DEFENSE: F.O.B. Canaveral

Installed in Britain last week: the first of 60 Thor 1,500-mile missiles that the U.S. last February promised its important island ally. Battened placidly in the belly of a Douglas 0-133 transport, the ballistic bird was flown secretly to the U.S. Air Force base at Lakenheath, England, was greeted unenthusiastically by the British press—mirroring an anti-missile feeling among both Labor and Conservative leaders, who fear an all-out commitment to missile defense. Fitted out with a thermonuclear warhead (which stays in U.S. hands), Thor can blast from British soil 15 minutes after the first alert, minutes later impact hundreds of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!