11 July 2013
Spain is expected in the next few weeks to authorize an agreement with the United States that could net it roughly $260 million for hosting four U.S. Aegis-equipped missile destroyers, the El Pais newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The bilateral agreement covers the cost of the Spanish state-owned company Navantia in maintaining the four Aegis warships while they are home ported for an initial four years in Rota in the southwestern part of Spain.
The initial two vessels, the USS Donald Cook and the USS Ross, are slated to sail to Spain in fiscal 2014. The remaining two ships -- the USS Carney and the USS Porter -- are to deploy the year after that. Approximately 1,100 U.S. troops will accompany the warships.
The Aegis ships are one element of Washington's official contribution to NATO efforts to establish a ballistic missile shield that covers all of Europe. The United States also has agreements with Romania and Poland to host land-based missile interceptors in the coming years.
Separately, the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency has reduced by four interceptors a purchase agreement with Raytheon for Standard Missile 3 Block 1B missiles, the Alabama Media Group reported on Tuesday.
The military is now ordering only 20 Block 1B interceptors, saving it roughly $49 million on the Raytheon contract. However, the Pentagon is paying the defense industry giant $24 million to fix technology and manufacturing problems associated with the Standard Missile 3 system.
The Missile Defense Agency said it is maintaining the possibility of purchasing the four canceled interceptors at some point in the future.
The Block 1B interceptors are to be fielded in Romania and Poland.
9 July 2013
Spain and the US are expected to formalize an agreement in the coming weeks over the stationing of four destroyers at the naval base in Rota, Cádiz, for an initial period of over four years. The deal is worth 200 million euros to Spanish public company Navantia, which will be responsible for the maintenance of the four Arleigh Burke class vessels. The destroyers form part of the NATO missile defense shield and are equipped with Aegis combat systems capable of intercepting ballistic missiles.
The first two ships, the Ross and the Donald Cook, are scheduled to arrive at the Rota base in 2014, with the Porter and the Carney to follow in 2015. The destroyers will come with 1,100 military personnel and their families, which represents a shot in the arm for the local economy in one of the provinces hardest hit by Spain’s prolonged recession.
Industry sources said that even more significant than the fiscal boon is the fact that the US has placed the upkeep of some of its most advanced military hardware in the hands of a Spanish company. “If they are satisfied, there will be more contracts; if they are not, they will find the easiest way to avoid honoring the contract’s duration,” the sources said.
To accommodate the US navy destroyers the existing wharfs at
Rota have been extended and a new quay built, to avoid having to
dislodge the Spanish navy vessels already based there. The
deployment in Rota is the fourth element of the missile defense
shield, which will also include radar and interceptor
installations in Poland, Turkey and Romania.