Russia nervous as US fleet of missile-destroying warships set sail for Europe
On Jan. 31, a United States guided missile destroyer called the USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) departed Norfolk Naval Base bound for Rota, Spain. Cruising at 20 knots, this would be an eight-day voyage, putting the Cook in port in Spain right about now.
But the USS Donald Cook is no ordinary destroyer. And this is no ordinary mission.
Lafayette, we are here In fact, the Cook is a very special kind of guided missile destroyer. It’s the first of four of America’s “DDGs” to be outfitted with a new version of the Aegis anti-aircraft defense system, specially designed to shoot down ballistic missiles. And it represents the vanguard of America’s new Europe-based Ballistic Missile Defense — a $22 billion, decades-long project to defend against missile strikes from a nuclear-armed Iran.
Ship-borne ballistic missile defense test-firing aboard the USS Hopper (DDG 70) near Hawaii. Photo: Wikimedia Commons