Russian helplessness – both NASAMS had a 100% success rate

WASHINGTON — The US plans to send a total of eight NASAMS systems to Ukraine. Two are already operational and taking part in the defense of Ukraine, the other six will be delivered in the next 12 to 24 months. They will be part of Ukraine’s future strategic anti-aircraft missile system.

Russian helplessness - both NASAMS had a 100% success rate
Photo credit: Twitter

The NASAMS sent to Ukraine are now operationally capable and showing impressive results. This is what the Secretary of Defense of the United States, Mr. Lloyd Austin, said in his speech this Wednesday, November 16th. Austin also added that NASAMS had a 100% success rate in Ukraine. Confirmation of the deployment of NASAMS to Ukraine and the start of their work there was also given by Pat Ryder, who is a spokesman for the US Department of Defense. “The [NASAMS] systems are now in Ukraine and operational,” Ryder said during a press briefing.

A video is circulating on the web, which claims that a Russian Kh-101 missile was intercepted and shot down precisely by the AIM-120 and the NASAMS system.

Russia has launched massive periodic missile attacks on Ukrainian cities, targeting energy infrastructure and military data centers that exchange information with US reconnaissance drones and early warning aircraft flying over the Black Sea and along the Ukrainian-Polish border.

NASAMS was one of the compromise solutions so far to be sent to Ukraine by the West and Kyiv’s allies. The two systems are already deployed over Kyiv and should close the capital’s skies. NASAMS uses the AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles, which are air-to-air by default but have been adapted for ground launch as well. In principle, like any other similarly adapted system, the energy and initial force of a launch from the ground is less if the missile is launched from a fighter.

This means that the initial power in flight from a high-speed fighter is missing. I.e. in the case of a ground launch, the missile ends its flight until the fuel is completely used up, which most often in this particular case happens up to 30 km. This is quite a short range compared to some variants of the missile, such as the AIM-120D, which reaches up to 160 km operational range. Such a range was made by this missile during tests launched by the American fighter F/A-18F Super Hornet.

However, in the background of Austin’s statement, Russia made a counter-statement, claiming that all the missiles fired hit their targets. Despite Austin’s claims, clips of missile strikes, even in Kyiv, have since appeared online, showing that exactly “100% success” is the correct definition of the system. Lt. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, said that “the military struck Ukrainian positions using high-precision missiles against military command posts and related energy infrastructure.”


NASAMS also has a hard time dealing with targets flying at low altitudes and changing trajectories strongly and rapidly. Such targets, for example, are loitering munitions such as the Russian Lancet drones and the Iranian Shahed-136 drones. There are reports that the system has taken down such munitions, but it can hardly deal with a swarm of loitering munitions. It is also not financially viable to use the system against drones, which cost in the $20,000/$30,000 range, while an AIM-120 AMRAAM missile is in the range of just over $1 million.

However, NASAMS is expected to curtail any attempt at air dominance by the Russian Air Force in the skies over Kyiv. Russia can no longer afford to send its aircraft to high altitudes, nor to medium altitudes, as such air defense systems, as well as Soviet-designed S-300 systems, would be quite successful against Russian 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. The system 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].

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

On 21 February 2022, the Russian government claimed that Ukrainian shelling had destroyed an FSB border facility on the Russia Ukraine border. Moscow also claimed that it had killed 5 Ukrainian soldiers who tried to cross into Russian territory. Ukraine denied being involved in both incidents and called them a false flag.

On the same day, the Russian government formally recognized the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR as independent states. According to Putin not only in their de-facto controlled areas, but the Ukrainian Oblasts as a whole. Putin ordered Russian troops, including tanks, to enter the regions.

Ukraine 'uses' 30 US fighters, incl F-35 and AWACS in the war
Photo credit: Emilio Morenatti/AP

On 24 February 2022, Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine by Russian Armed Forces previously concentrated along the border. The invasion followed by targeted airstrikes of military buildings in the country. The invasion followed also by targeted tanks entering via Belarus border.

Russia has so far not recognized the invasion of Ukraine as a “war”, although that is exactly what it is, claiming that it is a “special military operation”. According to the UN, in which Russia has its permanent representation, for military action to be defined as a “special military operation”, it must have a resolution issued by the UN. There is no such resolution, which automatically defines the military actions of the Russians as an invasion and war against the citizens of Ukraine.


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