Arms control advocates said Saturday a newly tested missile tracking device could violate the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty if deployed as part of the "Star Wars" defense system.
"The test does not have all the capabilities it would need, but it is clearly intended to lead to a component which could be in violation of the treaty," said Spurgeon M. Keeny, president of the Washington-based Arms Control Association.Keeny said the six-hour test flight Friday of the Airborne Optical Adjunct-Airborne Surveillance Testbed stopped short of being a violation of the ABM treaty. But Keeny added that "the issue is whether the test is leading to a component which if successful would be in violation."
The infrared tracking device was mounted on a Boeing 767 that took off from Boeing Field in Seattle. It is designed to track hundreds of targets, sorting missiles from debris and decoys.