Time to protect Hawaii from the ‘clear and present’ North Korean danger
by Former Rep. George R. Nethercutt Jr. (R-Wash.),The Hill, June 21, 2017 (excerpt)
…Given the seriousness of the situation, the United States must deploy missile defense systems to counter the threat, and we must do so fast….
The U.S. defense arsenal currently contains numerous assets to defend against North Korean aggression, but some in Washington want to ignore years of readily available and cost-effective missile defense technology in favor of developing new technology known as the Homeland Discrimination Radar-Hawaii (HDR-HI), a costly system that is years away from being fielded. While the U.S. should use all means, both regional and homeland missile defense systems, at its disposal to counter North Korean aggression, we must do so smartly and not waste precious tax dollars in the process.
So why start at square one?
Design, engineering, development, testing and procurement of a completely new system like HDR-HI could take over a decade. This extended timetable clearly would not match the imminent North Korean threat. Furthermore, the interceptor that would be paired with the radar, Ground-Based Midcourse defense (GMD), is one of the most costly missiles in our arsenal at more than $800 million. While GMD serves an important role in our nation’s missile defenses and recently fielded a successful test, at a price tag for a single interceptor of over $100 million, we should explore other interceptor options if they are better suited to defend Hawaii.
Conversely, years of development and millions of taxpayer dollars have already gone into programs such as Aegis Ashore and the SM-3. These systems have the ability to protect Hawaii at a fraction of the cost and can be deployed on a much shorter timetable than HDR-HI. The Aegis Ashore test facility in Hawaii could be brought online for $41 million, for example, and the SM-3 interceptors that pair with Aegis are estimated to cost a relatively modest few million dollars each….
read … Military Industrial Complex