Air defense umbrella over Kyiv – a medium-range NASAMS was deployed

KYIV ($1=37.63 Ukrainian Hryvnias) — As BulgarianMilitary.com wrote in early August, the US promised Ukraine the delivery of NASAMS. Almost three months later, the first NASAMS battery has already been deployed over Kyiv. Thus, the Ukrainian capital strengthens its air defense, integrating NASAMS.

Joint defense between Spanish NASAMS and US AH-64 Apache
Photo credit: YouTube

NASAMS is a Norwegian-American production. The system uses new missiles, such as the AIM-9X, AMRAAM, and AMRAAM-ER. The air defense system is short to medium-range system. I.e. it can engage air targets up to 50 km away, with the system’s radar detecting them at least 120 km away.

The delivery of NASAMS to Ukraine also attracted many opponents of this idea. Especially in the US, where experts have said that the use of new missiles means they could also end up in the hands of the Russians. Thus, the new technology will be studied by Moscow. However, at the moment, the deployment of NASAMS outside the front line [Kyiv] does not give the Russians access to the technology in the AIM-9X, AMRAAM, and AMRAAM-ER.

More NASAMS expected

The first NASAMS delivered and deployed will not be the last. BulgarianMilitary.com wrote at the end of August that Washington had placed an order for the production of more such systems. All of them are planned for Ukraine.

However, according to the Pentagon, these systems are not planned for the moment, but for the future. The year 2024 is considered the optimal option when Kyiv will acquire at least one more NASAMAS system.

Link 16

The delivery of NASAMS and its deployment as an air defense umbrella in Kyiv means that the system has been redesigned before its delivery. NASAMS operates on a Link 16 data link. This means that the system recognizes “friend-foe” and by default as enemy weapon technologies of Soviet and Russian design are at stake.

F-35 will carry solid rocket-ramjet AARGM-ER: INS/GPS, 250km range AGM-88 HARM
Photo credit: Wikipedia

The “rework” or “reconfiguration” of NASAMS will not be new to the war in Ukraine. Weeks ago, BulgarianMilitary.com published information that the Americans had found a way to integrate the HARM missile into the weapon racks on the wings of the MiG-29, which is of Soviet design and operated by Ukraine. Another fact was later confirmed – in addition to the MiG-29, the Su-27 also received a HARM missile, following the process of integration into the previous model of Soviet fighters.

NASAMS in brief

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, intercepted, and destroyed cruise missiles.

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.

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.

Spain has deployed the short- to medium-range NASAMS in Latvia
Photo credit: Kongsberg

NASAMS I of the system works with US-built MPQ-64 Sentinel air defense X band 3D radar, but NASAMS II in addition to having Link 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].

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