The United States has planned to deploy to Romania one of its seven Terminal High-Altitude Area-Defense (THAAD) missile-interceptor batteries, the army has announced.
The planned summer 2019 deployment coincides with a shut-down of the US Aegis Ashore missile-defense site, also in Romania, for a scheduled upgrade.
“At the request of NATO, the Secretary of Defense will deploy a US Army Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system to Romania this summer in support of NATO ballistic-missile defense (BMD),” UA European Command announced on April 11.
THAAD possesses some capabilities similar to that of Aegis Ashore. It could help to fill the gap left by the Aegis system’s temporary suspension.
As of early 2019, the Army had acquired around 200 THAAD rockets for its seven batteries and roughly 40 launchers. The US Missile Defense Agency on its website describe THAAD as a “land-based element capable of shooting down a ballistic missile both inside and just outside the atmosphere.”
Aegis Ashore is a land-based version of the US Navy’s SM-3 missile interceptor. THAAD is a land-based element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System. It is a globally transportable, rapidly deployable capability to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles inside or outside the atmosphere during their final, or terminal, phase of flight. This ability to intercept enemy missiles at high altitudes mitigates effects before they can reach the ground.