Europe is the latest battlefield for American missile defense sales

Fortune

Since the end of the Cold War, nations across Europe have spent relatively little time or money defending their borders from aggressive neighbors. But, as tensions between Russia and the west rise, several nations in the region are boosting defense budgets and eyeing new sophisticated air defense weapons systems.

That’s set the stage for a showdown between U.S. defense contractors Raytheon [fortune-stock symbol=”RTN”] and Lockheed Martin [fortune-stock symbol=”LMT”], the world’s leading makers of missile defense systems capable of knocking incoming airborne threats out of the sky.

Over the past decade, any conversation about European missile defense largely centered on a theater missile shield. The shield relies on a series of radar installations and missile batteries installed in Poland and Romania (largely funded by the U.S.) to defend against an Iranian ballistic missile threat. However, as Russia flexes its military might, Baltic and Scandinavian nations—as well as countries in central…

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