Aegis Ashore to be Set Up in Poland by 2022

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  • 04:05 AM, November 23, 2021
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Aegis Ashore to be Set Up in Poland by 2022
Aegis Ashore "Deckhouse" command and control center is already in place at the Naval Support Facility Redzikowo, Poland.

The Aegis Ashore capability planned for Poland will be operational by the end of next year, the Pentagon has announced.

The Aegis Combat System was originally designed as a shipboard system to track and destroy incoming enemy targets, but now the system has also been deployed for use on land, as "Aegis Ashore."

Already an Aegis Ashore capability is up and running in Deveselu, Romania, about 90 miles from Bucharest. The site, which is under the control of NATO, has been in operation for more than five years now.

Delays in the Program

A site similar to the one in Romania is also planned for Redzikowo, Poland, near the Baltic Sea. But that site has been delayed due to construction issues — though efforts are now underway to get the site operational by the end of next year.

Aegis Ashore to be Set Up in Poland by 2022
Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer carries Aegis Weapons System

"My part, which is to install the Aegis Weapon System, has been delayed as we work the military construction with our contractors," said Rear Admiral Tom Druggan during a discussion on Thursday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. "We are behind, given the original schedule, no question about that. The good news is we're getting the quality we want for a facility that's going to be there 50 to 75 years, and we now have the right management in place in order to move ahead and complete this."

Over the summer, Druggan said, the Aegis system in Poland was pulled out of storage there and assembled to test its operations.

"We ... put the whole weapon system together with the exception of the antennas," he said. "We energized it. And the equipment had been in the containers for a while. We found some issues — [but the] good news is we fixed them. And then we did an upgrade, which is saving time from a future availability. So that system is actually our most upgraded system today, ready to be installed."

Also Read: PATRIOT Missile Batteries to Arrive in Poland by 2022

In an unusual move, Druggan said, the Aegis Ashore capability in Poland is now being set up as the infrastructure on the ground to support it becomes available. He said antennas for the AN/SPY radar system have already been set up.

"We're installing the backbone of the radar behind it," he said. "We've installed some [command, control, communications, computers and intelligence] systems. And we're going to keep installing our pieces in parallel to the commissioning of all the industrial equipment, power, cooling, ventilation, that's going on, on the construction side."

Aegis Ashore to be Set Up in Poland by 2022
NATO's Aegis Ashore Ballistic Missile Defense System in Romania.

Normally, he said, installing an Aegis system wouldn't happen until all the supporting construction was complete.

Druggan said he expects the Aegis Ashore site in Poland to be operational by the end of 2022, and at that point the transition of the system can happen first to the Navy, then to U.S. European Command, and finally to NATO.

U.S. Could Ruffle Feathers of ‘Adversaries’

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.

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PATRIOT Missile Batteries to Arrive in Poland by 2022

October 8, 2021 @ 09:11 AM