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Pentagon budget 2025: MDA seeks USD2.526 billion for strategic missile defence

Improving the GMD system has been a top priority for MDA. However, the effort suffered a major setback after a new kill vehicle programme was terminated. That programme was replaced by the NGI. (MDA)

The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is requesting approximately USD2.526 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2025 to improve its strategic missile defence system, known as the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD), including funding to develop a new Next Generation Interceptor (NGI).

The agency's budget documents were released on 11 March but, breaking with long-standing precedent, MDA did not hold a Pentagon briefing regarding its USD10.4 billion funding request.

In FY 2024, MDA requested USD3.076 billion for strategic missile defence but Congress had not agreed on that year's appropriations as of publication. That funding was meant for upgraded ground infrastructure and improved reliability of fire-control and kill vehicle software, added software for a selectable two- or three-stage rocket booster, and new boosters.

MDA in December 2023 conducted a test of GMD's legacy Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI) that was upgraded to utilise a two/three-stage selectable boost phase to launch an Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV). The new selectable boost phase is designed to intercept intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) across a wider engagement envelope. In that test, the two-stage boost mode was used to validate GMD's Capability Increment 6B configuration.

For more information on GMD's selectable boost stage, please see US MDA performs first intercept test with selected stage booster upgrade

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