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SECSTATE FOR EUR/NCE, EUR/PRA JCS J5 FOR COL DEBRA GRAY; OSD A&T FOR MR. KENLON; SECDEF FOR USDP:DSCA/ERASA; USDP (A&T)/OASD/ISA-EUR; USDATL/IC
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/08/2016 TAGS: MARR, PGOV, PREL, NATO, MOPS, RO SUBJECT: COUNTRY TEAM ASSESSMENT FOR CLASSIFIED CAPABILITIES BRIEFING ON AEGIS FOR ROMANIA
Classified By: CDA a.i. Mark Taplin; Reasons 1.4 (A), (B), (D), and (G)
1. (S) Summary: The Romanian Navy has requested a classified AEGIS capabilities brief from the USG. The Romanian Navy purchased two Type-22 Frigates from the UK in 2004 which did not include weapons or command and control systems. Romania is exploring possibilities for upgrading and refitting the ships and considers AEGIS one possible solution. Romania submitted a request for information on AEGIS in early 2008 and the US Navy International Program Office invited a Romanian delegation to Washington for an unclassified briefing on AEGIS. The Romanian Navy subsequently requested a classified AEGIS capabilities briefing which requires an Exception to National Disclosure Policy. The Ambassador and country team do not believe acquisition of an AEGIS system should be high on Romania's priority list given defense budget constraints. At this point, however, post believes the USG should participate in the Romanian Navy's decision-making process. This will ensure the USG remains in a position to influence Romania to buy a US system and increase interoperability. The Ambassador and country team support Romania's request for a classified AEGIS capabilities brief. End summary.
2. (U) The reason the nation desires the articles or services: Romania must refit two Type-22 Frigates purchased from the UK with weapons systems as well as command and control systems. The Romanian Deputy Minister of Defense has expressed Romania,s willingness to support NATO,s Missile Defense Program with its frigates if equipped with AEGIS or an AEGIS-like system to cover radar coverage gaps in the Black Sea Region.
3. (U) Justification for the type and quantity of articles or services requested: At this time, Romania has not indicated a commitment to purchase AEGIS if/when release is granted. During this exploratory phase of the program, the Romanian Navy is seeking information to help them better understand AEGIS capabilities.
4. (S) Training required either in-country or in the US and anticipated reactions resulting for the presence of US trainers in country: It would probably be more beneficial for training to occur in-country but a cost/benefit analysis would be of use in making the best determination. There would be no problem with US instructors conducting the training in-country.
5. (S) Possible impact of any in-country US presence that might be required as a result of providing the article: The only impact of US presence would be positive as it would result in daily interface between the US Navy or defense contractors and the Romanian Navy. Romania understands that this presence is part of a strategic relationship meant for the benefit of Romania. The Romanian Navy strongly desires this relationship.
6. (S) How would this item affect Romania,s force structure and ability to contribute to mutual defense or security goals? If the USG approves Romania to purchase an AEGIS system, this will greatly expand the Romanian Navy,s capabilities. As stated previously, Romania has expressed its willingness to support NATO common defense goals by availing Romanian Frigates to support NATO Missile Defense.
7. (S) What is the anticipated reaction of Romania,s neighbors? Romania has common borders with Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Ukraine, Moldova and the Black Sea. Romania's purchase of AEGIS systems will not likely elicit negative responses from any of these countries. However, Russia would likely strongly oppose this purchase as it would feel threatened by any potential enhancement to NATO MD capabilities. Turkey would likewise voice reservations about Romania acquiring AEGIS because it would infringe on Turkey,s Black Sea influence.
8. (S) What is Romania,s ability to account for, safeguard, operate, maintain, and support AEGIS systems? The RO Navy is completely capable of operating, maintaining, supporting, and securing AEGIS systems and all associated equipment. Since the system is common to the US Navy, ODC can organize Joint Contact Team Program events and Mobile Training Teams to demonstrate how we operate the system. Additionally, the country team will insist that any contract include a comprehensive maintenance package and thorough operator training.
9. (S) What is the source of financing and economic impact of this potential acquisition of AEGIS systems? The current Romanian Ministry of Defense current strategic acquisition plan does not include AEGIS. To afford AEGIS, Romania will need to modify its strategic acquisition plan. Romania,s plan currently includes six programs at a cost in excess of 17 billion Euros:
Air Force--Multi-Role Fighters and Long-Range Air Defense Army--8x8 Armored Personnel Carriers and 4x4 tactical vehicles Navy--Corvettes (4) and Minesweepers (4)
Additionally, Romania is still negotiating with Raytheon for a Hawk XXI Air Defense Missile upgrade program estimated at $150 million. If the USG releases sale of AEGIS to Romania, Romania will require financing to purchase the system. At this time, however, Romania has only requested a briefing, so financial issues should not influence whether or not the USG provides the briefing.
10. (S) What are the relevant human rights considerations that might bear on the proposed acquisition of this equipment? The sale of AEGIS to Romania will not impact any human rights considerations.
11. (S) Should the USG approve transfer of AEGIS to Romania and why? The USG should approve the transfer of AEGIS to Romania for strategic and political reasons. As stated earlier, Romania has expressed a willingness to employ AEGIS-equipped frigates to support NATO MD and US/RO bilateral surveillance activities on the Black Sea. Additionally, this capability will greatly enhance Romania,s maritime domain awareness which will contribute to the security of NATO,s eastern boundary.
12. (S) Plan to obtain purchaser,s concurrence to End-Use Monitoring for sensitive and advance war fighting technology and the ODC,s plan for compliance verification: Any End-Use Monitoring requirements will be coordinated by DSCA and the ODC and specifically addressed in the Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA). ODC does not envision any problems with meeting EUM compliance verification in cooperation with Romania. ODC will coordinate with EUCOM for any additional TDY funding necessitated by EUM verification visits.
13. (S) Combatant Command,s concurrence to the introduction of a new war fighting capability to the nation and region. EUCOM does not believe that AEGIS acquisition should be a high priority for the Government of Romania (GOR). That said, Romania should have the opportunity to receive a complete Price and Availability (P&A) in order to gain an understanding of the opportunity costs that an AEGIS purchase would entail. Additionally, if Romania is determined to make this purchase, EUCOM believes that the country should buy US products to gain and ensure optimal interoperability. Denial of P&A at this juncture would damage future competitiveness of US products should the GOR decide to purchase the AEGIS system.
14. (S) The Ambassador and the Country Team support Romania,s request for a classified capabilities brief on the AEGIS system, although they share the affordability concerns about the AEGIS system. Still, providing the requested briefing will ensure the RO Navy has the information needed to make an informed decision on the Type 22 Frigate upgrade.