On 11 April, NATO confirmed the US plans to deploy of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system to Romania.
According to a news release put out by NATO officials, the United States will fulfill its commitment to NATO’s Ballistic Missile Defence by the temporary deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to Deveselu in Romania.
“The THAAD unit will be under NATO operational control and the full political control of the North Atlantic Council. It will only remain operational until the Aegis Ashore Romania site is back online. The update and deployment are expected to last several weeks,” said in news release.
Also stressed that In accordance with NATO’s Ballistic Missile Defence system, the THAAD unit will be focused on potential threats from outside the Euro-Atlantic area.
The Army will temporarily deploy its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, which will integrate into NATO’s ballistic missile defense architecture.
The THAAD unit, which comes from the Fort Hood, Texas-based 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, will operate at Naval Support Facility Deveselu. Once in place, NATO’s Allied Air Command will assume operational control of the unit, U.S. European Command said.
“This site provides a defensive capability to deter future conflicts, and to defend ourselves and our NATO allies, should deterrence fail,” EUCOM said.
The THAAD element provides a globally-transportable, rapidly-deployable capability to intercept ballistic missiles inside or outside the atmosphere during their final, or terminal, phase of flight. THAAD is strictly a defensive weapon system. The system uses hit-to-kill technology where kinetic energy destroys the incoming target.
The THAAD system is a key element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). The system defends U.S.troops, allied forces, population centers and critical infrastructure against short and medium-range ballistic missiles.
The United States will temporarily deploy the THAAD missile defense system to Romania to provide defense while technical work is underway on the Aegis Ashore Ballistic Missile Defence site.
The scheduled work is part of the United States European Phased Adaptive Approach to ballistic missile defense, which was announced in September 2009.