In May 2011, the United States and Romania jointly selected the Deveselu Air Base near Caracal, Romania, to host a U.S. land-based SM-3 interceptor ballistic missile defense system (also referred to as the Aegis Ashore site). The Agreement between the United States of America and Romania on the Deployment of the United States Ballistic Missile Defense system in Romania was signed in September 2011. The Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new U.S. missile defense site at Deveselu occurred on October 28, 2013. The site is the main element of Phase 2 of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA), and will be operational in the 2015 timeframe.
At the November 2010 NATO Summit in Lisbon, the NATO Alliance adopted missile defense as a core NATO capability and welcomed the EPAA as the U.S. national contribution to a NATO missile defense architecture. Romania’s hosting of the Aegis Ashore site is critical to NATO’s missile defense plans and essential to Alliance security. NATO missile defense is intended to defend against possible ballistic missile threats from outside the Euro-Atlantic area. It will also protect U.S. deployed forces and help augment the defense of the United States.
Technical Aspects of the United States Ballistic Missile Defense System in Romania
- The site will consist of a fire-control radar deckhouse and associated Aegis command, control, and communications suite. Separately, it will house a number of launch modules containing SM-3 interceptors.
- Personnel can live and work safely near the Aegis radar system. The United States has safely operated the Aegis Radar Test site in Moorestown, New Jersey for over 30 years without any danger to people or the environment.
- SM-3 interceptors are for defensive purposes only and have no offensive capability. They carry no explosive warheads of any type, and rely only on their kinetic energy to collide with and destroy incoming enemy ballistic missile warheads.
- The Aegis Ashore configuration of the ballistic missile defense system will be thoroughly tested at a specialized test center at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) in Hawaii starting in 2014.
Characteristics of the United States Ballistic Missile Defense System in Romania
- The U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense site is approximately 430 acres (175 hectares) and is located within the existing Romanian Air Base at Deveselu.
- An estimated 200 military, government civilians, and support contractors will be required to operate the U.S. facility at the site.
- SM-3 Interceptors based in Romania will not be used for flight tests, and will be launched only in defense against an attack.
Proven Defensive Capabilities
- The Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense system incorporates decades of reliable and effective operations of the Aegis ship-based system into its design and test program.
- The Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System has been proven effective through repeated testing. Since 2002, the system has been successful in 28 of 34 intercept flight tests.