U.S. to Base Aegis Antimissile Ships Out of Spain

(Oct. 5) -TheUSS Monterey, a U.S. naval vessel armed with ballistic missile defense technology, shown docked in June at Constanta, Romania. The United States intends to field Aegis ballistic missile defense warships along the Spanish coastline in support of a planned NATO antimissile system, U.S. officials said on Wednesday (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda).
(Oct. 5) -TheUSS Monterey, a U.S. naval vessel armed with ballistic missile defense technology, shown docked in June at Constanta, Romania. The United States intends to field Aegis ballistic missile defense warships along the Spanish coastline in support of a planned NATO antimissile system, U.S. officials said on Wednesday (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda).

The United States has decided to station warships equipped with Aegis ballistic missile defense technology along Spain's coast in accordance with plans to establish a system capable of shielding NATO partners against missile attacks from the Middle East, the Associated Press quoted U.S. Defense Department officials as saying on Wednesday (see GSN, Sept. 16).

Anonymous U.S. defense officials said having Aegis antimissile ships in Spain would make it less difficult to achieve an ongoing deployment of sea-based assets in the Mediterranean Sea.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Navy took the first steps in implementing the Obama admninistration's "phased adaptive approach" for Europe's missile defense by deploying the Aegis-equipped USS Monterey guided missile cruiser in the Mediterranean.

It was not known when the United States would send Aegis cruisers to Spain. The vessels are to be based at Spain's Naval Station Rota.

Washington has already struck deals for Poland and Romania to host land-based interceptors on their territories. An agreement has also been reached for Turkey to host a long-range radar station. The Obama plan forms the backbone of NATO ambitions to connect and augment member states' antimissile capabilities.

While the program is stated as a defense against Iranian missile threats, it has drawn significant levels of concern from Russia (Lolita Baldor, Associated Press/Google News, Oct. 5).

October 5, 2011
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The United States has decided to station warships equipped with Aegis ballistic missile defense technology along Spain's coast in accordance with plans to establish a system capable of shielding NATO partners against missile attacks from the Middle East, the Associated Press quoted U.S. Defense Department officials as saying on Wednesday (see GSN, Sept. 16).

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