The Lithuanian Ministry of Defence has announced it is purchasing two medium-range (Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System, also known as the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System) missile launchers for donation to Ukraine. The Lithuanian defence procurement agency has signed a contract with the Norwegian defense company Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace for two launchers of NASAMS air defense system. The Norwegian Ministry of Defence will make additional contributions by donating NASAMS system support equipment. The NASAMS Air Defence Systems are already in use by the Lithuanian Air Force.
“Upgraded NASAMS missile launch systems are being purchased, which will be fully prepared so that the Ukrainian Army can integrate them into existing fire control units, thereby supplementing and expanding the operational capacity of the Norwegian and US-donated NASAMS systems currently in use in Ukraine,” said Arvydas Anušauskas, Lithuania’s Minister of National Defence.
Lithuania is the first foreign customer to take delivery of NASAMS 3. In 2017, Lithuania ordered the NASAMS 3 to improve its own air defense capabilities under a $128 million contract; two batteries were delivered in 2020. Each battery for Lithuania comprises four launchers mounted on Mercedes-Benz 8×8 trucks, two Raytheon MPQ-64F1 Sentinel 3D radars and several other components mounted on 4×4 Mercedes-Benz Unimog trucks. Lithuania and fellow Baltic states Latvia and Estonia boosted their air defense after Moscow’s 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula and the incursion of pro-Russian forces into eastern Ukraine.
NASAMS is a distributed and networked short- to medium-range:?4? ground-based air defense system developed by Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KDA) and Raytheon The system defends against unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), helicopters, cruise missiles, unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs), and fixed wing aircraft,? firing any of a wide range of existing missiles. NASAMS was the first application of a surface-launched AIM-120 AMRAAM. NASAMS 2 is an upgraded version of the system capable of using Link 16. NASAMS 3 is the latest upgrade; it adds capability to fire AIM-9X Sidewinder, IRIS-T SLS and AMRAAM-ER missiles, and introduces mobile air-liftable launchers.