Former Cold War foes unite for missile exercises
Tuesday 23 May 1995
The three exercises, proposed for 1997, suggest a US-Russian operation under UN auspices against a hostile third party is possible in the near future.
The plans envisage co-operation in the most sensitive areas of technology and command and control, and mark the furthest shift yet away from Cold War suspicion. They indicate a radical shift in attitudes to each other's anti-missile defences and underline the change in strategic thinking away from tit-for-tat nuclear deterrence towards true defence - shooting down incoming missiles.
The Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty of 1972 and 1974 places strict limits on such anti-missile defences but both countries are increasingly shedding their reservations about anti-missile systems.
The exercises will be of great interest to British experts. The Ministry of Defence is financing a pounds 5m study into ballistic missile defence for Britain, to be completed in about 18 months. The first stage will be a command post exercise at the headquarters of the US Air Force Space Command at Colorado Springs, and the second at the Missile Institute in Moscow. Joint field operations using Patriot anti-missile systems, deployed in the 1991 Gulf War, and Russian S-300Vs will be the culmination of the exercise.
The S-300V, known to Nato as the SA-12 Giant is the first purpose-built system to intercept incoming ballistic missiles.
The Giant is believed to have a range of 150km (100 miles) - double that at which Patriot can destroy incoming missiles. The Giant was probably designed to counter the US intermediate range Pershing II missile, introduced in the 1980s but now scrapped under the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty.
Russian descriptions of the Giant say it belongs to the army and not the strategic air defence force. The Russian Army has 40 Giant launchers, deployed in anti-aircraft rocket brigades. It is a mobile system, mounted on a tracked chassis, which fits in with its role in defending field forces - so it does not violate the ABM treaty.
The US Star Wars plans of the early 1980s have been greatly reduced as the threat of large-scale nuclear war has diminished. Anti-missile systems are likely to rely principally on ground- and sea-based missiles to intercept a few missiles launched by a Third World or "rogue" government, not the elaborate space-based interceptors envisaged in Star Wars.
The announcement of the planned exercises came as India said it is considering mass producing its 150-mile range Prithvi ballistic missile and will proceed with its 1,500-mile range Agni ballistic missile.
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 HeForShe campaign: Iceland to follow up Emma Watson speech with UN women's rights conference – for men only
- 3 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 4 Ed Sheeran dedicates song to David Cameron
- 5 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Car tax disc changes: Five facts you never knew about your (almost obsolete) tax disc
The Aral Sea: Nasa pictures show how what was once the fourth largest lake in the world has become almost completely dry
Thailand beach murders: Hannah Witheridge 'was raped by two men before being killed'
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- < Previous
- Next >
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...
£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...
Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...