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US to build partial missile shield over southern Europe


WASHINGTON (PTI): Amid global efforts to deter Iran from further developing its missile programme, US is on the verge of building a partial missile shield over southern Europe, a media report has said.

The US Defence Department is nearing a deal to establish a key radar ground station, probably in Turkey or Bulgaria, Pentagon officials were quoted as saying by 'The Washington Post' adding, installation of the high-powered X-band radar would enable the first phase of the shield to become operational next year.

In September 2009, US President Barack Obama changed his predecessor George W Bush's missile shield project that would have placed a powerful radar installed in Czech Republic and 10 long-range ballistic interceptor missiles in Poland by 2013.

Strongly opposing the European shield project, Russia has described it as a security menace on its doorstep and has raised questions over a new US-Russia arms reduction treaty that would place fresh limits on the two countries nuclear arsenals.

According to the report published in the daily, US is also working with Israel and allies in the Persian Gulf to build and upgrade their missile defence capabilities as an attempt to contain Iran's ability to aim missiles---- perhaps one day armed with a nuclear warhead---- at targets throughout the Middle East and Europe, including US forces stationed there.

The missile defenses in Europe, Israel and the Gulf are technically separate and in different stages of development, the paper said.

But they are all designed to plug into command-and-control systems operated by, or with, the US military, The Post pointed out.

US personnel operating the Israeli radar is already providing information to US Navy ships in the Mediterranean, the paper noted.

The concept of a missile shield began with former US President Ronald Reagan, who first described his vision of a defence against a Soviet nuclear attack in his "Star Wars" speech in 1983.

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US  missile  

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