The US Department of State has approved the possible sale of the NASAMS (National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System) air defense and related equipment to Ukraine for $285 million, reported by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).
Ukraine has requested the purchase of NASAMS, which includes one Sentinel radar, a fire control center, launchers, a secure communications system, and other equipment. Raytheon Technologies, one of the biggest aerospace and defense companies in the US, is the prime contractor for the deal.
“Ukraine has an urgent need to increase its capabilities to defend against Russian missile strikes and aircraft. Acquiring and effectively deploying this capability will enhance Ukraine’s ability to defend its people and protect critical national infrastructure,” the statement said.
The proposed sale, according to the DSCA, is consistent with US foreign policy and national security objectives as it enhances the security of the partner country.
The NASAMS mobile air defense system was developed by the Norwegian company Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace in cooperation with Raytheon to destroy enemy aircraft at medium and low altitudes in all weather conditions. It’s basically a ground-based launcher system that uses the AIM-120 and AIM-9X air-to-air missiles, normally used by fighter aircraft such as the F-16 and F-35, adapted for use with mobile radars.
As a ground launched surface-to-air missile, it can engage targets at a distance of up to 30 or 50 kilometers and an altitude of up to 21,000 meters or more, depending on the missile version.
It serves as an added layer of an integrated-air defense system to be used as point defense in tandem with the much longer-range, more strategic Patriot surface-to-air missile system.