The US Defence Department plans to ask Congress for US$4.5 billion (S$5.7 billion) in extra missile defence funding over the next five years as part of the fiscal 2015 budget request, according to congressional sources and an expert.
Nearly US$1 billion of that sum will pay for a new homeland defence radar to be placed in Alaska, with an additional US$560 million to fund work on a new interceptor after several failed flight tests, said Mr Riki Ellison, founder of the non-profit Missile Defence Advocacy Alliance, and two of the congressional sources, who were not authorised to speak publicly.
The Pentagon's request for added funding comes despite continued pressure on military spending and cuts in other arms programmes, a sign of Washington's growing concern about missile development efforts by North Korea and Iran, the sources said.
Missile defence is one of the biggest items in the Pentagon's annual budget, although Republicans have faulted the Obama administration for scaling back funding in recent years.