US sends Norwegian ground 25km-range SAM, AIMs, IRIS-Ts to Ukraine

WASHINGTON — NASAMS – the Norway’s ground-based air defense system developed by Kongsberg and Raytheon will be delivered to Ukraine’s armed forces, a senior political source in Washington told CNN. The source claims that the system will be included in the announcement of the next package of military aid to Ukraine this week.

US sends Norwegian ground 25km-range SAM, AIMs, IRIS-Ts to Ukraine
Photo credit: Wikipedia

In addition to NASAMS [National/Norwegian Advanced Surface to Air Missile System], the United States is expected to announce the delivery of artillery ammunition and radar this week. NASAMS is a system that was desired some time ago by the Ukrainian authorities.

NASAMS is Norway’s national air defense system. Its range is medium and is designed to counter drones, helicopters, and all types of fighter jets. NASAMS successfully resisted, intercepting and destroying cruise missiles.

It is not yet clear which version will be delivered to Kyiv, as NASAMS has developed three versions. Military experts suggest that Ukraine can receive NASAMS 2 [second version] as it has an integrated military tactical data link network link 16 used by NATO. Although Kyiv is likely to endanger the safety of its own air squadrons in this way, NASAMS 2 will allow it to quickly and accurately intercept weapons systems, aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles, and drones with Soviet or Russian designs.

However, the logic is that Ukraine should receive the first version of the system for security reasons. Although NASAMS is a very good anti-aircraft system, there is a possibility that the Russian armed forces will strike and destroy it. Thus, if this happens with version 2, Moscow will have access to sensitive Western technology.

Another problem is the missiles used. Unlike the weapons systems sent to Ukraine so far, NASAMS works with relatively new missiles, such as AIM-120 AMRAAM [Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile], AIM-9 Sidewinder, IRIS-T SLS short-range missiles, and AMRAAM- ER extended range missiles. They can also fall into Russian hands, giving them the same access to new technology.

Currently, nine countries are operating this anti-aircraft missile system and five more are in line waiting for a response to its acquisition. NASAMS has an average range: of between 25 and 30 km, depending on the missile used. The maximum altitude at which the rocket flies is 21 km.

Version 1 of the system works with US-built MPQ-64 Sentinel air defense X band 3D radar, but version 2 in addition to having Bink 16 has a significant update of the radar system, as experts say that it is better than version 1 It should be noted that NASAMS has secondary armaments that serve the crew of the system to provide protection in close combat. Secondary integrated weapons are the RBS 70 laser beam assisted MANPADS system, and the Bofors 40mm L70 gun [controlled by the Oerlikon Contraves FCS2000 mono-pulse doppler tracking radar].

US sends Norwegian ground 25km-range SAM, AIMs, IRIS-Ts to Ukraine
Photo credit: Kongsberg

NASAMS can be integrated into vehicles and thus from a ground-based to become a mobile system for difficult terrain. NASAMS can often be seen on a 6×6 chassis, but its practicality is that after a quick modification it can be easily integrated into vehicles with a 4×4 chassis.

The risk that the United States is willing to take by sending this anti-aircraft system to Ukraine is great, mostly because of fears of its capture. It remains to be seen whether Washington is willing to take such a risk.

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