The US military is preparing to activate a partial missile shield over southern Europe to protect its allies from Iranian projectiles carrying nuclear payloads.
According to the Washington Post, the shield is part of an “intensifying global effort” to build defenses against Iranian missiles amid a “deepening impasse” over the country’s nuclear ambitions.
“Pentagon officials said they are nearing a deal to establish a key radar ground station, probably in Turkey or Bulgaria,” confirmed Craig Whitlock of the WaPo.
“Installation of the high-powered X-band radar would enable the first phase of the shield to become operational next year.”
Whitlock also noted that the US military was working with Israel and additional allies in the Persian Gulf to construct and upgrade missile defense capabilities.
“[For example], the United States installed a radar ground station in Israel in 2008 and is looking to place another in an Arab country in the Gulf region.
“The radars would provide a critical early warning of any launches from Iran, improving the odds of shooting down a missile.”
He added that the missile defenses in Europe, Israel and the Gulf were all designed to plug into C&C systems operated in conjunction with the US army.
“The Israeli radar…is operated by US personnel and is already functional, feeding information to US Navy ships operating in the Mediterranean.
“[So], taken together, these initiatives constitute an attempt to contain Iran and negate its growing 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.”