LOSING TIME: Staying Ahead of the Missile Threat

Oct 26, 2017
Defense Drumbeat

“Every day we live under a continuing resolution is a day we do damage to our military.”  - Mac Thornberry, Chairman, House Armed Services Committee

Staying Ahead of the Missile Threat


The threat from missiles continues to grow around the globe. Our current missile defenses remain capable of defeating the threats today, but as events this year have shown, our adversaries are rapidly advancing their missile technology.  At the HASC budget hearing for Missile Defense in June of this year, then Director of the Missile Defense Agency, Vice Admiral James Syring told us: 

“I would not say we are comfortably ahead of the threat.  I would say we are addressing the threat that we know today.  And the advancements in the last 6 months have caused great concern to me and others in the advancement of and demonstration of technology of ballistic missiles from North Korea.”


Under the CR, a vast majority of the MDA’s research, development, test, and evaluation (RDTE) accounts are underfunded. More than 20 of MDA’s major RDTE programs are receiving less funding than they need. Some specific efforts hurt by the CR include: 

  • Improved discrimination capabilities for our interceptors 
  • Boost-phase missile defense research 
  • Defense against hypersonic weapons 
  • Directed Energy research 
  • Cooperative efforts with Israel to support Israeli Missile Defenses 


The House-Passed NDAA fully funds the Missile Defense Agency and provides more than $1 billion above the President's budget request to accelerate and enhance missile defense research and development. 

115th Congress