WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Riki Ellison, Chairman and Founder of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA), www.missiledefenseadvocacy.org has reviewed the FY2011 Missile Defense Budget released on February 1st by the Department of Defense which offers a substantial increase to the total budget for missile defense. This increase recovers close to half the amount that was cut by the President and Secretary Robert Gates a year ago. Ellison is one of the top lay experts in the world on the topic of missile defense. His comments and observations include the following:
"Early this week, President Barack Obama's administration and the Department of Defense announced a substantial increase to the 2011 Missile Defense Budget. The amount, $9.42 billion, equals a 6.13 percent increase from the 2010 budget. This increase, $577 million, recovers close to half the amount that was cut by the President and Secretary Robert Gates a year ago. "
"President Obama has heard the American People; last year a national poll showed nearly nine out of ten people supported missile defense in the United States. This trend was seen across party lines as Democrats, Republicans and Independents were nearly equal in their support. Nearly eight in ten Americans (78%) think research and development of new missile defense systems to protect against future ballistic missile threats is extremely or very important. The majority of the American Public opposed the $1.2 billion cut that President Obama made last year to Missile Defense."
"To take the change in context, President Obama's Missile Defense Budget request is 1.19 percent of the Department of Defense Budget. The funds are used for non-lethal and purely defensive weapons systems that do not harm or kill. There is no question as the threat continues to advance more support continues to be needed. "
"One outstanding concern of the President's 2011 budget request is the lack of deployed sensors, communications and integration that would fully enable the Administration's Missile Defense Plan to achieve one of its goals; to defend our regional interests, including our deployed troops and allies, in the time frame he set out. Another concern is the continued modernization of the GBIs and the bi-annual testing required for high confidence in the system."
Ellison closed with: "We are in a world that presents a devastating threat to our public safety and national security as our President clearly stated 'Now, even as we prosecute two wars, we're also confronting perhaps the greatest danger to the American people -- the threat of nuclear weapons'."
Among the highlights of the 2011 Missile Defense Budget Request are:
- Increase of development funding of $359 million for the Ground Based Interceptors.
- Plans to construct 38 GBI silos and to buy 56 GBIs.
- A significant reversal from the 30 silos and 44 GBIs from last years request.
- Increase of 249 THAAD (142) and AEGIS SM3 (107) land and sea-based regional missile defense interceptors for a total of 867 by 2015.
- Upgrades of 3 additional Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Ships.
- Addition of three new Missile Defense programs:
- $256 million for the Land-Based SM3 program that will go to over a $1.0 Billion by 2015.
- $99 million to Directed Energy Programs.
- $67 million for a future space based satellite sensor constellation called Precision Tracking Space System (PTSS) that will go to $1.2 Billion by 2015.
- Increase to $1.47 billion (up $31 million) for the AEGIS program.
- Increase to $1.0 billion (up $52 million) for the Patriot Terminal Defense interceptors and systems.
- Increase to $1.11 billion (up $290 million) for missile defense testing and targets.
- Increase to $319 million (up $63 million) for co-development with Japan on the Sea Based SM3-BlockIIa interceptor.
SOURCE Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance