by Staff Writers
Moscow (Sputnik) Sep 02, 2015
The United States needs to enhance its half-century old radar system in the North Pole to effectively intercept Russian ballistic missiles, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said during a panel discussion with troops on Tuesday.
Radars at the Thule military base, the United States' most northern base located in Greenland, were installed during the 1950s, Carter noted, and need to be modernized if they are to operate as an adequate early warning system.
"Russians have long range nuclear-armed ballistic missiles," Carter said. "We [the United States] have to upgrade those [North Pole] radars... to cue missile defenses so that our missile defense interceptors can intercept them in flight."
"That is [North Pole] one of the places that ballistic missiles would overfly if they were en route to the United States," Carter explained. "We have to... make them more sensitive so that they are able to detect threats earlier."
In addition to Russia, he noted, the United States needs modern radar systems to defend itself against any possible missile attacks launched by China and North Korea.
Russia has recently boosted its military presence in the Arctic region and has pressed ahead with efforts to develop its territories.
On Monday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Russia would enhance its naval fighter and surface-to-air missile regiments in the Arctic by the end of 2015.
In July, the head of Russia's Air Force announced that a special Arctic version of the Pantsir-S defense system would be developed. The Pantsir-S is a short-to-medium range surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapons system.
Russia has also conducted multiple small and large scale military drills in the Arctic. US State Department spokesperson John Kirby told reporters on Monday that Russia's military activities in the Arctic have not destabilized the region.
Source: Sputnik News
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