TechNorway bolsters Ukraine's defense with $14.1m aid package featuring advanced anti-aircraft systems

Norway bolsters Ukraine's defense with $14.1m aid package featuring advanced anti-aircraft systems

NASAMS system in action
NASAMS system in action
Images source: © Kongsberg

6:42 AM EST, December 14, 2023

Additional elements of the NASAMS system will be provided by Norway. Some of these components, sourced from the Norwegian armed forces, are intended for expedited delivery. Concurrently, orders for eight launchers and four command centers from the manufacturer have been placed for longer-term supply to Ukraine.

Norway serves as a key weapons supplier for Ukraine, providing ammunition for the Gepard systems supplied by Germany as well as "Black Hornet" miniature drones used by local specialists from Ukraine. Besides the NASAMS system, Norway has donated self-propelled M109A3GN howitzers and pledged to donate four Leopard 2A4 tanks.

NASAMS anti-aircraft system: enabling the use of various missiles

The Norwegian Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) was developed by Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace in collaboration with Raytheon to cater to Norway's needs. Introduced in 1998, the system has since evolved, debuting its second version in 2007 and recently unveiling a third.

The foundational concept was an open-architecture anti-aircraft system that could employ air-to-air missiles, significantly simplifying logistics. Consequently, a versatile system has been created, compatible with several radar designs (over 25 so far) and missiles that are compatible with the Mil-Std 1760 aircraft rack.

In this scenario, only a launcher adjustment and system software update are necessary. At present, the NASAMS system has been configured with AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles (including an extended range ER variant), AIM-9 Sidewinder, and IRIS-T family missiles. However, if required, even the MBDA Meteor could be incorporated.

Performance heavily relies on the missiles used and the target engagement range varies below or above 12.4 miles. For instance, when utilizing AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles, the range extends up to 18.6 miles. The system's engagement range includes drones, helicopters, aircraft, or maneuvering missiles such as the 3M-14 Kalibr, older variants from the USSR era such as Ch-102, and even S-300. Hence, the NASAMS system is an optimal supplement to the Patriot systems.

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