Romania’s participation in the Missile Defense…

Questions and Answers Regarding Romania’s Participation in the US Ballistic Missile Defense System

The Supreme Council for National Defense approved, on February 4, 2010, the offer of the United States regarding Romania’s participation to the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA), the US contribution to NATO missile defense.

 

 What is the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) of the missile defense system?

On September 17, 2009, the US President announced the decision to develop a Phased Adaptive Approach for the US missile defense system in Europe, which will better protect the American and Allied forces deployed in Europe and other theatres, as well as the US and Allied territory.

This approach has a series of noticeable benefits compared with the previous US Administration’s plan:

  • It increases the ability to defend Europe, given the growing threats posed by the short or medium range missiles (the option put forward by the current US Administration takes into account and reflects the most recent assessments regarding the missile attack threats); therefore,
  • It can rapidly and easier incorporate new technologies to match the evolution of current security threats, while technologies continue to be developed;
  • It will become operational quicker than the previous system: the time for deploying the new shield will actually be shorter by six to seven years in comparison with the deployment period envisaged for the previous plan;
  • It covers the whole Romanian territory (and, eventually, the territory of all Allies); the previous option of the Administration could protect only a limited part of the Romanian territory, in the North-West of Romania.

 

​ What are the implementation phases of the US missile defense system in Europe?

Based on the Ballistic Missile Defense Report, published by the US Department of Defense on February 1, 2010, four phases were envisaged for the implementation process:

–  Phase 1

  • Protecting parts of the South-Eastern Europe, by deploying a forward-based radar (that will detect missiles during the ascent part of their trajectory) and sea-based SM3-IA (Standard Missile-3 Block IA) interceptor systems. This phase was initiated on March 7, 2011 through the deployment of the USS Monterey, an Aegis BMD equipped ship, to the Mediterranean Sea and the deployment of an AN/TPY-2 radar in Kurecik, Turkey. 

Phase 2 (timeframe 2015)

  • Expanding the protection of the Allies by deploying a new generation of SM3-IB interceptors (land-based), that will be hosted at the Deveselu Base. It is estimated that the Deveselu Facility will reach operational capability by the end of 2015.

–  Phase 3 (timeframe 2018)

  • Expanding the system’s coverage to all European NATO member states, by deploying a new land-base in Northern Europe (Redzikowo, Poland) with a new version of the SM3 interceptor (i.e. SM-3 Block IIA);

Phase 4 (timeframe 2020) – according to the 2010 planning by the US Department of Defense  

  • This phase would have provided for enhanced protection for the US territory against attacks with ICBMs, by further developing the SM3 missiles and sensors, and the deployment in Poland of the latest class of SM3 interceptors (SM3 Block IIB).

In March 2013, the US Administration announced changes to the EPAA that meant cancelling of this phase.
 

What are the main points of the March 15, 2013, announcement by the US Administration regarding the restructuring of the EPAA?

On March 15, 2013, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced a series of steps the US will take to restructure the EPAA, taking into consideration the situation in the Korean Peninsula. One of these policy changes is the cancelling of the Phase 4 of the EPAA, which basically meant the deployment of a new type of interceptor, and the restructuring of the SM3-IIB missile defense interceptor programme (which was programmed to be installed in Poland starting with 2022), by transferring the funds allocated to it to other programs developing more competitive interceptors. At the same time, the United States will strengthen its homeland defense by investing in additional missile defense assets. This decision was based on the necessity to take into account the evolution of the threats expressed by the DPR Korea in March - April 2013, concerning the possibility of ballistic missile attacks against the US territory.

Prior to the public announcement, and in the spirit of the bilateral Strategic Partnership and of the cooperation between NATO Allies, the Romanian side was briefed by the US side on the decision regarding the modification of the US BMD plans, including the cancelling of EPAA Phase 4.

 

​ What impact does the March 15, 2013 announcement by the US Administration have, regarding the restructuring of the EPAA on Romania’s participation in this program?

The US side has made clear its strong and continued commitment to NATO missile defense, with a commitment which remains ironclad. As the US Administration said, EPAA Phase 2 – involving Deveselu Base reaching operational capability by 2015 – stays on schedule, without any changes or delays.

Furthermore, the US Congress appropriated, through the US National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, the necessary funds for the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System Complex at Deveselu (over $265 million). This appropriation, as well as the strong cooperation between the Romanian and US sides, reconfirms their strong commitment to advance this project. 

 

​ In which stage will Romania get involved and what will be its contribution?

Romania will get involved starting with Phase 2. This means hosting land-based interceptors at the Deveselu BMD Facility, namely the SM3 interceptor missiles Block IB that will become operational in 2015.
 

​ Does this stage require the deployment of radars on Romanian territory?

No. Romania’s participation entails only the deployment of land-based interceptors. The radars meant to identify targets (hostile missiles) will be hosted by other nations.

 

​ Does Romania’s participation involve the deployment of sea-based interceptors on ships (under Romanian or other flag) in the Black Sea?

No. Romania’s participation in the EPAA regards exclusively the deployment of land-based interceptors, i.e. only on ground facilities.>