US Deploys THAAD Anti-Missile System in Romania
The US has deployed the anti-ballistic missile THAAD system at the military base of Deveselu in southern Romania.
It is the first time that this advanced anti-ballistic missile system has been deployed anywhere in Europe under NATO command.
The role of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system is to provide security while the US Army undertakes maintenance of the existing Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System.
"THAAD will remain operational in Romania only while Aegis Ashore maintenance and updates are taking place during the summer," the United States European Command, EUCOM, said.
Each of the two intermediary THAAD systems deployed in Romania has eight defensive interceptor missiles.
Every missile weighs about 1,000 kilograms and is seven meters long. The systems can intercept both short and medium-range ballistic missiles.
"This site provides a defensive capability to deter future conflicts and to defend ourselves and our NATO allies," EUCOM noted.
Together with the anti-missile system, about 1,000 US and Romanian soldiers are based in Deveselu, ensuring the security of the eastern flank of NATO.
Moscow is hostile to the US deploying new military equipment in the region, and its own military interest in the Black Sea area has increased significantly since it occupied Crimea in 2014, which has shifted the balance of power on the southeast flank of NATO.