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Russia Offers Pyramid Radar For European Missile Defense

Russia could offer use of its massive Don-2NP radar system near Moscow as part of an agreement with NATO on a European missile defense plan to counter medium and long-range missiles, Russia's Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said on Friday.

"If we get an agreement with NATO and the U.S., then the Don-2 could be part of the potential system which could be used against potential medium and long-range missile threats," Antonov said during a visit to the facility at Sofrino in Moscow along with participants of an international conference on missile defense. He, however, said there was no talks in this regard currently.

"We are talking about demonstrating in practice, in reality, the elements of our aerospace defense, which we have today in Russia and how we are ready for cooperation. This station is a working part of the air defense chain defending our country," he was quoted by the Russian state media as saying.

The Don-2 radar, known to U.S. arms control negotiators in the 1980s as the 'pyramid' and to NATO as 'Pill Box,' was put into operation around 1989, and was the centerpiece of the former USSR's anti-missile defense system. The 100-meter square and 45-meter high phased radar with 360 degree coverage could detect small objects in space, and was linked to interceptor missiles.

Antonov said Russia was pleased with the results of the ongoing missile defense conference in Moscow. "We are pleased with the results. We assembled here quite a lot experts from a broad background, from NATO, OSCE, the CIS, academics. We had interesting and useful discussions."

Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Russia would not allow creation of a missile defense system which could upset the strategic balance. "Missile defense is an illusion - no matter how much money you invest in it. We will never permit creation of a system which breaks the strategic balance," he said on Friday during a visit to Russian missile maker NPO Mashinostroyenie near Moscow.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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