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U.S. Tests Advanced Missile For NATO Interceptor System

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U.S. Tests Advanced Missile For NATO Interceptor System
Rick Rozoff

Russian version

The Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency (MDA), the U.S. Navy and the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex and Pacific Missile Range Facility conducted what was described as a successful first flight test of the program alternately known as the Aegis Ashore and the European Phased Adaptive Approach interceptor missile system.

The latter was announced in September 2009 by the then-new Barack Obama administration in place of plans by the preceding George W. Bush White House to station ten Ground-Based Midcourse Defense missiles in Poland and radar in the Czech Republic in a shift that at the time was described by President Obama as a “stronger, smarter, and swifter” initial implementation of what the Ronald Reagan administration in the 1980s named the Strategic Defense Initiative, popularly known as Star Wars, missile defense.

The Aegis Combat System is a project of the U.S. Navy which has also come to include Aegis class warships (destroyers, cruisers and frigates) in the navies of allies Japan, Norway, South Korea and Spain. In total over 100 guided missile warships, including 62 U.S. Arleigh Burke class destroyers (each equipped with 90 missiles) and 22 U.S. Ticonderoga class cruisers with Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) interceptors on board.

Aegis Ashore entails, as the name suggests, placing Standard Missile-3s, until now exclusively ship-based, on land. At first 24 latest-generation SM-3s, Block IB of the sort tested on May 21, in Romania next year, with a projected basing of 24 Block IIA missiles in Poland in 2018. (Plans for the latter deployment have been in abeyance of late, but with the American and NATO military build-up in Eastern Europe this year escalating almost by the day, resumption of the Polish plan seems almost inevitable. The U.S. placed a Patriotic Advance Capability-3 interceptor missile battery in Morag, Poland four years ago this month.)

NATO deployed an antiballistic missile Forward Based X-band radar to Turkey in 2012.

The European Phased Adaptive Approach system was endorsed by NATO at its summit in Lisbon, Portugal in December of 2010 and at the NATO summit in Chicago in May of 2012 the military bloc announced that the system had achieved interim capability with the establishment of command and control capability at NATOs Headquarters Allied Air Command in Ramstein, Germany and the beginning of the permanent deployment of U.S. Aegis class warships equipped with SM-3s to the Mediterranean Sea, the U.S. Sixth Fleet’s area of responsibility, with ever more frequent incursions into the Black Sea as well. The Naval Station Rota in Spain now hosts four U.S. interceptor missile warships.

The current version of U.S.-initiated interceptor missile system has incorporated or subsumed the U.S–Germany-Italy Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) and NATO’s Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence (ALTBMD) program.

The U.S. and NATO are now prepared to add interceptor missiles to the deployment of troops, warplanes and warships in the ongoing military build-up in Eastern Europe.

Categories: Uncategorized

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