US, Spain Agree to Deploy Aegis-Carrying Ships


US Navy’s Aegis-carrying ships will be stationed in the Mediterranean Sea off Spain under US plan of missile defense deployment in Europe, said American officials on Oct 5.

According to their statements, that decision was made by the US Administration and agreed with Spanish government, reports ITAR-TASS.

The plan will provide permanent presence of Aegis-carrying ships in the Mediterranean Sea in accordance with Washington’s intentions, and their patrols in eastern Atlantic.

Such ships will be based in Cadiz province (southern Mediterranean), specified the US officials. It was planned to announce about agreements achieved between Washington and Madrid at NATO headquarters, Brussels.

Implementing the first stage of its missile defense plan, in March 2011 the US dispatched Aegis-carrying cruiser USS Monterey to the Mediterranean Sea.

In accordance with president Obama‘s decision promulgated in Sept 2010, European-based missile defense architecture will be shaped in four stages. The first one – in 2011 – implies deployment of ships armed with Aegis system and interceptors Standard Missile-3 (SM-3).

In addition, anti-missile radars will be deployed in South Europe. At the second phase – by 2015 – it is planned to deploy mobile SM-3 batteries in Romania. Then – by 2018 – they will be deployed in Poland as well. And by 2020, SM-3 are supposed to be replaced with more advanced interceptors capable to protect the whole territory of NATO countries not only from short- and mid-range missiles but intercontinental ballistic ones.

The US has been deploying Aegis-carrying ships in the Mediterranean Sea since 2009. Nevertheless, mission of USS Monterey is Washington’s particular action aimed at realization of missile defense deployment program. By approving this plan, Obama’s administration renounced an idea to establish 10 silo-based interceptors in Poland and tracking radar interfaced with them in Czech Republic. These concepts were developed by ex-administration headed by George Bush. Russia strongly opposed that plans.

Source: rusnavy, October 10, 2011