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New Boeing Division to Focus on Missile Defense

July 18, 2001|Peter Pae

Boeing Co., acknowledging the increasing importance of the missile defense business, said it created a division to oversee more than half a dozen programs developing weapons and equipment for a controversial antimissile system.

Although the new Missile Defense Systems division--a unit of the Seal Beach-based Space & Communications group--will be headquartered jointly in Washington and Huntsville, Ala., the reorganization will not result in closing offices or in personnel changes, a Boeing spokeswoman said.

Boeing is helping develop weapons and equipment that the Pentagon needs to knock down intercontinental ballistic missiles, including an antimissile interceptor, an airborne laser and a space-based laser.

The organizational change comes less than a week after an interceptor destroyed a target launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, a critical test that gave a boost to the Bush administration's plans to speed development of a missile defense system. President Bush is seeking $8 billion next year for missile defense spending, a 57% increase.

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