2 Mar 2011 By KATE BRANNEN DefenseNews
Over the next three years, the U.S. government plans to spend more than $800 million on a missile defense "proof of concept" that Army Secretary John McHugh has little confidence will even work. Speaking before the House Armed Services Committee on March 2, McHugh explained to lawmakers that the Pentagon's course of action for the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) was necessary given the substantial termination fees associated with it. "The $800 million proof of concept, we're not convinced is viable," McHugh said. But DoD had to decide how to most wisely terminate the program and get the most out of it, McHugh said. "If we withdrew this year, there are substantial withdrawal fees that the United States would have to bear and pay into the program," McHugh said.