NATO's AEGIS Ashore anti-missile site in Poland soon operational, but against what?

Launched in 2009, the AEGIS Ashore anti-missile site, built near Redzikowo in northern Poland, near the Baltic Sea coast and west of Gdansk, represents the second installation of this type deployed by NATO in Europe, after a first site in Romania, on the Deveselu Air Base, was declared operational in 2016.

Redzikowo NATO AEGIS Ashore anti-missile site soon operational

Like the Aegis system which equips the US Navy's Arleigh Burke class destroyers, the Redzikowo site hosts an AN/SPY-1 radar, a VLS Mk41 vertical silo system, and SM-3 antiballistic missiles. This triptych, articulated by the AEGIS system itself, constitutes the heart of the anti-missile shield of the US Navy aboard its destroyers and cruisers, but also of several other allied navies, such as South Korea or Japan.

Its operation is relatively simple, at least from a conceptual point of view. The advanced detection chain, made up of American satellites, detects the departure of adversary ballistic missiles, and transmits the information to the various allied sites that may be affected by the trajectory of the missiles.

aegis ashore anti-missile site poland
NATO's Aegis Ashore anti-missile site based in Redzikowo, northern Poland, will soon be operational, 8 years after a first site in Deveselu, Romania.

The ships or land sites concerned then implement their own detection means to detect the target(s), and possibly calculate a firing solution. The trajectory of the missile being ballistic, it can be finely calculated. Once the firing solution has been validated, it is transmitted to an SM-3 missile, which transports, beyond the atmosphere, a kinetic impactor which will strike and destroy the vector.

Complementary to the THAAD land system, the AEGIS system, whether on board destroyers or cruisers, or Ashore as in Romania, Hawaii and soon in Poland, has proven to be very effective during tests, with successful interceptions against different types of targets and trajectories, including against intercontinental ballistic missiles, those which, precisely, have the highest apogee and high speed.

The SM-3 missile of the AEGIS system is efficient, but not against all ballistic threats

In fact, we can reasonably be satisfied with the upcoming entry into service of the Redzikowo anti-missile site, in Poland, especially as tensions between NATO and Moscow continue to grow. However, as in the case of the Arrow 3 anti-ballistic system acquired by Germany, the AEGIS Ashore system could well prove to be quite ineffective against Russian missiles, at least in its current version.

Let us recall, as a preamble, that initially, the deployment of the Romanian AEGIS Ashore system of Deveselu, had been decided not to counter the Russian threat, but the arrival of medium range ballistic missiles (MRBM) or intermediate range ballistic missiles (MRBM), in Iran . Due to their greater range, these Iranian missiles could, in fact, reach certain NATO countries.

Arrow 3 Rafael
The Israeli Arrow 3 anti-ballistic system was designed to intercept Iranian MRBMs and IRBMs. Russia does not have any such missiles.

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