Malatya radar system to be commanded from Ramstein
MUNICH - Hurriyet Daily NewsThe NATO missile shiled program, whose radars were installed at the Kürecik Air Base in Malatya, southeastern Turkey, will be commanded from the Alliance’s Ramstein Air Base, according to U.S. Defense Minister Leon Panetta, who briefed journalists on the sidelines of the international security conference in Munich today.
Panetta reminded that in addition to the radar station in Turkey – which has greatly disturbed neighboring Iran - missiles will be stationed in Romania and Poland. Four U.S. ships capable of shooting down missiles will be stationed at Rota, Spain, he said.
The whole system will be managed from the Geilenkirchen base in Germany. Among the officers at this base will be a Turkish general and his team.
Turkey will be informed as to how the information from the radars will be shared with other countries. Turkey is especially sensitive about the possibility to share intelligence with Israel, who refuses to apologize for the deaths of eight Turkish citizens an done Turkish-American during an Israeli troop assault on an aid ship May 31, 2010.
The command center of the radar system in Turkey will be at the 2nd Tactical Air Command in Diyarbakır. This center will ensure coordination with the headquarters in Germany.
The system will become active in case of a missile threat toward Europe - a threat widely perceived to come from Iran. Short-range missiles will be countered by PAC-3 Patriots from the ground, while THAAD missiles will be used to counter medium-range missiles. At the sea, versions of SM-3 missiles will be used to counter medium-range and long-range threats.
In the first phase, the Kürecik radar system and USS Monterrey situated at the Meditteranean, will be on alert against a possible missile strike. The system’s Romania and Poland components are scheduled to become active in 2015 and 2018, respectively.