The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) has identified technical flaws in the ground-launched anti-missile interceptors.
The flaws could disrupt sensitive on-board systems that are supposed to steer the interceptors into enemy missiles in space, GAO said on Saturday.
More than 30 missiles on the West Coast that would defend the US against a nuclear attack have a serious technical problem and about 20 rockets have two major flaws. All the 33 Ground-Based Interceptors that form the core of the national Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, are affected. Further, it involves problematic wiring harnesses that can interrupt the on-board guidance system that steers the rockets into enemy missiles in flight.
Investigators said that unsuitable material was used to produce the wiring harnesses -- which supply power to the rocket's guidance system resulting in vulnerability to corrosion in the often damp, moldy conditions in underground silos.
Pentagon officials informed of the problems last summer but decided to postpone corrective action as federal auditors replied that immediate action to fix the defects would interfere with the production of new interceptors. Moreover it leads to slow down of planned expansion of the nation's homeland missile.