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U.S. military to ask Canada to install better missile sensors in Arctic: senior defence official

09.04.2015  |  00:31
U.S. military to ask Canada to install better missile sensors in Arctic: senior defence official

A senior defence official said the request is being made to U.S. policy leaders - as well as the Canadian government. He said it's too early in the process to set a target date.

A senior defence official said the request is being made to U.S. policy leaders - as well as the Canadian government. He said it's too early in the process to set a target date.

"I don't think we have a timetable just yet," said Admiral William Gortney, the head of the Canada-U.S. Norad program and of Northern Command - the Colorado-based body with tracking responsibility for the U.S. missile-defence program.

"We're just now bringing it up through our policy leaders as well as with the Canadian government."

He told a news conference at the Pentagon that it's nearly time to replace the aging sensors in the Canada-U.S. North Warning System, along the old Arctic distant early warning line, the Cold War-era DEW Line.

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He said he'd prefer to replace them with newer technology that could not only see farther over the horizon, but also be able to track shorter-range cruise missiles.

"In a few years - I'd say 10 years is the number - (the current equipment is) going to reach a point of obsolescence and we're going to have to reinvest for that capability," Gortney said.

"The question is, what sort of technology do we want to use to reconstitute that capability? We don't want to put in the same sorts of sensors because they're not effective against the low-altitude, say, cruise missiles. They can't see over the horizon."

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