The US Secretary of Defence, Robert Gates, has announced that the U.S missile based defence system could see changes which will result in weapons being deployed from the Baltic Sea, according to Finnish news agency Helsingin Sanomat.
Speaking at a Press Conference in Washington, Gates declared that the incumbent shield defence system based in the Czech Republic and Poland would transition to the sea-borne Aegis ship system. The Aegis vessels are equipped with an integrated missile interception and weapons systems.
Mr Gates stated: “The United States will initially deploy Navy ships equipped with Aegis missile interceptors to help defend Europe and U.S. forces against threats from Iran and others”. Mr Gates went on to add that ships would be deployed in both southern and northern Europe. While specific areas were not named it is believed that northern Europe would include the Baltic Sea.
A spokesperson from Department of Strategic and Defence Studies at Finland’s National Defence University, Commander Juha-Antero Puistola said the idea was not farfetched, adding: “If the idea is to create this type of mobile platform, then some of the ships can well be placed in the Baltic. The Aegis cruisers have always been moved wherever needed”.
According to the Commander, ships would only be based in the Sea in the event of a missile threat and the move would not see the permanent stationing of Aegis ships in the Baltic.