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Iran Press TV

US will commission missile base in Europe amid tensions with Russia

Iran Press TV

Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:31AM GMT

The US military is set to commission its new missile base in southern Romania on Friday amid strong opposition by Russia and deterioration of relations between Washington and Moscow.

The first commander of the base, located in Deveselu, will be Capt. William Garren, Stars and Stripes reported.

The military base will be the first to feature the Aegis Ashore ballistic missile system and it will be operational by the end of 2015.

Several hundred of American military, civilian and contract employees would be deployed to the site.

Another missile base is scheduled to become operational in Poland by 2018.

The site in Romania will host an Aegis SPY-1 radar and hold 24 Standard Missile-3 interceptors of the Block IB variant.

The US interceptors are designed to target short-, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles.

Russia has sharply criticized Washington's military presence in Europe, saying that the new project was aimed against its ballistic missile arsenal.

In August, Russia criticized the United States for planning to deploy MK-41 launch systems that can be used for launching intermediate-range cruise missiles in Poland and Romania.

Last year, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that it deployed several Iskander ballistic missile systems, which are capable of carrying nuclear warheads, in Kaliningrad.

The Iskander ballistic missile has a range of up to 500 kilometers (about 300 miles) and travels at hypersonic speeds that make it very difficult to intercept.

The deployment of missiles came in response to the development of the US missile system in Europe.


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