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(From Agence France Presse)
Northrop Grumman Corporation has won a 4.5-billion-dollar contract to develop and test a key component of a future US national missile defense system, as the administration of President George W. Bush prepares to begin deploying parts of the system next year, the Defense Department announced.
The eight-year deal calls for putting together a concept for the so-called kinetic energy interceptor designed to destroy ballistic missiles in their boost phase, or three to five minutes after launch.
This ground-based interceptor features a design that used to be prohibited under the now scrapped 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty …