The first phase of the U.S. military's missile defense shield for Europe is on track to become operational in 2011. The Pentagon says the largely sea-based system, to be expanded in stages through 2020, will be more flexible and comprehensive than the George W. Bush administration's plan to rely solely on land-based interceptors. It is designed to cover the entire European continent by 2018 and to be able to intercept intercontinental ballistic missiles, capable of reaching the United States, by 2020.
SOURCE: Staff reports | By Craig Whitlock, Cristina Rivero and Laris Karklis - The Washington Post - August 1, 2010
Anti-missile shield close to reality in Europe Article | The U.S. military is on the verge of activating a partial missile shield over southern Europe, part of an intensifying global effort to build defenses against Iranian missiles amid a deepening impasse over the country's nuclear ambitions.