Thursday, 27 Sep, 2007 Current Events
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Soviet-built Radar Could Become Part of the US Missile Defense System in Europe

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After having visited the radar station in Gabala, Azerbaijan, Lt. General Henry A. Obering, the Director of the US Missile Defense Agency, came to a conclusion that the radar station, which was built in Soviet times, would not be able to completely substitute the radar system, planned in the Czech Republic and Poland.

However, according to The New York Times, the head of MDA said that this particular radar unit has great possibilities, as to the area of its coverage, yet the US radar, which is to be built in the Czech Republic, will be more precise, though having less coverage. Thus the MDA would prefer to combine coverage with precision: the Gabala radar could react promptly to a missile launch from Iran, if such happens, and inform the defense systems in Czech Republic and Poland about it. Hence the suggestion of Lt. General Obering to make the Gabala radar station part of the US missile defense system in Europe. However Obering mentioned that he doubted the Russian side would agree to these terms.

The visit of American, Russian and Azerbaijan experts was a reaction to the suggestion of the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, that the US used this radar station to intercept potential missile threats from Asian countries, instead of building new missile defense systems in Western Europe. It is worth mentioning, that this was the first time that US military experts were allowed to inspect the station.

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