The US Missile Defense Agency will continue to keep threats ashore by continuing “to support the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) to protect our European NATO allies and deployed forces from ballistic missile attacks”.
The MDA has successfully implemented the EPAA Phase 1 by deploying Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) ships in the Mediterranean Sea, a land-based radar in Turkey, and Command, Control, Battle Management, and Communications system node at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany in 2011.
“The next two EPAA phases (Phases 2 and 3) include additional Aegis BMD ships (2014-2015) and Aegis Ashore in Romania in 2015 and in Poland in 2018. Aegis Ashore will be capable of launching Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IA, IB, and IIA (delivery in 2018) variants,” Rick Lehner, MDA spokesman told Defenseworld.net. “The Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system for homeland defense against long-range ballistic missiles currently has a total of 30 interceptors located in Alaska and California. An additional 14 missiles are slated for deployment in Alaska by 2017.”
Among their goals in EPAA Phase 2 are to provide robust capability against Short Range Ballistic Missiles (SRBMs) and Medium Range Ballistic Missiles (MRBMs) by ensuring the system provides multiple opportunities to engage each threat missile in flight.
The architecture includes the deployment of the Aegis BMD 4.0 and 5.0 weapon systems with SM-3 Block IBs at sea and at an Aegis Ashore site in Romania. The Romania site is on schedule to be available in 2015.
“In support of EPAA Phase 3, the SM-3 Block IIA, which we are co-developing with the Japanese government, and an upgraded version of the Aegis Weapons System are on schedule for deployment in 2018 at the Aegis Ashore sites in Poland and Romania and at sea,” Lehner added.
The upgraded Aegis Weapons System combined with the faster, longer reaching SM-3 IIA will provide capability to counter more sophisticated threats when compared to the SM-3 IA and IB and will extend coverage to NATO allies in Europe threatened by longer range ballistic missiles.