Germany and the Netherlands to prepare for placement of the Patriot air defense system in the Baltic States

Joint German-Dutch exercises will be held in the framework of the NATO policy to guarantee the defense of Poland and the Baltic countries, which require greater protection against possible aggression of Russia, said in an interview with Reuters, Brigadier General of Bundeswehr Michael Grossmann. According to him, the exercise will be tested a new concept of air and missile defense developed by the two countries in the past year.

The exercises will be held on the Greek island of Crete. In them, according to German and American officials will participate 300 German, Dutch hundred and ten American soldiers and an American destroyer equipped with Aegis radar system.

After completion of the tests planned to announce the readiness of the joint operations group, missile defense and air defense, which Berlin and Amsterdam will be offered for use by NATO.

This summer, the US has placed its Patriot air defense system in Eastern Europe. Assessment Grossmann, who commands the ground units of the German air force, the West would “send a political signal” if Poland or the Baltic States will host the task force, armed with German, Dutch and American Patriot.

In recent years, Germany and the Netherlands have taken a number of steps aimed at the integration of its Navy and air force, reminds Reuters. In January, they signed an agreement on cooperation in the field of missile defense and air defense, called project Apollo (Project Apollo). The representative of the Ministry of defense of the Netherlands Jeroen de Vries stressed that the United group of Patriot air defense system “can be deployed within NATO for the protection of the allies”.

In late may, the Estonian army chief Riho Terras called for NATO to deploy in the Baltic States Patriot air defense system and to increase the number of combat aircraft. He explained his request for Russia’s behavior. “If they have any chance, they’ll jump through the window to use it,” said the Terraces about the intentions of Moscow.

In the past at the beginning of July NATO summit in Warsaw the members of the Alliance agreed to deploy in Poland and the Baltic States of the four multinational battalions, numbering up to 4 thousand people. According to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, these units are created as a “deterrent measures” and will be sent to the places of deployment in 2017.