Sudden Meme: Our national missile defense is defective!

Sudden Meme: Our national missile defense is defective!
A ground-based interceptor at Fort Greely, AK. (Image: USA, Sgt. Jack W. Carlson III)

[Ed. – It’s time for another…Sudden Meme!  Look, up in the sky — it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a…Sudden Meme!  A theme that makes us think we should stop spending money on homeland defense systems, because they somehow “don’t work” or “aren’t going to work,” is placed with the media, where no meme has gone before.  In this case, it’s idiotic to place the meme in public if you actually want America to be safe.  North Koreans — even Iranians — reading this article could quite logically think, “Now’s the time.  The red carpet is out.  Missiles away!”  An honestly motivated leadership would (a) fix the problem; (b) not blame “the Pentagon” for a failure of priority-setting that is clearly the responsibility of the president; and (c) not spill the beans all over the Los Angeles Times in hopes of picking up broader coverage.]

The GMD system was deployed in 2004 as part of the nation’s response to Sept. 11, 2001, and a heightened fear of attack by terrorist groups or rogue states. It has cost taxpayers more than $40 billion so far and has been plagued by technical deficiencies.

One of the newly disclosed shortcomings centers on wiring harnesses embedded within the kill vehicles’ dense labyrinth of electronics.

A supplier used an unsuitable soldering material to assemble harnesses in at least 10 interceptors deployed in 2009 and 2010 and still part of the fleet.

The same material was used in the eight interceptors that will be placed in silos this year, according to GAO analyst Cristina Chaplain, lead author of the report. …

The second newly disclosed defect involves a component called a divert thruster, a small motor intended to help maneuver the kill vehicles in flight. Each kill vehicle has four of them.

The GAO report refers to “performance issues” with the thrusters.

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