The US plans to announce as soon as this week that it has purchased an advanced, medium-to-long-range surface-to-air missile defense system for Ukraine. President Joe Biden, who is currently meeting with G7 leaders in Germany for a summit primarily focused on Ukraine, announced recently that the US would provide Ukraine with “more advanced rocket systems and munitions” as its war with Russia grinds on. Ukrainian officials have asked for the missile defense system, known as a NASAMS system, given the weapons can hit targets more than 100 miles away, though the Ukrainian forces will likely need to be trained on the systems.
And earlier this month, the Biden administration said it was providing an additional $1 billion in military aid to Ukraine, a package that includes shipments of additional howitzers, ammunition, and coastal defense systems. CNN reported last week that US assessments of the war increasingly envision a long and punishing battle in the eastern part of Ukraine, with high personnel and equipment losses on both sides. Last week, the Biden administration announced an additional $450 million in military assistance for Ukraine, giving it four more multiple launch rocket systems and artillery ammunition for other systems.
NASAMS (National/Norwegian Advanced Surface to Air Missile System) is a distributed and networked medium to long-range surface-to-air missile defense system developed by Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KDA) and Raytheon. NASAMS was the first application of a surface-launched AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile). AMRAAM-ER extended range missiles and introduces mobile air-liftable launchers. A complete NASAMS 2 battery consists of 12 missile launchers (LCHR), eight AN/MPQ-64F1 Improved Sentinel radars, one fire control center (CTOC), one electro-optical camera vehicle (MSP500), and one Tactical Control Cell (TCC) vehicle.
NASAMS has since its introduction in Norway been on a path of continuous evolution. NASMAS system is the same one that protects Washington, DC, and the area around the nation’s capital. The current NASAMS customer base consists of twelve (12) countries, Air Force and Army customers combined. A total of fifteen (15) nations have acquired the KONGSBERG command and control solution adapted to their requirements. NASAMS 2 is an upgraded version of the system capable of using Link 16, which has been operational since 2007. NASAMS 3 is the latest upgrade deployed in 2019; it adds capability to fire AIM-9 and IRIS-T SLS short-range missiles and AMRAAM-ER extended range missiles, and introduces mobile air-liftable launchers.