The US has begun procuring National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) for Ukraine, a Pentagon official revealed at a press conference Friday.

Washington announced the procurement as part of an $820 million military aid package on July 1 through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative.

Co-developed by Raytheon and Norwegian Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace, the ground-based air defense system is expected to provide a significant upgrade over Ukraine’s Soviet-era air defenses, chiefly relying on S-300s.

“…we are already in the process of procuring the system (NASAMS). Because we, when we at the moment, we announced the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, NASAM’s procurement, we move forward with that,” a senior defense official responded when asked for an update on system procurement.

National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System. Image: Forsvarets Mediearkiv/Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace

Utilizes AMRAAM Platform

Once procured, Ukrainian soldiers will undergo training to operate the system, a senior defense official told Defense News last month.

NASAMS comprise a command post or fire detection center, “an active 3D radar Raytheon AN/MPQ-64F1 Sentinel, a passive electro-optical and infrared sensor, and a number of missile canister launchers with AMRAAM missiles.” 

The system intercepts fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, drones, and cruise missiles at a range of 30 to 50 kilometers (19 to 31 miles) depending on the munition employed.

System design offers operational flexibility to protect air bases, seaports, and population centers.

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