Budget includes Alaska missile defense test sites

Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2001

FAIRBANKS - New missile defense testing sites in Alaska appear to be on track for inclusion in the Defense Department's annual spending bill.

A committee working out differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill has only minor issues to resolve when it comes to the so-called "ground-based mid-course" system.

The conference committee is meeting this week.

Both the House and Senate bills provide about $3.2 billion for research and development of the mid-course missile defense program, in which missiles launched from silos would try to intercept incoming enemy missiles.

The money includes $786 million for development of a new North Pacific "test bed," which is expected to include several projects in Alaska.

Officials with the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization have said they want the money in part to build five interceptor silos at Fort Greely, 100 miles southeast of Fairbanks, next summer for testing.

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