Report for U.S. Congress urges East Coast missile site

The current U.S. defense plan – based on a Boeing Co -run antimissile shield to be bolstered by early intercept capabilities from Europe – is “very expensive and has limited effectiveness,” the panel said in a congressionally mandated report released Tuesday.

Successive U.S. administrations have spent roughly $10 billion a year to craft a layered shield against the limited number of ballistic missiles that could be fired by a country like Iran or North Korea, or to thwart an accidental launch.

It marks the Pentagon’s costliest research and development effort, fueled by fears of chemical, biological or nuclear warheads.

The research council’s “Committee on an Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives” recommended that an East Coast interceptor site be set up, for instance, at Fort Drum, New York, or in northern Maine.

A similar move was called for earlier this year by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives over White House and Pentagon objections that the facility – its cost put at $5 billion by experts – was unnecessary.

An East Coast antimissile site would join a pair already in Fort Greely, Alaska, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The existing sites field a combined total of 30 three-stage interceptors in silos,political issues.

Together with five additional advanced Raytheon Co-built X-band radars to track long-range missiles, an East Coast site “would more effectively protect the eastern United States and Canada, particularly against Iranian

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