Pentagon is evaluating West Coast missile defense sites


The Missile Defense Agency is looking for additional places long the West Coast to install new anti-missile defenses as North Korea continues its ICBM development.

North Korea ramped up its ballistic missile testing this year, with the likelihood of having developed an ICBM capable of striking the U.S. mainland with a nuclear payload within a few years. As such, the Pentagon has been forced to speed up its development of missile defenses.

Last week the North Koreans tested an ICBM that is estimated to have a range of more than 8,000 miles, far enough to reach Washington, D.C.

Rep. Mike Rogers, who sits on the House Armed Services Committee and chairs the Strategic Forces Subcommittee which oversees missile defense, said the MDA wants to put additional missile defenses along the West Coast.

However, the funding for doing so does not appear in the 2018 budget.

“It’s just a matter of the location, and the MDA making a recommendation as to which site meets their criteria for location, but also the environmental impact,” he said.

Congressman Adam Smith, a Democrat representing the 9th District of Washington, added the government was considering installing the THAAD anti-missile system made by aerospace giant Lockheed Martin Corp, at west coast sites.

Currently the U.S. is defended by the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system (GMD) in Alaska and California, as well as Aegis anti-missile systems aboard U.S. Navy ships. [source]

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