US wary of Iranian rocket attack

US intelligence has shown Iran could launch an attack against Europe with ‘scores or hundreds’ of missiles, prompting major changes to US missile defences, Pentagon chief Robert Gates said on Thursday.

President Barack Obama in September cited a mounting danger from Iran’s arsenal of short and medium-range missiles when he announced an overhaul of US missile defence plans.

The new program, called the ‘phased adaptive approach,’ uses sea and land-based interceptors to protect NATO allies in the region, instead of mainly larger weapons designed to counter long-range missiles.

‘One of the elements of the intelligence that contributed to the decision on the phased adaptive array was the realisation that if Iran were actually to launch a missile attack on Europe, it wouldn’t be just one or two missiles or a handful,’ Gates told a senate hearing.

‘It would more likely be a salvo kind of attack, where you would be dealing potentially with scores or even hundreds of missiles.’

Top US generals have said the new anti-missile system was meant to guard against a potential salvo of missiles from states such as Iran or North Korea.

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