The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has transferred the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System (AAMDS) in Romania to the operational commander of the US 6th Fleet.

Deployed in Deveselu, the AAMDS is said to be a key element in the second phase of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA), the US contribution to Nato Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD).

US Ambassador to Romania Hans Klemm said: "I’m happy to report that this ceremony today marks that all major military construction on the base (that is, everything necessary for operating the system) is complete and functioning, and that the project came in under-budget, thanks in no small part to the excellent cooperation we received from the government of Romania."

The AAMDS will now undergo testing in preparation for Nato BMD integration.

"The project came in under-budget, thanks in no small part to the excellent cooperation we received."

Nato BMD architecture comprises the army navy / transportable radar surveillance system (AN/TPY-2), a command and control network operated from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and guided missile destroyers in Rota, Spain.

US 6th Fleet commander vice admiral James Foggo said: "Now that Commander, US Naval Forces Europe-Commander, US Naval Forces Africa (CNE-CNA)/US 6th Fleet has ownership of Aegis Ashore-Romania, we will begin integration into the existing Nato BMD architecture."

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Implemented in phases, the EPAA is intended to protect the deployed forces of European Nato allies and the US against ballistic threats.

The first phase of the EPAA was completed in fiscal year 2011, and involved the deployment of missile defence systems.

The systems included one BMD-capable ship, the SM-3 Block IA interceptor, and a forward-based AN / TPY-2 in Turkey.

Construction of the AAMDS at Deveselu Air Base, Romania, started in October 2013.

Image: Officials during the transfer of major military components of the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System in Romania to US 6th Fleet Photo: courtesy of U.S. Navy photo/Released.