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Aegis Ashore Site in Romania Declared Operational

Romanian Aegis Ashore site. U.S. Missile Defense Agency Photo

Romanian Aegis Ashore site. U.S. Missile Defense Agency Photo

The Navy and U.S. Missile Defense Agency declared a ballistic missile defense site in Romania operational this week.

The Lockheed Martin-built Aegis Ashore facility in Deveselu is the first of two sites planned as part of the U.S. and NATO’s BMD network based on the same technology used in the Navy’s guided missile destroyers and cruisers to protect against ballistic missile threats.

The site is built around a SPY-1D(V) air-search radar linked to three 8-cell Mark-41 Vertical Launch Systems armed with Raytheon Standard Missile 3 interceptors – the same equipment used on destroyers. The installation is named by U.S. sailors.

The Deveselu site and one in Poland are part of the Obama administration’s 2009 European Phased Adaptive Approach for BMD and replaced a plan for a 10-silo ground-based system in Poland. In addition to the two sites, the second which plans to break ground on Friday, the U.S. has forward deployed four Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers for additional BMD patrols.

While intended to intercept threats from Iran, the installation of the sites has drawn protests from Russian officials who have repeatedly said the BMD sites blunt their own strategic weapon systems and could cause risk to Russian security.

“Who will this system be against?” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, questioned, according to the BBC.
“To begin with the explanation we were given was a potential rocket attack from Iran… Now we know the situation has changed dramatically.”
In addition to the rhetorical response, the Kremlin leaked plans late last year of the proposed Status-6 (or Kanyon) nuclear-tipped torpedo that would side-step U.S. BMD networks with a warhead capable of wiping out coastal cities.

Beyond the two sites in Poland and Romania, Lockheed Martin said there could be more international customers for Aegis Ashore.

“We hope there’s more market for Aegis Ashore in other places,” said Jim Sheridan, director of AEGIS development for Lockheed Martin in a Thursday call with reporters.
“But right now there’s no active program.”

Japan has been mentioned as a candidate for the system, but Sheridan told reporters there have been no active conversations between the company and Tokyo.

While the international path forward for the system is unclear, some in Congress look to expand the program in the U.S.

Included in the House Armed Services Committee’s proposed Fiscal Year 2017 defense bill are calls for studies to operationalize the Aegis Ashore test facility in Hawaii and for studies to examine installing the system in Guam.

The HASC bill also asked for feasibility studies on including anti-air missiles into the batteries.

  • sferrin

    Do they even have any missiles at the site yet? Do they have a few SM-6s or ESSMs for self-defense? One of the three 8-cells could hold 32 ESSMs.

  • Iranian IRBMs (when they get them) headed for the US will fly over the SM-3 engagement space for this site. It might be able to defend the UK, Germany and France. Should have kept GBI (if only they could get that missile to work).

    • sferrin

      It works. But you have to actually test the thing to work out ALL the bugs. What they SHOULD have done is not cancelled KEI and put that there.

      • The reason SM-3 is there and GBI is not may have a lot to do with the COSMOS-2251 / Iridium-33 collision back in 2009. The Russians found out rather quickly how they could roll the new administration.

    • Aldous Huxley

      If this facility were aimed at Iran it would be in Turkey, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia or Diego Garcia. This facility is aimed at Russia, as well as Iran. The proposed Aegis Ashore sister facility in Poland is aimed exclusively at Russia.

      By the way, since you’re apparently from NJ, did you know that one of the test facilities for Aegis Ashore is currently protecting your home State? Moorestown.

      • No missiles (SM-3) in NJ. The only thing it does is to screw up the 4G cellphone band.

        • Aldous Huxley

          No missiles that we know of.

          • You may have a point. I should go out and check the old Nike sites to
            see what’s up. I haven’t been out there much, since one of them is still
            radioactive (google BOMARC fire). Here’s some help:
            H double tee-pee – ed-thelen(dot)org Ed Thelen’s Nike Missile Site
            If you were to put some in South Jersey, that’s probably the place to put them.

      • BTW what do figure the over/under is for when Putin calls in the Spetsnaz raid on the site?

        • Aldous Huxley

          LOL!

  • Seedee Vee

    I guess the Lockheed-Martin Fairy is ready to battle the Big Bad Iranian Unicorn now.

    • sferrin

      Not incredibly bright are you?

      • Seedee Vee

        Obviously, I am much brighter than the dim bulb that you are claiming to be superior.

        • Donald Carey

          Whoever is paying you (unless you are a “useful idiot”), is proof that the old Socialist inefficiency/corruption is still in full operation.

          • Seedee Vee

            Whomever educated you did a great job in American Dumbassification.

  • NavySubNuke

    3 8-cell Mk-41s doesn’t seem like very many. I wonder what the added cost of each 8-cell launcher actually was in terms of the cost of the entire facility. They probably could have doubled that for less than a 20 – 30% increase in costs given all the other work at the site.

  • Bill

    Putin claims some unalienable right to nuke the rest of the world unhindered. Stalin would be so proud.

    • Seedee Vee

      The US is the only nation to claim that right and to have actually used it.

      Live the Dream!

      • Donald Carey

        The U.S. saved hundreds of thousands of Japanese lives by using the bombs it did. Putin (and Iran), would most certanly not, Troll.

        • Seedee Vee

          “Putin (and Iran)” have no reason to “save” Japanese lives – no matter how many American Fairy Tales say that Mass Murder Saved Lives.

  • Aldous Huxley

    Perhaps this Romanian installation could arguably be ‘aimed at Iran’ as the US State Dept claimed, but its proposed sister installation in Poland is off the flight path from Iran, and thus proves the obvious, that the BMD system is really aimed at Russia, that the Russian view is right, and that the US State Department was LYING when it claimed ‘aimed at Iran.’

  • Ziv Bnd

    Great Circle mapping shows that any ICBM flight from northern Iran to the US goes right over Poland. The flight of an IRBM from northern Iran to Paris or London goes right over Romania. Now why in the world would the US help to put AEGIS Ashore in a logical place to deter Iranian threats of nuclear missiles? It must be a ploy to defend against Russia! LOL!