US lawmakers to look into cancelled Alaska missile project

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska's members of Congress have said they plan to look into a Pentagon decision to cancel a project to improve Alaska-based missiles, a report said.

The Pentagon canceled a Boeing contract last week because of unspecified missile design flaws, The Anchorage Daily News reported Thursday.

Congress authorized the Pentagon to add 20 updated interceptor missiles to its fleet of 44. Most are at Fort Greely, southeast of Fairbanks.

The ground-based missiles are designed to strike down incoming threats. North Korea, China and Russia are taking steps to advance their missile capabilities.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, said in a statement she was disappointed the contract was canceled before the additional interceptors were placed in Alaska.

"It is my understanding that construction of Missile Field Four at Fort Greely will continue, and once the next-generation interceptors are built, I will work to ensure that those will be placed in Alaska to serve as our nation's first line of defense," she said.

Sen. Dan Sullivan, also a Republican and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee said in a statement he is "deeply concerned" about the decision.

"I plan to dig deep into the assumptions made and details of the decision-making undertaken that led to what I hope is not this short-sighted decision," Sullivan said.

Republican Rep. Don Young issued a statement calling the decision to cancel the program troubling.

"When it comes to our national defense posture, Alaska is an important strategic location for keeping Americans safe," he said. "Our national defense cannot wait for a new kill vehicle program to be developed."

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Information from: Anchorage Daily News, http://www.adn.com