MDA Boss: Above All, Keep Testing Missile Shield

Despite the failure of the nation’s ballistic missile shield to intercept the target missile in a test earlier this month, Vice Adm. James Syring, Missile Defense Agency director, said he remains confident in the system. Based on the “models and simulations and ground testing” done to date—in addition to the mixed flight test record—Syring told the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense panel on July 17 that he thought the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system “would be successful” in defending the nation against a real attack. That said, it remains crucial to step up the pace of GMD flight testing, he said. “Our goal is to find out what happened” in the latest flight test on July 5 “and get back to flight testing as soon as possible,” he said. “We cannot stop testing. We must continue to test,” he said. In fact, Syring said he is committed to “more regular testing” of the GMD system. MDA is requesting the funding to conduct two GMD flight tests in Fiscal 2014, said Syring. MDA wants to stage “at least one” GMD intercept test in subsequent years, he said.