The first live firings with the PATRIOT system, integrated into the Romanian Air Forces in 2020, take place at the Capu Midia firing range as part of the PATRIOT SPARK 23 exercise. The event, scheduled a year ago, aims to validate and verify the system’s functionality. It was attended by Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu, Senate Speaker Nicolae Ciucă, and the U.S. Ambassador to Romania, Kathleen Kavalec.
This exercise represents the inaugural test of Romania’s PATRIOT missile system, a culmination of years of planning and cooperation between Romania and the United States. It will provide Romania with not only the most advanced air defense system in the world, but also establish Romania as a leader in air and missile defense in the NATO alliance. The exercise demonstrated the PATRIOT system’s ability to identify, track, and neutralize aerial targets.
This exercise represents Romania’s continued investment in Black Sea security and deterrence. As the world watches malign actors use missiles to terrorize and attack peaceful nations, Romania provides strong and vigilant defense of the NATO’s eastern flank.
The Ministry of Defense announced that, from November 2 to 17, the PATRIOT SPARK 23 exercise is taking place at the Capu Midia firing range, during which the first live firings with the PATRIOT system, integrated into the Romanian Air Forces in 2020, are being conducted.
“The PATRIOT surface-to-air missile system is used to counter threats by identifying, tracking, and neutralizing airborne targets. During the exercise, the airborne targets are simulated by various types of drones and will be engaged with PAC-2 ATM missiles,” officials from the Ministry of Defense stated.
This exercise aims to ‘validate and verify the functioning of the first PATRIOT surface-to-air missile system integrated into the Romanian Air Forces in 2020, as well as prepare for the enhancement of operational capability.’
‘The exercise was planned a year in advance of execution and is included in the Main Activities Plan of the Air Force General Staff,’ the Ministry of Defense further conveyed.
Today marks the ‘Distinguished Visitors Day’ of the tactical exercise with troops and live firings PATRIOT SPARK 23 at the Capu Midia air-to-ground firing range. The program includes conducting an exercise to counter airborne threats, involving the identification, tracking, and neutralization of airborne targets by the PATRIOT surface-to-air missile system.
“This exercise is a testament to the dedication of Romania’s government and armed forces to develop one of the most modern and effective militaries on the European continent,” Ambassador Kavalec said while attending the event.
She noted that “Shooting a missile out of the sky is incredibly difficult, but as today’s exercise shows the highly dedicated operators have the skills and the tools to do exactly this.”
Ambassador Kavalec emphasized the importance of the U.S.-Romania Strategic Partnership and the strong security-cooperation relationship between the two countries. “Today’s exercise is one example of the mutual vision of peace and stability, and the United States government is here to support and collaborate with Romania.”
Ambassador Kavalec congratulated Romania for its continued investments to defend its sovereign territory and strengthen the NATO alliance.