Donald Rumsfeld paid a visit to a missile defense interceptor site on Sunday, and managed limited praise for the failure-ridden program. The Bush administration, which deployed the system before testing was complete, has plans for expansion with a new base in Europe.

New York Times:

In the last two flight tests, the system halted the firing sequence before the interceptor missile left its silo. General Obering said those setbacks were due to minor glitchesӔ in software and workmanship by contractors that had nothing to do with the functionality of the system.Ӕ

Even so, after the second failed test in February 2005, the system was taken down until December.

On his tour of Fort Greely, a remote base 100 miles from Fairbanks, Mr. Rumsfeld climbed down a ladder into an underground silo containing one of the 10 54-foot-long interceptor missiles already deployed. Another of the three-stage missiles is scheduled to be put in the ground on Monday, officials said, and as many as 40 are supposed to be installed by next year. The other interceptor site is at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, where two interceptors are in silos.


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