The White House’s proposed budget for the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) continues a slow downward trend for the agency, with USD8.917 billion requested in fiscal year 2022 (FY 2022).
MDA had budgeted for USD9.187 billion in FY 2021, USD9.431 billion in FY 2020, and USD10.491 billion in FY 2019.
The FY 2022 request, which is likely to be somewhat altered by lawmakers who must then pass it in both congressional chambers before the president enacts it, includes USD1.733 billion for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system that is designed to defend against limited long-range attacks from states such as North Korea. It has also requested USD926.1 million to begin a Next Generation Interceptor (NGI) to augment the system’s older strategic interceptors.
An SM-3 Block IIA is launched on 16 November 2020, marking the first time the interceptor was used against a representative ICBM threat. (MDA)
A Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) would get USD133.3 million to add midcourse warhead tracking for the GMD system. It is being built at Clear Air Force Station in Alaska, and its initial fielding is now slated for 2022 (it was originally 2020), with an ‘operational acceptance’ in 2023 (originally 2022), according to MDA’s documents.
The agency also requested USD732.5 million to advance its Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system, including integrating the Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) Block IIA into the Aegis system. In November 2020, MDA used an SM-3 Block IIA to intercept an intercontinental ballistic missile-class target for the first time, potentially enabling the interceptor to be used as a lower-tier layer – beneath GMD – for homeland missile defence. For procurement, Aegis is requested to receive USD755.1 million, including USD647.4 million to buy 40 SM-3 Block IB missiles and 8 SM-3 Block IIA missiles in FY 2022.