The US military is proposing a nearly $900 million budget to procure a new missile defense system for Guam.
According to a summary of the proposed 2023 defense budget, the new system would address growing missile threats from China.
“Our budget invests $892 million for the defense of Guam, including improved missile defense, command and control capabilities, radar capacity, and new construction,” Vice Adm. Ron Boxall said during a press briefing.
He further revealed that the US plans to spend an additional $133 million in base defense enhancements throughout the Indo-Pacific region.
Apart from the new missile defense system, the budget proposal includes funding to develop ship-based Aegis systems for the island’s defense.
The US Army already operates the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system at an air force base in Yigo, Guam.
Bolstering Guam’s Defense
During a Pentagon budget briefing last month, US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) director Jon Hill explained that the move to protect Guam against evolving threats relies on field-proven systems.
He said that the US has been working to accelerate Guam’s defense architecture with systems such as the Navy SM-3 and SM-6 missiles, the Patriot air-and-missile defense system, and the THAAD.
“The architecture on Guam will be a mix of those systems, so think of that as MDA systems, Army systems, and Navy systems,” he stated.
“Think of it as a distributed system because we do — we’re going to respond to the number one requirement of 360-degree coverage against ballistic crews and hypersonic threats.”
The US military will push to continue designing and developing the multiple land-based radar systems, procure weapon system components, and initiate military construction planning for the island.