Leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are directed to their positions for the family photo with US President Barack Obama (C) during a summit meeting at Camp David in Maryland on May 14, 2015. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM
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A U.S.-supplied missile shield to protect Gulf nations against Iranian attacks will take years to complete, requiring a step-up in regional trust, more U.S. sales of sensitive weapons, and intensive U.S. training to avoid mishaps in the volatile region.The U.S. military already has 10 Patriot missile batteries to defend against short-range ballistic missiles in the Gulf region and Jordan, as well as a powerful AN-TPY-2 radar system to scan for missile launches, according to U.S. officials.The Gulf countries are upgrading their existing Raytheon Patriot systems to incorporate new PAC-3 missiles built by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin Corp, and are starting to buy wider-area and longer-range systems like the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), built by Lockheed. Washington has balked at selling a land-based Aegis combat system to deal with missile threats and any associated SM-3 missiles to Gulf countries, largely because such a system would be best suited to dealing with threats outside the earth's atmosphere that are beyond Iran's capability, Cordesman said.
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