(AP) A top defense industry official reportedly says Russia plans to develop its own sea-based missile interceptor program similar to the U.S. Aegis system.
The Aegis radar systems technology is carried by warships with missile interceptors and can destroy missiles mid-flight. It is part of the U.S.-led NATO plan to deploy missile defense elements in Europe that has long irritated Moscow.
The U.S. says Aegis would stave off threats from rogue nations such as Iran. Moscow contends it would undermine Russia's nuclear forces.
Anatoly Shlemov of the United Shipbuilding Company told the RIA Novosti news agency Friday that the Kremlin "has definitely assigned a task" for Russia's defense industry to come up with naval missile interceptors.
Shlemov refused to elaborate because the plans are classified.