Failed Missile Test Off of Kauai Costs the US $130 Million

A missile is launched from Kauai's Aegis Ashore facility in February 2017. (US Missile Defense Agency photo)
A missile is launched from Kauai's Aegis Ashore facility in February 2017. (US Missile Defense Agency photo)

HONOLULU — The U.S. Missile Defense Agency spent a total of $130 million on a failed missile test off of Kauai.

A missile failed to intercept an air-dropped intermediate-range target missile during a Jan. 31 demonstration off of Kauai, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Saturday.

The missile is meant to be deployed to Navy ships, Japan, Romania and Poland to protect against North Korean and Iranian threats.

The cost of the Raytheon SM-3 Block IIA missile that was still in development was $36 million, according to the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.

The cost of the intermediate-range target missile was about $40 million.

It also spent money on Pacific Missile Range Facility use, several radars and sensors and about 350 personnel, the agency said.

"This was a developmental and operational test of a new capability and utilized a missile variant not yet in production," Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves, head of the Missile Defense Agency, said after the test.

A failure review board is investigating why the missile was unable to intercept.

The Raytheon/Kongsberg Navel Strike Missile is a long-range, precision strike weapon capable of reaching a target at distance of up 115 miles, according to published reports.

A separate SM-3 IIA also failed to reach its target in June off Kauai when a sailor on the Pearl Harbor USS John Paul Jones accidentally pushed a button that caused the missile to self-destruct.

That failed test cost $130 million.

Since 2002, the agency has received about $123 billion to develop and deliver ballistic missile defense system, according to a May 2017 U.S. Government Accountability Office report, and is requesting $9.9 billion in 2019.

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