20 February 2013
Members of the House Armed Services Committee are questioning why the Defense Department continues to direct money toward a missile-defense technology development program that is supposed to receive no further funding, The Hill reported on Tuesday.
The fiscal 2013 defense authorization act prohibits further Pentagon spending on the Medium Extended Air Defense System, a battlefield technology being developed with Germany and Italy. The Defense Department has said it does not intend to purchase any MEADS units but has asked for continued funding through this budget year to avoid more expensive contract liabilities and to potentially benefit from associated technology gains.
The Pentagon in January directed $25 million to support the project through next month, a bipartisan group of eight committee members noted in a letter to DOD Comptroller Robert Hale.
“We are troubled that you are setting a precedent of using previously appropriated FY 2012 funds as an attempt to circumvent the intent of the NDAA law,” the lawmakers stated.
Developer MEADS International said the money was "reserve funding and unspent FY12 funds -- no FY13 funds were used."
“The funding is enabling the MEADS program to maintain its positive
momentum toward a tactical missile intercept flight test scheduled later
this year,” according to the firm formed by U.S. defense contractor Lockheed
Martin and European companies.