Confidence in the US’ ballistic missile defenses sees a significant decline from the country’s inability to intercept a missile using an interceptor that was shot from Hawaii. This was only a test but it is one that cost $130 million to complete. Comparing this number with the country’s failure surely adds insult to injury. The number of the cost for the test was obtained from the Missile Defense Agency, which reveals the failure in intercepting a missile on January 31. The interceptor intended to intercept the missile was an SM-3 missile, which was launched from an Aegis test site.
The SM-3 missile interceptor was constructed for $36 million. The dummy intermediate range missile it is supposed to intercept, on the other hand, cost $40 million to construct. Other expenses originated from paying compensation for the 350 individuals involved with the test, the use of a number of radars, and the use of the facility of the Pacific Missile Range. These numbers are provided by the Missile Defense Agency. The test was of developmental and operational nature. It was intended to discover the capability of a variant of missile that has yet to be put in production, according to the chief of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), in response to the failure of the test.
Officials in the MDA originally spoke of the failure of the test off the record. However, it was soon confirmed that the SM-3 missile interceptor had indeed failed its mission to neutralize incoming ballistic missile; in other words, the test was indeed an unsuccessful attempt. The Government Accountability Office stated that the US had devoted as much as at least $123 billion to missile defense development spanning from 2002 to 2017. Furthermore, it is estimated that the Pentagon now plans on pouring another $12.9 billion into this sector in 2019 plus $3.9 billion intended specifically for the Missile Defense Agency.
The failure of the SM-3 missile interceptor to do its job is not the only reason why confidence in the US’ ballistic missile defense declines rapidly. There was that moment when everyone in Hawaii got a text message on their phone that read, “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” That, however, was a false alarm. Another text message was blasted out by the authorities about half an hour following the initial warning that stated that the aforementioned warning was indeed not to be trusted.