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Poland speeds up missile defense plan amid Ukraine crisis

By Marcin Goettig and Andrea Shalal WARSAW/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Poland has decided to speed up its tender for a missile defense system, a defense ministry spokesman said on Thursday, in a sign of Warsaw's disquiet over the tension between neighboring Ukraine and Russia. "The issues related with Poland's air defense will be accelerated," spokesman Jacek Sonta said. "Poland plans to choose the best offer for its missile defense in the next few weeks."

NK missile threats to U.S. 'practical,' not theoretical any more

By Lee Chi-dong WASHINGTON, March 13 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. military views ballistic missile threats from North Korea and Iran as having reached a level of "practical" consideration, not just theoretical, a top U.S. missile defense official said Thursday.

US satellites found no blast on missing jet

US spy satellites detected no sign of a mid-air explosion when a Malaysian airliner lost contact with air traffic controllers, American officials said Wednesday. The US government in the past has used its satellite network to identify heat signatures linked to exploding aircraft but in this case, nothing was found, according to US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

S. Korea to buy PAC-3 missiles next year

By Kim Eun-jung SEOUL, March 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will upgrade its present PAC-2 air defense system and buy PAC-3 missiles next year to improve its anti-ballistic missile capability against North Korea, the state arms procurer said Wednesday. South Korea currently operates 48 PAC-2 missiles imported from Germany, and seeks to adopt the advanced interceptors as part of plans to build the indigenous Korea Missile Defense System. The missiles have an interception rate of less than 40 percent.

S. Korea to expand naval task groups with more Aegis destroyers

By Kim Eun-jung SEOUL, March 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea plans to expand naval task groups with Aegis destroyers in the next decade in an effort to boost combat capabilities against North Korea and its Asian neighbors, the defense ministry said Friday. South Korea currently operates one naval task group with three Aegis-equipped guided missile destroyers. Envisaging the deployment of three more 7,400-ton Aegis destroyers from 2023 to 2027, the defense reform plan for 2014-2030 calls for reorganization of naval task groups, though it does not specify a particular schedule.

Pentagon to upgrade, improve U.S. missile defense system

By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Missile Defense Agency on Tuesday mapped out plans to overhaul the ground-based U.S. missile defense system managed by Boeing Co and improve its reliability after several test failures in recent years.

Russia gave prior notice of missile test: US official

Russia informed the United States in advance that it would carry out a launch Tuesday of an intercontinental ballistic missile, US officials said, downplaying the test amid tensions with Moscow. The ICBM launch was routine and the US government was notified "before the crisis started in Ukraine," a senior defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP. The test launch came at a moment of high tension between Russia and the West over Ukraine, where the Crimean peninsula has been put under de facto control by Kremlin-backed troops.

U.S. may have competition for new missile defense 'kill vehicle'

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Missile Defense Agency is evaluating a range of options for redesigning the current Raytheon Co "kill vehicle" on its ground-based missile defense interceptors, and may opt for a competition, the agency's director said on Tuesday. Vice Admiral James Syring told reporters the fiscal 2015 budget included funding for the redesign effort, a new long-range radar, and other improvements aimed at helping the ground-based midcourse missile defense run by Boeing Co better identify, track and destroy potential enemy missiles.

Russia gave prior notice of missile test: US official

Russia informed the United States in advance that it would carry out a test launch Tuesday of an intercontinental ballistic missile, a US defense official said. "We have been notified of this test earlier this week. It's not unexpected," the defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP. The test launch came at a moment of high tension between Russia and the West over Ukraine, where the Crimean peninsula has been put under de facto control by Kremlin-backed troops.

Russia test-launches 'advanced' ballistic missile

Russia on Tuesday carried out a successful test launch of an "advanced" intercontinental ballistic missile, state news agencies reported amid a fierce standoff between Moscow and the West over Ukraine. "The purpose of the launch is to test the advanced payload of the intercontinental ballistic missile," Russia's three main news agencies quoted a top defence official as saying. zak/mfp
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