TechNorway considers providing additional NASAMS systems to Ukraine amid escalating air attacks

Norway considers providing additional NASAMS systems to Ukraine amid escalating air attacks

NASAMS anti-aircraft system
NASAMS anti-aircraft system
Images source: © Kongsberg
2:23 PM EST, February 9, 2024

Norwegian authorities believe that more NASAMS systems could bolster Ukraine's air defense, which is direly needed in light of escalating air attacks from Russia. "The Norwegian NASAMS system is instrumental in saving Ukrainian lives and preventing the ruin of buildings and infrastructure. Given the rampant and cruel Russian missile and drone attacks, air defense is absolutely crucial for Ukraine," Norwegian Minister of Defense Bjørn Arild Gram conveyed. He also underscored that Norway must not overlook the necessity to replenish its defense systems.

NASAMS support for Ukraine

In the past, Norway supplied Ukraine with two command centers and two NASAMS launchers, while such systems were also delivered to Kyiv by the United States at the onset of the conflict. Lithuania later decided to purchase and transfer them as well. It's worth noting that, in late 2022, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin stated that "NASAMS anti-aircraft defense systems supplied by the U.S. have proven to be 100% effective in intercepting Russian missiles in Ukraine".

Therefore, providing more units could significantly enhance Ukraine's anti-aircraft defense capacities. The weapon is highly effective, and Ukrainians have prior experience operating it, eliminating the need for extra training. As previously reported, NASAMS is a medium-range air defense system, developed collaboratively by American corporation Raytheon and Norwegian group Kongsberg. It is frequently coined as the defender of the U.S. capital due to its role in defending the airspace over Washington.

Initially developed for the Norwegian army and introduced in 1998, NASAMS (Norwegian Advanced Surface to Air Missile System) has seen several developmental versions over the years, which have been adopted by various armies. Since 2019, the latest model, NASAMS-3, has also been utilized by American forces. In this configuration, the system can engage aerial targets up to about 37 miles away.

A single NASAMS complex comprises, among other components, a command centre, launchers, and radar stations. The system is compatible with AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles, including the extended-range variant, AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II, and IRIS-T. AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles are recognized as some of the most frequently used air-to-air missiles globally, impacting their availability and production scale.

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