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BRUSSELS, Sept 20 (Reuters) - NATO signed a contract with a consortium led by U.S.-based Science Applications International Corp on Tuesday to analyse ways of transforming the alliance's battlefield missile defence system.
A NATO statement said the year-long contract to analyse technical requirements was worth 2.5 million euros ($3.42 million).
It said engineers from France's EADS Astrium , Germany's IABG, Italy's SELEX SI, TNO of the Netherlands, Britain's QINETIQ and SAIC and Raytheon from the United States would form the core technical team.
Alessandro Pera, programme manager for NATO's Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence Programme (ALTBMD), called the signing a significant step in implementing NATO's decision last year to create a system to defend the alliance's European territory against ballistic missiles.
The programme, based on U.S. anti-missile plans, will involve deploying a U.S. early-warning radar system in Turkey linked to anti-missile missiles sites in Poland and Romania and ships with anti-ballistic missile defences operating in the Mediterranean. (Reporting by David Brunnstrom) ($1=.7317 Euro)