By Asish Samson
President Donald Trump signed the Missile Defence Bill in his office on Friday before leaving for the holidays. The bill allocates more than 4.6 billions to anti-missile defences in the US which includes repairs to Navy destroyers damaged during the summer.
It also includes 2.4 billion dollars for defence Procurement, 1.3 billion for Research and Development and 43 million for operations and maintenance. A missile interceptor field is also set to be built in Alaska with an additional 200 million dollars set aside for the purpose.
The Navy ships USS Fitzgerald and the USS John McCain were heavily damaged in separate accidents previously this year. On June 17th the Fitzgerald was involved in a collision which killed seven sailors while McCain hit a Liberian oil tanker near the Strait of Malacca on Aug 21. $674 million are include in the bill for the repairs of these two ships. The interceptor field in Alaska is set to add another 20 missile interceptor which brings the total to 60 along with the previous ones in Fort Greely.
The bill achieves prominence in light of the imminent threat from North Korea. North Korean military has recently made some alarming moves causing global panic. President Trump whose agenda has always been strong defence has announced the signing of the bill on Twitter. Previously this month Trump signed the National Defence Authorisation Act into law.
The Missile Defence Advocacy Alliance(MDAA), a non-profit organisation has praised and welcomed the signing of the bill. MDAA has always advocated for a stronger anti-missile defence programs to combat growing threats from North Korea, Iran and Russia among others.
Along with interceptors the U.S Ballistic Missile Defence programme also includes US deployed Sensor Systems which includes mid ranged radars and satellite systems along with sea based X band radars. Interceptors are again divided into types like Ground based interceptor, Afloat, Ashore, High Altitude and Low Altitude aircraft and helicopters.
With the allocation of additional funding from the bill the defence hawks in the military are sure to get a shot in the arm and have their ever increasing concerns placated.