U.S. Military Installs Long-Range Missile-Defense System In Alaska

The U.S. military has completed construction on a long-range radar for an Alaska-based missile-defense system that can track intercontinental ballistic missiles, the Pentagon says.

The Defense Department on December 6 said the system will also protect the United States against future threats such as hypersonic weapons.

The Defense Department said in 2015 that it was planning to deploy a new long-range radar in central Alaska that would help U.S. missile defenses better identify potential missiles launched by Iran or North Korea and bolster the capacity of interceptors in that state and in California.

"The Long Range Discrimination Radar [LRDR] has finished construction, and we can now begin the testing phase that will lead to the full operational use of this vital system. LRDR will allow Northern Command to better defend the United States from ballistic and hypersonic missile threats," said Vice Admiral Jon Hill, the Pentagon Missile Defense Agency director.

"Once fully operational, LRDR will provide unparalleled ability to simultaneously search and track multiple small objects, including all classes of ballistic missiles, at very long ranges," the agency said in a statement.

The system will be based at the Clear Space Force Station, about 300 miles north of the city of Anchorage.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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