From Susan Cornwell and Jim Wolf, Reuters: The United States has invited Russia to use its own radars and other sensors to size up one or more U.S. missile-defense flight tests as part of a new push to persuade Moscow that the system poses it no threat, a Pentagon official said on Tuesday.
The idea is to let Russia measure for itself the performance of U.S. interceptor missiles being deployed in and around Europe in what Washington says is a layered shield against missiles that could be fired by countries like Iran.
"These are smaller missiles," Army Lieutenant General Patrick O’Reilly, director of the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency, told a forum hosted by the Atlantic Council. He referred to current and planned Standard Missile-3 interceptors built by Raytheon Co. . . .
Ellen Tauscher, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, told the forum that the United States was prepared to offer Moscow written assurances that the system being built is not directed against Moscow. . . .
She said she could not predict whether Russia and NATO would reach an agreement on missile defense cooperation in time for a NATO alliance summit next May that is due to consider the system’s progress. The United States would like to partner with Moscow to boost its performance, including by using Russian radar systems.
"As time goes on it gets harder (to wrap in Russia)," Tauscher said, "because the aperture to join this system will close eventually. It’s not an infinite opportunity."