On February 13, official US military representatives announced a launch rescheduling of the second operating US ground-based missile defense base in Europe. What is meant here is an American anti-missile complex that has been under construction for several years next to the village of Redzikowo outside the city of Slupsk in Northern Poland. The foundation stone was laid back in May 2016.
For your reference: the first similar American missile defense base was put into operation at this time either, but much further south – at the Deveselu air force base in Romania, which was swiftly taken over by the Americans. Both the current Romanian version of the missile defense system and the Polish facility under construction are entities with universal MK-41 launchers represented by 24 cells joined together in each case. This combat data management and control system is called "Aegis" and is also installed on board US Navy guided weapon warships: Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class destroyers. Its ground-based version was called "Aegis Ashore", i.e. the land-based Aegis missile defense system.
So, the Pentagon announced the second attempt to postpone the commissioning of the US Redzikowo missile defense system, which was initially planned to put into service in December 2018, with the deadline later moved to the end of this year. And the present-day postponement is for the fiscal year 2022.
The American Bloomberg news agency found out about this schedule from Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency spokeswoman Heather Cavalier. The reason for announcing the new completion date for the missile defense base near Redzikowo was financial and logistical issues associated with its creation faced by the contractor company John Wood Group. As a result, the US Department of Defense had to request another $ 96 million to complete the project – in addition to the $ 746 million spent earlier. In early February, the new Missile Defense Agency Director Vice Admiral John Hill said the Polish missile defense project was some 92 percent ready but there were some problems with separate components on which its performance depended. At that, he specified supply systems, cooling installations, and some other types of secondary equipment.
The coin has two sides as regards information provided by Pentagon representatives on this anti-missile issue.
Undoubtedly, the delayed implementation of the Redzikowo project will have a positive impact on European security. On the other hand, the fact that the Polish version and its Romanian "anti-missile twin" are not entirely eliminated is fraught with a negative consequences.
The verifiable danger coming from these two facilities is that their launchers are suitable not only for defensive weapons systems represented by America's most efficient strategic killer missiles used to intercept ballistic and cruise rockets. Offensive weapons like Tomahawk-type ground-based cruise missiles can be easily installed on such launchers, as well as, according to some information sources, high-precision hypersonic weapons being hastily developed in the United States.
Such a missile castling move can be carried out without any engineering and technical readjustments of MK-41 launchers. There will be no need to replace the software, as the Americans try to misinform the world community. It is no secret that computer programs for launching both defensive and offensive weapons are designed in advance, as well as fixed in the control units of attack weapons components for each type of missiles loaded.
Two factors have to be taken into account in this context. First, the US-adopted 2019 missile defense strategy sets strategic goals for its sea- and land-based Aegis systems: the use of offensive weapons to destroy Russia's ICBMs before those are launched. Second, these Pentagon's anti-missile bases are and will always remain under its total military control, which the military and political leadership of Romania and Poland is completely alienated from.
It is only natural that the mentioned factors make these American objects a matter of increased attention to the Russian side. For reasons given above, the US missile defense operating bases in Romania and Poland, being combined strategic objects from the perspective of Russian national security interests, should be turned into a cinder and a memory. Washington's positive or negative solution to this issue has to be taken into account by Moscow when arriving at its final position on extending the START-3 Treaty which is blunt about the organic interconnection between strategic offensive and strategic defensive arms.