UK OKs Base for U.S. Missile System

Britain has agreed to let the United States use a Royal Air Force base as part of its planned missile defense system, British Defense Secretary Des Browne announced.

UK OKs Base for U.S. Missile System
Browne said Menwith Hill, a U.S. military listening station in northern England, would be equipped with communications equipment enabling it to route satellite warnings about missile launches to British and American officials.

The defense secretary said in a written statement to lawmakers that the move was "a building block to enhance our national and collective security." He said there were no plans to locate missile interceptors in Britain, but added that the government was keeping the matter under review.

Britain supports the contentious U.S. plan to deploy a missile defense system in Europe, although American officials have indicated that Britain's role would likely be limited to providing early warning information.

The U.S. made a formal request in January to place a radar base in a military area southwest of Prague and 10 interceptor missiles in neighboring Poland as part of the planned defense shield.

The U.S. says the system is intended to protect Europe from the potential threat of a nuclear missile attack from Iran. Other parts of the system outside Europe would be aimed at defending against a possible attack from North Korea.

Russian officials have strongly protested the U.S. plan, saying the system is aimed at their country's nuclear arsenal, and would upset the balance of strategic forces in Europe.

AP

Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Temmuz 2007, 12:48
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