WASHINGTON, November 20 (Sputnik) — The United States needs to invest further in missile defense capabilities as it falls behind Russia in deployed ballistic missile interceptors, New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte has told Sputnik.
“There needs to be further investment. I just think it’s another example of where we need to continue to invest…in our missile defense system,” Ayotte, who is a member of the US Senate Armed Services Committee, said Wednesday when asked about the Tuesday announcement by Rose Gottemoeller, the US undersecretary for Arms Control, that Russia has 30 more ballistic missile interceptors deployed than the United States.
During a Wednesday conference at the American Enterprise Institute on US missile defense, Ayotte expressed the need to upgrade US ballistic missile defense capabilities including the sea-based Aegis systems. According to the Senator, the upgrade would address security concerns related to the United States accusing Russia of allegedly violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
According to the US Missile Defense Agency, the United States is planning to work with its NATO partners to install an Aegis Ashore Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system in Romania by 2015, and a similar system in Poland by 2018.
Under NATO's planned missile defense system, radars and interceptors will be placed in phases in several NATO countries, including Romania, Turkey, Spain and Poland. The defense shield is also bolstered by the sea-based systems such as the Aegis.
Russia argues the missile defense shield could undermine the strategic nuclear balance in the world.