Military and Congressional leaders spent more than $10 billion on four failed defense projects that were flawed from the beginning, according to a Los Angeles Times special report.
Congressional leaders whose states benefitted from the missile defense programs refused to listen to advice from Patrick J. O’Reilly, the head of the Missile Defense Agency, when he said the programs were technically flawed, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“These things really didn’t have a lot of merit. It was just how they were packaged and sold in Washington.”
The missile defense programs included the giant $2.2 billion floating Sea-Based X-Band Radar that was unable to tell the difference between missiles and decoys and had to be scrapped, according to the Los Angeles Times.
There was also a fleet of Boeing 747s armed with lasers that would have had to fly into enemy territory to accomplish their mission, leaving the planes defenseless. That program cost taxpayers $5.3 billion.
A missile designed to shoot down other missiles, called the Kinetic Energy Interceptor, cost taxpayers $1.7 billion. It was too big to actually fit on US Navy ships and the project had to be shelved.
Meanwhile, the $700 million Multiple Kill Vehicle designed to shoot a bunch of little missiles at enemy missiles. After four years, the designers hadn’t conducted a single test flight and the program was shut down.
Mike Corbett, a retired Air Force colonel who oversaw the agency’s contracting for defense weapons systems, told the Los Angeles Times the country got nothing for its money.
“You can spend an awful lot of money and end up with nothing. MDA spent billions and billions on these programs that didn’t lead anywhere.”
The missile defense programs were bankrolled under a program to defend the nation from attack by rogue nation states like Iran and North Korea.
Now, the new head of the Missile Defense Agency, Vice Admiral James Syring, is asking Congress for more money to fund other anti-missile programs, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Lawmakers say the missile defense agency could see its budget cut by 18 percent next year if certain budget caps aren’t lifted.
Meanwhile, Russia has successfully upgraded their missile systems, and President Vladimir Putin recently claimed the United States wouldn’t be able to shoot them down, according to the Inquisitr.
In February, the Pentagon began an internal review of all its missile defense programs with the intention of creating a successful system, according to News Max.