Pentagon acquisition guru Ken Krieg told Reuters news service last week that he backs establishing a space-based interceptor pilot program. The Missile Defense Agency has indicated that its want to develop a space-based version of its ground-based kinetic energy interceptor—initially with no offensive capability. According to Reuters, MDA wants 2007 funds to create an experimentation center. However, lawmakers apparently are not sold on the entire KI program. The House has cut $100 million from the KI program in its version of the 2007 defense authorization bill. The Senate Armed Services Committee markup of the 2007 legislation would cut $200 million. Both cite technical risk issues and the need to fund more immediate capabilities. Whatever comes out of conference, it is obvious there will be less money than MDA wanted for 2007.
The Pentagon awarded a contract worth over $2 billion for the next batch of F-35 engines to Pratt & Whitney on June 5. The deal for Lot 17 F135 engines, totaling $2.02 billion, is expected to be completed by December 2025.