US To Operationalize Poland’s Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System By End Of 2022 – Pentagon

The deployment of the US-provided Aegis Ashore missile defense systems planned for Poland should be complete and operational by the end of 2022, the Defense Department said. 

“The Aegis Ashore capability planned for Poland is moving ahead to be operational by the end of next year, said the program executive officer for Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense,” the Defense Department said.

The Aegis Ashore was designed as a shipboard system to track and destroy incoming enemy targets, but now the system has also been deployed for use on land, as Aegis Ashore, the article said. Already an Aegis Ashore capability has been operational in Deveselu, Romania for more than five years, the article added.

A site similar to the one in Romania is also planned for Redzikowo, Poland, near the Baltic Sea. But that site has been delayed due to construction issues – though efforts are now underway to get the site operational by the end of next year.

On Thursday, Rear Adm. Tom Druggan said installing the Aegis Weapon System has been delayed as work is being done on the military construction with contractors and the project is behind the original schedule.

Over the summer of 2021, the Aegis Ashore system in Poland was pulled out of storage there and assembled to test its operations and it is now ready to be installed, Druggan added.

“We … put the whole weapon system together with the exception of the antennas,” he said. “We energized it. And the equipment had been in the containers for a while. We found some issues — [but the] good news is we fixed them. And then we did an upgrade, which is saving time from a future availability. So that system is actually our most upgraded system today, ready to be installed.”

Part of the Aegis Weapon System, the four SPY–1D(V) radar arrays and the fire control illuminator have been installed at the Aegis Ashore Poland site, located at Naval Support Facility Redzikowo. The arrays, centered in each side of the deckhouse, were safely lifted into place over the span of a few days in early May 2021. (MDA photo/released)

“We’re installing the backbone of the radar behind it,” he said. “We’ve installed some [command, control, communications, computers and intelligence] systems. And we’re going to keep installing our pieces in parallel to the commissioning of all the industrial equipment, power, cooling, ventilation, that’s going on, on the construction side.”

Druggan said he expects the Aegis Ashore site in Poland to be operational by the end of 2022, and at that point the transition of the system can happen first to the Navy, then to U.S. European Command, and finally to NATO.