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Russia To Put Missile Defense Elements In Embassies

The Russian embassy in Berlin.
by Staff Writers
Moscow, Russia (RIA Novosti) Mar 20, 2007
Russia could place space monitoring radars on the territory of its embassies in several countries to track the launches of ballistic missiles abroad, the commander of Space Forces said in an interview.

The Russian leadership has earlier blasted U.S. plans to deploy anti-missile systems in Central Europe as a national security threat and pledged to take adequate measures to counter the U.S. move.

Commander of Russia's Space Forces Colonel General Vladimir Popovkin said in an interview with the Space Technology News magazine that the placement of advanced quantum-optical radars at the embassies would allow Russia "to spot launches otherwise undetectable from Russian territory" and adjust the trajectories of missile "killer-vehicles" in case of a potential threat.

The United States insists that the European shield is not aimed against Russia and is needed to counter possible attacks from the so-called "rogue states," including North Korea and Iran.

But the Russian general said that the deployment of U.S. missile shield elements in Central Europe enables Americans to monitor all launches of ballistic missiles from the European part of Russia and from Northern Fleet's submarines, and to destroy these missiles in the initial stage of their flight trajectory.

"If the United States really wanted protection from Iranian missiles they would have placed a [radar] station in Turkey, also a NATO member," Popovkin said.

He said a special command center will be built at the Space Forces headquarters in Krasnoznamensk, near Moscow, to exercise a centralized remote control of new compact radars at Russian embassies.

"We will use dedicated radio frequencies to program and re-program monitoring radars that will require token technical maintenance," the general said.

The Space Forces chief also said that Russia will soon deploy a new Voronezh-type radar in the south of the country, near Armavir. It is scheduled to enter service in 2007, ending Russia's dependence on its radars located abroad, particularly the Daryal facility in Azerbaijan and two Dnepr stations in Ukraine, near Sebastopol and Mukachevo.

Popovkin reiterated that Russia does not have any "holes" in its early-warning missile threat coverage. In 2006, early-warning radars detected 12 launches of ballistic missiles, including eight domestic and four foreign launches, and 11 carrier rocket lift offs.

"It is a 100% detection rate for all objects passing through our radar coverage zone," the general said.

Source: RIA Novosti

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US Missile Plans Accelerate Defence Shield Debate At NATO
Brussels (AFP) March 15, 2007
US plans to install part of a missile shield in Europe, despite Russian hostility, have accelerated debate at NATO about developing a similar system, alliance diplomats say.

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