Russia Won't Like This: THAAD Missile Defense System Headed to Europe

David Axe

David Axe

Security,

As of early 2019, the Army had acquired around 200 THAAD rockets for its seven batteries and roughly 40 launchers. The U.S. Missile Defense Agency on its website describes THAAD as a “land-based element capable of shooting down a ballistic missile both inside and just outside the atmosphere.”

Russia Won't Like This: THAAD Missile Defense System Headed to Europe

The U.S. Army in April 2019 announced it would deploy to Romania one of its seven Terminal High-Altitude Area-Defense missile-interceptor batteries. The planned summer 2019 deployment coincides with a shut-down of the U.S. Aegis Ashore missile-defense site, also in Romania, for a scheduled upgrade.

THAAD, which in theory possesses some of the same capabilities that Aegis Ashore does, could help to fill the gap left by the Aegis system’s temporary suspension.

But THAAD also could antagonize the Russian government, just like Aegis Ashore has done.

“At the request of NATO, the Secretary of Defense will deploy a U.S. Army Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system to Romania this summer in support of NATO ballistic-missile defense,” U.S. European Command announced.

“The THAAD, from the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, will integrate into the existing NATO BMD architecture during a limited period of scheduled maintenance and updates on the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System in Romania this summer.”

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