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Peace campaigners slam secrecy over $10bn Menwith Hill project that puts UK in line of fire
A “star wars” inspired defence shield that will alert the US to the launch of ballistic missiles is expected to be operational from a North Yorkshire airbase before the end of the year.
The Space Based Infrared System is seen as the successor to Ronald Reagan‘s unrealised “star wars” programme, which would have detected Soviet missiles and shot them down using lasers.
The new system, which has cost more than $10bn, has taken almost two decades to build and has been subject to numerous delays and cost overruns.
The imminent completion of the project at the RAF Menwith Hill base near Harrogate has revived fears that space is in danger of becoming militarised, with Britain in the vanguard.
“I find this disturbing to say the least,” said a local Labour MP, Fabian Hamilton. “It’s as if they are saying this is a place in the US and you are foreigners. But hang on one second, this is a bit of Yorkshire. We have no idea what they are doing. If they are developing star wars we have a right to know.”
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