Installation of the Aegis Ashore Poland’s Aegis Weapon System has begun. The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) recently achieved critical installation milestones of the Aegis Weapon System at its Redzikowo, Poland, facility whose design and construction efforts are being accomplished in close partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). In March, the Aegis Weapon System completed primary ballistic missile defense integrated functional testing at its Redzikowo, Poland. Following in May, four fixed SPY-1D(V) radar arrays and one Fire Control System (FCS) illuminator were lifted into place.
These accomplishments continue to illustrate the United States’ commitment to employ Aegis Ashore in Poland to provide Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) to Europe. The Aegis Weapon System had been in extended storage at the site awaiting installation in the Aegis Ashore Deckhouse. In February, it was unpacked and temporarily set up in a site-activation facility to create the Poland Aegis Ashore Removable Equipment Unit Integration Site for testing prior to permanent installation.
The testing has consisted of several simulated scenarios demonstrating successful BMD organic, Engage on Remote, and Launch on Remote engagements of multiple threats. It also provided the opportunity to update Aegis Weapon System hardware and software, and correct equipment issues which could have caused delays to the ultimate start of operations if discovered during permanent installation. Aegis Ashore Poland’s SPY-1D(V) radar has 360-degree coverage and will be available to provide long-range BMD defensive operations continuously and reliably 365 days a year.
All Aegis Ashore sites use a defensive system identical to those used on U.S. Navy Aegis ships and tailored through software modifications specifically to detect, track, engage and destroy ballistic missiles in flight from sites ashore. USACE is overseeing a $182 million contract to build this land-based ballistic missile defense complex for MDA and the U.S. Navy in Redzikowo. The Aegis Ashore system uses Standard Missile-3 interceptors, which do not carry an explosive warhead but intercept and destroy enemy missiles kinetically, called hit-to-kill.
Once complete, the Aegis Ashore Poland site will be the second shore-based missile defense site in Europe and mark the completion of the final phase of the United States’ European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA). Systems delivered as part of EPAA protects deployed U.S. forces and European NATO allies in the region from current and emerging ballistic missile threats originating outside the Euro-Atlantic area. The Navy expects to accept the site as operational no earlier than 2022.
The Aegis Combat System is an American integrated naval weapons system developed by the Missile and Surface Radar Division of RCA, and now produced by Lockheed Martin. It uses powerful computer and radar technology to track and guide weapons to destroy enemy targets. Initially used by the United States Navy, Aegis is now used also by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Spanish Navy, Royal Norwegian Navy, Republic of Korea Navy and Royal Australian Navy. Over 100 Aegis-equipped ships have been deployed. It is also part of NATO’s European missile defence system.