France deploys MAMBA air defense system to Romania

French Armed Forces

The French armed forces in Romania deployed the SAMP/T ground-to-air defense system, also called MAMBA, to “provide a protective bubble for the benefit of the [NATO] forces operating in the coverage area.” 

“Operated by around 100 airmen, the MAMBA medium-range surface-to-air system is a sophisticated weapon system that can provide a protective bubble for the benefit of the forces operating in the coverage area,” the French General Staff explained on May 19, 2022. “In order to increase the efficiency of the system and to meet the needs of NATO’s Integrated air and missile defense (IAMD), it is connected and integrated via a tactical data link to the Romanian defense system and to that of NATO.”  

The MAMBA system can track 100 trajectories and engage 10 of them simultaneously, with up to 48 missiles ready to fire. It is the only European system designed to counter ballistic missiles. The Aster 30 missile it employs, developed by MBDA, can hit aircraft up to 120 kilometers away, and ballistic missiles at 30 kilometers.  

A ‘Defense Management Center in the 3rd Dimension’ (CMD3D) was also deployed alongside the MAMBA system. Composed of two vehicles, it allows commanding ground-air systems and coordinating the use of other air assets of the Army, namely artillery, helicopters, and drones, according to the French Ministry of Armed Forces. 

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, France launched the Aigle [Eagle] mission with the dispatch of 500 soldiers in Constanta, Romania, on the shores of the Black Sea. Backed by 300 Belgian or Dutch soldiers on rotation, this battalion constitutes one of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battle Groups. 

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