U.S. Starts Deploying Aegis Ashore Battery in Poland

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) said today the military has begun installing Aegis Ashore missile defense systems at Redzikowo base in Poland.

“The installation of the Aegis Ashore weapon system in Poland has begun. The Missile Defense Agency has recently reached critical milestones for the installation of the Aegis weapon system at its facility in Redzikowo in Poland,” the statement said.

The U.S. withdrew from an anti-missile defense treaty with Russia, citing the need to develop a global missile defense system to defend against “rogue states” Iran and North Korea. It then began deploying its missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Russia was concerned over the creation of a missile defense system in Europe, approved in 2010 during a NATO summit in Lisbon. In the same year, it signed an agreement with Russia to implement a series of measures aimed at “building confidence and enhancing transparency in the field of missile defense.”

A group of European countries, including Poland, Romania, Spain and Turkey, agreed to deploy elements of the system on their territories.

Aegis Ashore is the first operational land-based version of the Aegis Combat System, a sophisticated collection of phased-array radars, fire control directors, computers and missiles. It consists of equipment which is commonly used by the Navy being deployed in land-based facilities, including SPY-1 radars and a battery of Standard Missile-3s.

The Obama administration’s plans called for two sites. The first in Romania at Deveselu that was opened in May 2015 and the second in Poland in 2018. Marine ballistic missile interceptors (destroyers with anti-missile missiles) are deployed near the coasts of Russia and China.

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