US Navy's Aegis ships remain defending Turkey

After US, Germany withdraw Patriot missile defenses, US reiterates navy's commitment to eastern Mediterranean

US Navy's Aegis ships remain defending Turkey

World Bulletin / News Desk

Following the announcement of the withdrawal of U.S. Patriot missile defenses from Turkish soil, the U.S. has reassured its NATO ally that any missile threat from Syria can be dealt with by the ship-borne Aegis anti-missile system.

The U.S. Navy has an unspecified number of cruisers and destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean equipped with the Aegis system, which uses advanced computer and radar technology to track more than 100 targets simultaneously.

Over the weekend, both the U.S. and Germany announced they would withdraw the Patriot batteries that have been based in southern Turkey to guard against Syrian missile attack since 2013.

In a joint statement issued on Sunday with Turkey, the U.S. said the deployment of the Patriot batteries would not be renewed in October.

However, the statement said the U.S. would retain a “persistent presence” in the eastern Mediterranean through the Aegis-fitted ships.

The ships -- Ticonderoga-type cruisers and Arleigh Burke-type destroyers -- have wider capabilities than land-based missile systems due to their mobility.

According to the U.S. Navy’s website, the Aegis system is capable of “simultaneous operations against multi-mission threats: anti-air, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare” and is fitted to 74 warships stationed around the world. The ships are equipped with SM-2 and SM-3 interceptor missiles, with the former used against short-range ballistic missiles while the SM-3 targets both short- and medium-range missiles.

Described by the Pentagon as a keystone of Europe’s defense, the ships are also based in the western Pacific Ocean, where they guard against possible North Korean ballistic missiles, and the Persian Gulf to provide cover against Iranian missile systems.

The navies of Japan, Spain, Norway and South Korea also have ships equipped with Aegis.

In the future, the U.S. Navy hopes to increase the capacity of its Aegis ships to provide longer range cover against long- and medium-range ballistic missiles, as well as providing allied navies with the system.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Ağustos 2015, 17:24