Europe’s Missile Shield Grows with the USS Donald Cook Destroyer

The arrival in Spain of a US guided missile destroyer marks a key stage in building up Europe’s protection against ballistic missile threats.

Issue 51 - March 2014

The USS Donald Cook, which arrived at Rota Naval Station, Spain on 11 February, is the first of four ballistic missile defence (BMD)-capable destroyers that will be stationed at the base. 

The ships are capable of tracking and shooting down ballistic missiles in flight, using their Aegis radar system and SM-3 interceptor missiles. These capabilities will make the destroyers a key component of NATO’s missile defence shield for Europe.