The United States is increasing the amount of interceptor missiles it stockpiles from thirty to forty four. The 14 additional missiles will be based at Fort Greely, near Fairbanks.
Pentagon officials say they’re confident the new missiles will be capable of shooting incoming long-range missiles out of the sky. They say the biggest threat is from North Korea, which recently conducted its third nuclear test.
Previous missile defense tests, like one in 2008, failed to shoot incoming dummy weapons out of the sky.
The upgrade to the program will cost taxpayers about one billion dollars – this despite mandated cuts to future spending at the Pentagon. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the program should be up and running by 2017.
There’s no indication yet whether this means reactivating the mothballed missile field at Fort Greeley, or whether there will be new construction.