The Pentagon is scrapping a multi-billion dollar deal with Boeing to replace an outdated missile interceptor, citing years of delays and technical problems and jealously eyeing rivals’ capabilities.
“Ending the program was the responsible thing to do,” Michael Griffin, defense undersecretary for research and engineering, said in a statement on Wednesday.
We decided the path we’re going down wouldn’t be fruitful, so we’re not going down that path anymore.
The exact details of the project’s failure would not be released “due to the classified nature of the program,” a spokesman for the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency said. But statements from both Boeing and competitor Raytheon indicate that the Pentagon wants to build a system capable of countering the hypersonic missiles currently in development in China and Russia – as well as the array of once-dormant threats unleashed by the recent scrapping of the INF Treaty.
The Pentagon is soliciting designs for a “new, next-generation interceptor,” according to a statement, confirming it has bigger things in mind than redesigning the “kill vehicles” in its existing interceptors to address long-range missiles North Korea claims to be developing.