Pentagon Boosts Defenses in Persian Gulf (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Rachel Hirshfeld 07/17/12)
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The Pentagon is building a missile-defense radar station at a secret
site in Qatar and organizing its largest minesweeping exercises in
the Persian Gulf, as preparations accelerate for a possible flare-up
with Iran, according to U.S. officials.
The radar site will complete the backbone of a system designed to
defend U.S. interests and allies such as Israel and European nations
against Iranian rockets, officials told The Wall Street Journal.
The moves are namely intended to address Tehran´s arsenal of
ballistic missiles and its threat to shut down the oil-shipping lanes
of the Strait of Hormuz, according to the report.
The measures are also said to be an attempt to reassure Israel that
the Pentagon is taking further steps to counter Iranís nuclear
program, after months of fruitless negotiations.
The Pentagon chose to place the new radar site in Qatar because it is
home to the largest U.S. military air base in the region, Al Udeid
Air Base, analysts say. More than 8,000 troops are stationed there
and at another U.S. base in Qatar.
The radar base in Qatar is slated to house a powerful AN/TPY-2 radar,
also known as an X-Band radar, and supplement two similar arrays
already in place in Israel´s Negev Desert and in central Turkey,
officials said. Together, the three radar sites form an arc that U.S.
officials say can detect missile launches from northern, western and
southern Iran, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The sites will reportedly enable U.S. officials and allied military
forces to track missiles launched from deep inside Iran, which has an
arsenal of missiles capable of reaching Israel and parts of Europe.
Intelligence agencies believe Iran could have a ballistic missile as
early as 2015 that could threaten the U.S. (IsraelNationalNews © 2011
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