Raytheon Gets $54M Missile Defense Contract

And now, a simple reminder that the federal government is spending -- and spending -- and spending -- a lot on missile defense contacts.

"Raytheon Company was awarded a $54 million Missile Defense Agency contract to continue design and development of a Multiple Kill Vehicle. MKV-R, as it is known, will counter complex ballistic missile threats during the midcourse phase of flight with multiple kill vehicles launched from a single interceptor," a company statement said.

"'Raytheon is the only company that has designed, developed and deployed exoatmospheric kill vehicles for the Ballistic Missile Defense System,' said Frank Wyatt, Raytheon Missile Systems vice president of Naval Weapon Systems. 'This contract award establishes Raytheon as the prime contractor for the development of the MKV-R and as the systems integrator for the MKV-R payload.'"

This kind of thing might be good for business. But government auditors question -- and question -- and question -- whether taxpayer dollars are being well spent on the program.

A GAO report last year, for instance, noted that MDA has improved some spending controls. But, as the GAO folks like to say, challenges remain.

In case you lost track, here's why it all matters (mind bending budgets, missile threats and all):

"Missile defense is important because at least 25 countries now possess or are acquiring sophisticated missile technology that could be used to attack the United States, deployed troops, friends, and allies. MDA's mission is to develop and field an integrated, layered BMDS capable of defending against enemy ballistic missiles launched from all ranges and during all phases of the missiles' flight. DOD has spent and continues to spend large sums of money to defend against this threat."

Government Inc. adds italics to the GAO stuff here:

"Since the mid-1980s, about $107 billion has been spent, and over the next 5 years, another $49 billion is expected to be invested."

We wonder what President-elect Obama will think about this once he is settled into the Oval Office?

By Robert O'Harrow |  November 21, 2008; 1:59 PM ET defense
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

If President Obama gets a briefing from a knowledgeable scientist,
and finds out that it will be another 12 - 15 years before the technology exists to shoot down missiles,
this MDA stuff is going to get defunded.

Raytheon is praying that Obama stays in the dark.

Posted by: BrianX9 | November 23, 2008 9:10 PM

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