New defence capabilities on the island will be needed to combat an “evolved” threat of advanced weapons from China and North Korea, a top US commander said.
He said the MDA was still finalising the new military technology needed on Guam – including radar sensors, interceptor weapons and command and control systems.
But he said the US military was aiming to install new defences by 2026 and they would provide comprehensive coverage.
“So you can think of a number of radars that ensure we meet the requirement, which is persistent 360-degree coverage, right, because of the evolved threat.”
Guam lies 3000km south-east of Shanghai in China and is the closest US military base to the Chinese mainland.
There are two major bases on Guam: Andersen Air Force Base in the north and Naval Base Guam in the south.
Altogether, 7000 US military personnel are stationed on Guam.
The small but strategically important island has been the subject of past threats by foreign powers.
North Korea in January announced it test-launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile capable of reaching Guam.
The Hwasong-12 missile is a nuclear-capable ground-to-ground weapon with a maximum range of 4500km when it’s fired on a standard trajectory.
In August 2017, at the height of tensions with the then-Trump administration, North Korea threatened to make “an enveloping fire” near Guam with missiles.
The powerful DF-26 anti-ship ballistic missile has a range of 4500km and is capable of carrying nuclear and conventional warheads.
– Reported with Associated Press