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​The Missile Defense Agency awarded Lockheed Martin a $36.4 million contract to install, integrate, and test Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense equipment in Poland, the Pentagon announced Tuesday. The contract includes building and equipping a deckhouse structure similar to that on the Navy’s Aegis-equipped BMD cruisers and destroyers and a support building. The work is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2018. The Poland facility will ultimately include a SPY-1 radar and 24 SM-3 missile interceptors, both made by Raytheon. It is the final element of the European Phased Adaptive Approach program announced by President Barack Obama in 2009. Although Russia had denounced EPAA as an attempt to counter its nuclear deterrent force, it is intended to provide defense for US forces and allies in Western Europe from Iran’s expanding ballistic missile capabilities. EPAA started with deployment of four Navy Aegis-equipped BMD destroyers to Rota, Spain, and installation of an X-band radar in Turkey. The second phase was construction of an Aegis Ashore facility in Romania with the SPY-1 Radar and 24 SM-3s. It was declared operational in May. The Lockheed-produced Aegis is an advanced integrated combat system capable of countering surface, air and missile threats.