The Pentagon announced Wednesday that it is terminating a troubled billion-dollar program to develop a ballistic missile interceptor, citing design problems.
The Defense Department said it would seek bids for a new version of the weapons system called the Redesigned Kill Vehicle, or RKV. The program was being led by Boeing.
“Ending the program was the responsible thing to do,” said Michael Griffin, undersecretary of defense for research and engineering.
“Development programs sometimes encounter problems. After exercising due diligence, we decided the path we’re going down wouldn’t be fruitful, so we’re not going down that path anymore,” Griffin added.
The ground-based system was supposed to work by firing off a “kill vehicle” from an interceptor missile to defend the US against long-range ballistic missile attacks.
But the program suffered years of setbacks.
In December 2018, the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency concluded that “certain critical components” failed to meet technical requirements, said a Defense Department spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Carver.
Five months later, Griffin decided to suspend the contract and consider alternatives. The Pentagon finally concluded that the design problems were either insurmountable or too costly to fix, said Carver.
“Research and testing accomplished prior to the program’s end will inform development of the next-generation interceptor, which will include a new kill vehicle,” he added.
Trump ignored aides’ advice before first Ukraine call — and it destroyed his impeachment defense: report
President Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to himself as his own top advisor and a political "genius." But his interactions with Ukraine at the heart of the impeachment inquiry could demonstrate the limitations of such an approach to governing.
Friday's bombshell, behind-closed-door testimony from David Holmes has made White House aides unhappy, but the bad news for the administration did not stop there.
‘Aides to the president are not happy’ Gordon Sondland held the phone up in restaurant: CNN’s Jim Acosta
CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta reported on Friday that White House aides are unhappy with Ambassador Gordon Sondland for holding up a call with Trump in a restaurant for multiple witnesses to listen.
The details were revealed in bombshell closed-door testimony before Congress on Friday.
Acosta noted the administration was trying to downplay the significance of the call.
"But I will tell you, that the aides of the president are not happy that Gordon Sondland apparently held the phone up so other aides could hear what was going on and the words of the source familiar with the conversations inside the White House, the president speaks loudly, Sondland should know that," Acosta reported.
David Holmes’ opening statement to Congress directly implicated Donald Trump: report
Congress will hear first-hand testimony of President Donald Trump's involvement in the Ukraine scandal.
"David Holmes, the state department aide who overheard President Donald Trump's conversation with the US ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, said that Sondland told Trump that the Ukranian President would do 'anything you ask him to,' and that he confirmed the Ukrainians were going to 'do the investigation,'" CNN reported Friday.
""Sondland told Trump that (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelensky 'loves your ass,'" Holmes testified. "I then heard President Trump ask, 'So, he's gonna do the investigation?' Ambassador Sondland replied that 'he's gonna do it,' adding that President Zelensky will do 'anything you ask him to.'"