WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Radars at the Thule military base, the United States’ most northern base located in Greenland, were installed during the 1950s, Carter noted, and need to be modernized if they are to operate as an adequate early warning system.
“Russians have long range nuclear-armed ballistic missiles,” Carter said. “We [the United States] have to upgrade those [North Pole] radars… to cue missile defenses so that our missile defense interceptors can intercept them in flight.”
In addition to Russia, he noted, the United States needs modern radar systems to defend itself against any possible missile attacks launched by China and North Korea.
Russia has recently boosted its military presence in the Arctic region and has pressed ahead with efforts to develop its territories.
In July, the head of Russia’s Air Force announced that a special Arctic version of the Pantsir-S defense system would be developed. The Pantsir-S is a short-to-medium range surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapons system.
Russia has also conducted multiple small and large scale military drills in the Arctic. US State Department spokesperson John Kirby told reporters on Monday that Russia’s military activities in the Arctic have not destabilized the region.