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Pentagon budget 2022: Missile Defense Agency budget ticks higher at USD9.6 billion

An SM-3 Block IIA was launched on 16 November 2020, marking the first time the interceptor was used against a representative intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) threat. (MDA)

The White House's proposed budget for the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) reverses a downward trend for the agency, and in fiscal year (FY) 2023 could grow to USD9.628 billion.

MDA's funding had reached a nadir of USD8.917 billion requested in FY 2022, which was down from USD9.187 billion in FY 2021, USD9.431 billion in FY 2020, and USD10.491 billion in FY 2019.

In FY 2023, the Pentagon said its overall request had a total of USD12.3 billion for wider missile defence programmes “including efforts to support the ballistic missile defense system and in other missile defense activities funded by other DoD components, including dual use technologies and programs that serve to mitigate the ballistic missile threat beyond those funded by [MDA]”.

The FY 2023 request, which is likely to be altered by lawmakers, who must then pass it in both congressional chambers before the president enacts it, includes USD2.596 billion for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system and a Next-Generation Interceptor (NGI) to augment the system's older strategic interceptors.

A Long-Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) would get USD75 million to add mid-course warhead tracking for the GMD system. It is being built at Clear Air Force Station in Alaska and its initial fielding began in December 2021, according to MDA's documents.

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