Proposed US defence radar on Czech soil was ‘blind’ to long-range missiles: Wikileaks

Friday, February 4, 2011

WASHINGTON - The United States’ plans to build a missile defence system on Czech soil experienced troubles when defence chiefs discovered that the proposed radar lacked the ability to quickly detect long-range missiles.

The Telegraph quoted a 2007 briefing by General Patrick O’Reilly, Director of the US Missile Defence Agency, as claiming that the radar system would be unable to detect long-range missiles in the launch phase because it could only see in a straight line, not over the horizon.

He also said that by the time the radar “saw” the missile, it would be too late to launch an interceptor in time to stop it striking its target, the paper said.

The Czech radar system was reportedly a part of George Bush’s “son of star wars” missile defence plans, which aimed at intercepting missiles launched from North Korea and Iran.

Russia, however, opposed the proposed system, saying it would threaten Moscow’s defences and could even be used to spy on its interests.

Condoleezza Rice, US Secretary of State under President Bush, had reportedly finalised the agreement to base the missile radar in the Czech Republic on July 8, 2008. The plan was however scrapped by President Barack Obama in September 2009, on the basis that the threat from Iran could now be countered by shorter-range systems, the paper added. (ANI)

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