NATO allied and partner forces have trialed the French Air Force’s Mamba surface-to-air missile defense system in a live-fire exercise in Romania.
The activity was conducted to prove NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) System capabilities in guarding and protecting allied airspace.
Multinational aircraft tested the missile system, including Turkish F-16 Fighting Falcons and Spanish Eurofighters currently deployed on a separate NATO mission in Bulgaria.
A US Navy 18-G Growler electronic warfare plane and French Navy Rafale multi-role fighter stationed aboard France’s Charles De Gaulle nuclear aircraft carrier also participated in the exercise.
According to NATO, the Mamba system repelled the simulated aerial attacks.
“In response to Russia’s war against Ukraine, we continue strengthening our deterrence and defences in the eastern part of the Alliance,” NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu said regarding the exercise.
“This includes significantly increasing our air defences with more fighter jets and surveillance aircraft on patrol, more ground-based air defences and air-defence-capable ships at sea.”
“Exercises such as this one ensure that NATO forces are able to operate together and remain ready to respond to any threat from any direction.”
Missile Defense on NATO Territories
The French Mamba system, also called the surface-to-air missile platform/terrain (SAMP/T), was designed to intercept airborne threats on battlefields and sensitive zones such as economic areas.
Alongside the Mamba in Romania, several missile defense systems are deployed across NATO territories, including US Patriot missiles in Poland, German and Dutch Patriot missiles in Slovakia, and Spanish NASAMS in Latvia, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Systems like the French MAMBA currently supporting Allied Air Command’s Air Shielding mission in Romania are a key part of the Alliance’s IAMD system,” explained Brig. Gen. Christoph Pliet, Deputy Chief of Staff Operations at NATO Allied Air Command.
“Constant drills and training like this ensure crews are ready to detect and if required respond to air and missile tracks that may threaten their defensive area of operations.”