July 10, 2013
By Barrie Barber
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — Iran could develop and test an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking the United States by 2015, a missile threat assessment report has warned.
The National Air and Space Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson released the report Wednesday that assesses short, medium and long-range ballistic and cruise missile threats across the globe, the first public assessment since the agency released a 2009 report.
NASIC analysts reported North Korea has launched a land-based rocket that placed a satellite in orbit last December that if developed into an ICBM could reach the United States. The assessment found Russia has tested a new, mobile ICBM and China has expanded the type and number of missiles it has in its arsenal.
“The new dynamics require that we vigorously pursue a missile defense system capable of protecting the United States citizens,” U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, a member of both the House Armed Services Committee and the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, said Wednesday.
The world has more types and larger numbers of ballistic missiles and improved technology since the agency released its last intelligence findings, said Jeff Gossel, NASIC technical director of space and missiles.
North Korea, for example, has pursued development of the road-mobile Hwasong-13, an ICBM with a range estimated at greater than 5,500 kilometers (more than 3,400 miles), but it has not been tested, the intelligence agency said.
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