With the assistance of the United States, and taking advantage of the framework provided by Exercise Ramstein Legacy 2024, the Romanian Armed Forces certified and activated their second Patriot air defense system. The milestone was achieved following the successful launch of a missile to engage an aerial target during anti-aircraft defense exercises.

From June 3 to 14, hosted at Capu Midia Firing Range, Romania held a new edition of NATO’s Ramstein Legacy Exercise. Involving 1,300 personnel from the Romanian Armed Forces and various NATO countries including Germany, France, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, and Turkey, the exercise aimed to enhance interoperability among allied forces through the exchange of knowledge, practices, techniques, and procedures.

The exercise also featured a significant deployment of air defense assets from participating countries, including Romania’s Hawk and Patriot air defense systems, Turkey’s Stinger MANPADS and Piorun systems from Poland, French MAMBA and German Patriot systems, as well as Hungary’s NASAMS.

For Romania, a key objective during the exercise was to certify their second Patriot air defense missile system, achieved through the launch of a missile targeting an MQM-178 drone provided by U.S. firm Kratos Defense.

Under an authorization issued by the U.S. government in 2017, Romania began the process of integrating the Patriot PAC-2 air defense system. This operation, aimed at bolstering defensive capabilities for a key ally in the Black Sea region, amounted to $3.9 billion, with the first milestone being the missile launch in December of the previous year.

As a result of this integration, the Romanian Armed Forces established a specialized unit responsible for operating the Patriot defense system, which utilized planned activities within Ramstein Legacy 2024 to conduct the second anti-aircraft missile launch on June 14.

The U.S. Embassy in Bucharest stated, “This was Romania’s second tactical air defense exercise with the PATRIOT systems, with the first taking place in November 2023. Through these exercises, Romania has demonstrated high levels of technical expertise and capability to defend against advanced air threats. The successful conclusion of Exercise RAMSTEIN LEGACY demonstrates that Romania has the air defense capability to protect Romanian citizens and territory.”

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