WASHINGTON - The Pentagon said on Wednesday it was seeking a $1.2 billion funding cut in missile defense spending for fiscal 2010 and set its budget request for the Missile Defense Agency at $7.8 billion.

The cut was lower than the $1.4 billion reduction initially announced by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Pentagon documents said the program would be restructured to focus on rogue state and theater missile threats. The Pentagon said it would eliminate an increase in ground-based interceptors in Alaska but called for more research and development funding to improve defense against long-range rogue threats.

(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)