Thursday, April 3, 2008

some figures

The Center for American Progress posted an article titled "Shooting for the Stars: Ballistic Missiles by the Numbers". In it the center came up with some figures for the U.S. ballistic missile defense programs which it calls obsolete and dealing with a largely hypothetical threat:

2,380: Number of long-range missiles in the Soviet Union’s combined ICBM and SLBM arsenals in 1987, with 9,847 warheads.

669: Number of long-range missiles, carrying 2,467 warheads, in Russia’s arsenal as of February 2007.

1,640: Number of long-range missiles deployed by the United States in 1987, with 8,331 warheads.

836: Number of long-range missiles, carrying 3,066 warheads, in the U.S. arsenal as of February 2007.

71 percent: Decrease in the number of ICBMs that threaten U.S. territory from 1987 to 2007. In 1987, the Soviet Union and China fielded a combined 2,400 long-range missiles. Twenty years later, the combined number for Russia and China was 689.

$91.1 million: Budget overrun in fiscal year 2007 for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, a mobile system built by Lockheed Martin Corp. that can shoot down short and medium-range ballistic missiles.

$325.8 million: Total projected cost overrun for the THAAD program, according to GAO.

$10.4 billion: FY 2008 total budget allocation for ballistic missile defense.$12.3 billion: FY 2009 total budget request for ballistic missile defense.

Naturally, MDA chief Lt. Gen. Henry Obering has another perspective on the work and purpose of his agency. On Tuesday he mentioned that North Korea continues to seek a nuclear-capable ICBM despite signing a denuclearization pact last year and presses forward with its development.

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