With the deployment of a surface-to-air missile defence system to Romania, France has further increased its forward footprint in support of NATO’s enhanced vigilance towards potential threat from the East. The deployment of the French state-of-the-art MAMBA weapons system and an air defence command post to Romania augments NATO’s integrated air and missile defence (IAMD) since May 16. In a collective effort, several Allies have provided both fighter aircraft and missile systems for an increased defensive posture on the eastern flank following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. NATO has further increased its readiness and vigilance in response to Russia’s aggressive military incursion into Ukraine. Allies have adopted a robust and capable military posture to deter – and if required defend against – any threat to Alliance territory and populations. NATO IAMD is an essential, continuous mission in peacetime, crisis and conflict, safeguarding and protecting the Allies in this context, contributing to the Alliance’s indivisible security and freedom of action.
“The French MAMBA deployment shows France’s capacity and will to protect her own interests as well as those of her Allies. It permits to reinforce the strategic partnership that has united France and Romania since 2007 especially in the field of air defence. The MAMBA deployment is firmly embedded in the multinational Forward Presence Battle Group which France, supported by the Netherlands and Belgium, established in Romania under NATO’s aegis,” said colonel Pascal Ianni, Spokesperson to the French chief of defence staff.
“Besides the French deployment to Romania, Germany and the Netherlands have deployed PATRIOT batteries to Slovakia and the United States sent two PATRIOT batteries to Poland in April 2022. These deployments are critical augmentations enhancing the Alliance’s IAMD posture in a changed geopolitical environment,” said Brigadier General Christoph Pliet, Deputy Chief of Staff Operations at Allied Air Command that overseas NATO’s air operations.
The SAMP/T also called MAMBA in the French army is a theatre antimissile system designed to protect the battlefield and sensitive tactical sites against all current and future airborne threats, including cruise missiles, manned and unmanned aircraft and tactical ballistic missiles in the 600 km range class. The SAMP/T is produced by Eurosam, a 50:50 joint venture between MBDA and Thales. The system’s main components are the Aster 30 interceptor missile and the Arabel multi-function radar. MAMBA can operate in an electronic warfare environment and is interoperable with other NATO air defence systems. The SAMP/T has been designed to operate in extreme clutter and electronic countermeasures environments. Interoperability with other NATO air defense systems is another key for the SAMP/T program. The missile launcher unit of French army SAMP/T is mounted on a Renault 8×4 Kerax transporter erector launcher vehicle. The entire system could be airlifted by the latest NATO tactical transport aircraft such as the Airbus A400M and Lockheed-Martin C-130J Super Hercules deploying them anywhere around the globe.