14:38 May. 13, 2016
Military weapons are designed for defensive purposes only
Poland officially started constructing the anti-ballistic-missile shield close to the Baltic coast and Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. The opening ceremony unfolded at the former military airport of Redzikowo. Poland's President Andrzej Duda was in attendance.
According to the agreement, signed between the U.S.A. and Poland in 2011, Redzikowo is to place 24 SM-3 interceptors and anti-aircraft systems in terms of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EAPP) until the end of 2018.
The SM-3 missile interceptors are not offensive weapons since they carry no warhead inside, stress military experts. On the contrary, the missiles are designed only for defensive purposes like destroying potential incoming ballistic objects. Instead of shooting explosives at the hostile targets small hit-to-kill vehicles are used colliding with a potential threat at excessive speed.
The ground-based missiles would be housed in underground silos in an interceptor field about the size of a football field.
U.S. State Department already named the base a significant joint U.S. and Poland's contribution to a future NATO missile defence capability. Estimated to cost 300 million U.S. dollars the building is to be finished in 2 years. Afterwards the site will expectedly be capable of hosting 300 U.S. troops.
On Thursday, May 12th, the U.S.A. launched its missile defence shield at a remote air base in Deveselu in southern Romania. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg attended the ceremony. The shield is aimed at protecting Alliance's members from potential rocket attacks from the so-called "rogue states" such as Iran and North Korea.
Despite numerous assurances of NATO's peaceful intentions Moscow claims the shield is a direct threat aiming to neutralize its nuclear arsenal. Russian officials demand the missile unfolding to be stopped, promising otherwise to bolster its equivalent systems earlier than planned.
The United States and the Soviet Union, the Russia's predecessor, signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in 1987. The agreement eliminated nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with intermediate ranges, defined as between 500–5,500 km with no account for the sea launched missiles.