Presenter: Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. James Cartwright September 17, 2009
DoD News Briefing with Secretary Gates and Gen. Cartwright from the Pentagon
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: ...But we've also added mobile and re-locatable radars: the X-band radar that is in Japan, the X-band radar that we currently have deployed to Israel, one that will be probably deployed someplace in Europe, to be part of this European lay down. That system has proved to be very, very effective and very capable.
Well, because you did mention that there could still be the deployment of an X-Band radar in
Europe as part of this.
Do you know where that would be?
Could it still be in the Czech Republic?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: It's probably more likely to be in The Caucasus that we would base that, because it's to get the early tracks. So that likely would be more down in The Caucasus.
Can you explain why X-band radar in the Caucasus might be more -- less of a threat to Russia than
the Czech radar? And what is -- by 2011, how many medium-range missiles from Iran could they conceivably launch toward Europe? Is this just one or two? Or are we in the hundreds?
SEC. GATES: On the capabilities of the X-band radar, the history major will defer to the general. (Laughter.)
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: On the X-band radar, what we're trying to get -- the first question really has to do with Russia and their perception of a threat, from the radar that would have been in the Czech Republic.
And that radar is an omni-directional radar. In other words, it sees 360 degrees. And it has a very deep peering capability into Russia.
And the worry would be that we would be able then to see very early the launches if Russia were launching their ICBMs and that could be perceived as destabilizing. The X-band radar is a single directional. In other words, when you put it down, it points in a single direction. And it will be very clear that it is pointing south towards Iran.
What you want to do is get that radar as close as you can to be able to get the initial launches and understand where the missiles are going, whether they are just tests or whether they are threatening. And so the X-band radar gives you that capability very quickly.