NATO has performed a simulated air and missile defense system attack exercise in Romania in a bid to continue strengthening defense forces in the eastern part of Europe.
During training, the French surface-based air defense system MAMBA repelled a simulated attack by allied fighter jets.
Allied fighters, including Turkey’s F-16 single-engine multirole fighter aircraft and Spanish Eurofighters – currently sent to Bulgaria on a NATO mission – as well as the US Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft and French Rafale twin-engine multirole fighter jets were involved in the training which took place on November 23, 2022, the Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office noted in a statement.
“In response to Russia’s war against Ukraine, we continue to strengthen our deterrence and defenses in the eastern part of the Alliance”, NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu was cited as saying in the Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office said.
“This includes significantly increasing our air defenses with more fighter jets and surveillance aircraft on patrol, more ground-based air defenses and air-defense-capable ships at sea. Exercises such as this one ensures that NATO forces are able to operate together and remain ready to respond to any threat from any direction”, Lungescu explained.
The MAMBA Surface Based Air and Missile Defense (SBAMD) system is designed to protect the battlefield and related sensitive areas, including airports and seaports, against cruise missiles, manned and unmanned aircraft, and tactical ballistic missiles. The system plays a key role in enhancing the Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) system and has been deployed in Romania since May 2022.
According to the Allied Air Command brigadier general Christoph Pliet, constant drills and training are being conducted to “ensure crews are ready to detect and respond to air and missile tracks that may threaten their defensive area of operations”.
“NATO IAMD is an essential, continuous mission in peacetime, crisis, and conflict, safeguarding and protecting the Allies in this context, contributing to the Alliance’s indivisible security and freedom of action,” the Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office concluded.
The Allies’ members have recently deployed several air and missile defense systems in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Germany deployed Patriot missiles to Slovakia, the US sent similar missile systems to Poland while Spain set up NASAMS systems to Latvia.