USNI News Video: What is Aegis Ashore?

July 1, 2016 1:27 PM

In May, the U.S. Navy and the Missile Defense Agency activated a maritime radar about 200 miles away from any saltwater.

The Lockheed Martin SPY-1D radar is installed in Deveselu, Romania and is the heart of the Aegis Ashore missile defense system built on systems found on the Navy’s guided missile cruisers and destroyers.

“I’m using the exact same weapon system as a ship,” Navy Capt. Jeff Weston told USNI News in 2013.

The radar is paired with three, 8-cell Mark-41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) armed with Raytheon Standard Missile 3 ballistic missile interceptors for the Aegis Ashore system.

Aegis Ashore and the European Phased Adaptive Approach concept. Radio Free Europe Graphic
Aegis Ashore and the European Phased Adaptive Approach concept. Radio Free Europe Graphic

In 2009, the Obama administration crafted the European Phased Adaptive Approach for ballistic missile defense (BMD). As part of the plan, the site in Romania will be followed one in Poland that will use the same systems and work in tandem with four destroyers based in Rota, Spain that will patrol European seas.

“To put it simply, our new missile defense architecture in Europe will provide stronger, smarter, and swifter defenses of American forces and America’s Allies. It is more comprehensive than the previous program; it deploys capabilities that are proven and cost-effective; and it sustains and builds upon our commitment to protect the U.S. homeland against long-range ballistic missile threats; and it ensures and enhances the protection of all our NATO Allies,” President Obama said in 2009.

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
Follow @samlagrone

Get USNI News updates delivered to your inbox