France has deployed a MAMBA air defense system and air defense command post in Romania to bolster NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence.
The French Air and Space Force operates the Thales system — also known as the SAMP/T — to protect battlefield and tactical sites from “cruise missiles, manned and unmanned aircraft and tactical ballistic missiles in the 600 kilometers (373 miles) range class.”
Approximately 100 airmen operate the system comprising the Aster 30 interceptor missile and the Arabel multi-function radar. It is integrated with the Romanian and NATO defense systems through a tactical data liaison.
Besides the 🇫🇷 deployment, 🇩🇪🇳🇱🇺🇸 have deployed PATRIOT batteries to 🇸🇰&🇵🇱
— NATO Air Command (@NATO_AIRCOM) May 23, 2022
NATO’s Multinational Battle Group
The move reinforces NATO’s multinational Battle Group Forward Presence (BG FP) in Romania, which was set up on May 1 “with France as the framework nation supported by an alternating company of either Belgian or Dutch troops,” NATO stated.
The Romania-based BG FP is in addition to the four other battle groups deployed by NATO on its eastern flank in Slovakia, Hungary, and Bulgaria.
“The French MAMBA deployment shows France’s capacity and will to protect her own interests as well as those of her Allies,” French Chief of Defence Staff Colonel Pascal Ianni French Chief of Defence Staff.
“It permits to reinforce the strategic partnership that has united France and Romania since 2007, especially in the field of air defence. The MAMBA deployment is firmly embedded in the multinational Forward Presence Battle Group which France, supported by the Netherlands and Belgium, established in Romania under NATO’s aegis.”
NATO has increased its readiness across Europe since early March to deter potential aggression by Russia.
France, in particular, has deployed forces in Romania since February as part of NATO Response Force efforts.
The military alliance also announced that Germany and the Netherlands have deployed Patriot air defense missile batteries to Slovakia and the US shipped two of the Raytheon batteries to Poland in April.