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Britain eyes TBMD role for destroyers

March 8, 2013 at 2:16 PM

LONDON, March 8 (UPI) -- The potential of British destroyers to engage in theater missile defense is to be explored by the country's Missile Defense Center and its industry partners.

The decision, the center said, follows satellite tracking experiments using BAE Systems' Cowes-based Sampson radar fitted to new British navy Type 45 class vessels.

"Building on its relationship with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, the joint Ministry of Defense and industry-run MDC has agreed to take part in a trial which will include for the first time a RN Type 45 taking part in a major research and development program," it said.

"This will include testing the Sampson radar, part of the Sea Viper missile system, in detecting and tracking ballistic targets."

The U.K. Missile Defense Center was established in 2003 for collaborative ballistic defense studies through a Memorandum of Understanding between Britain and the United States.

There is no program as yet to fit Type 45 destroyers with TBMD capability.

No details were provided on the satellite tracking experiments that led to the decision.

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