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US ‘vulnerable’ to foreign attacks with missile system in tatters: Government report

An unarmed LGM-30 Minuteman, which is an American land-based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, US. (File photo by Getty Images)

A US government agency has sounded the alarm about the dilapidated condition of its national missile systems, warning that the country is vulnerable to "threats from foreign adversaries." 

The Government Accountability Office (GOA) warned in a report published on Tuesday that the US Missile Defense Agency has repeatedly failed to upgrade its radar and missile interceptor systems, leaving America with less capability than planned and vulnerable to "missile threats from foreign adversaries."

The US government agency expressed fears that China, Iran, and North Korea pose missile threats to the United States, despite the fact that Bejing and Tehran have never threatened to attack the country. 

Meanwhile, supply-line issues and a developmental backlog were cited by the US agency as the main factors preventing the Pentagon’s top missile defense systems from receiving critical updates.

The US agency reported that in 2022 alone, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) had failed to achieve its goals on "all of its planned interceptors and radar upgrades."

"MDA also didn't complete its planned flight, ground, or cyber tests for its systems," it added. 

The Government Accountability Office reported that the MDA had been falling short of its goals for several years.

It said, "23 previously issued recommendations" to the MDA had not yet been met, while "testing, transparency, and cost reporting" were all faltering.

The MDA only "partially met its sensor delivery goals," and has "delayed operational acceptance of two radars" until later this year at the earliest, according to the report.

It noted that the operational delays sighted by GOA in MDA -- the agency responsible for safeguarding Americans against airstrikes -- had been going on for years and indicated that the repeated cancellation and postponement of the planned programs at the agency had been done intentionally.

The MDA "conducted less than half of its planned fiscal year 2022 testing," including flight and ground tests that demonstrate whether or not the nation’s defense system can adequately fend off a potential missile barrage, GOA stated.

The MDA also intentionally reduced the scope of its cyber assessments and postponed other planned objectives for "future years," setting America’s missile defense systems even further behind its military rivals in other countries, it added.

In the meantime, the Pentagon has warned its enemies are forging ahead with their missile programs with China achieving a twofold increase in the number of missiles in its arsenal capable of hitting the United States.

In related news, Russia announced that its military forces hit a US-built Patriot air defense system during a barrage of airstrikes targeting Ukraine's capital, Kiev.

Russia announced last week that the highly publicized US-made missile defense system had not only failed to intercept Russian missiles but itself was destroyed in the attack.  

Russian military forces used an advanced Russian-made hypersonic Kinzhal missile to destroy the Patriot air defense system in Kiev.

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