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Lithuania delivers NASAMS air defense systems to Ukraine

As reported by the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense (MoD) on November 10, 2023, the Lithuanian Armed Forces have delivered additional NASAMS air defense missile launchers to Ukraine. The delivery included necessary equipment and high-mobility vehicles for NASAMS crews, with a portion of the additional equipment, including maintenance equipment and fire distribution centers, donated by Norway.
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The delivery of additional NASAMS air defense missile launchers to Ukraine by the Lithuanian Armed Forces also included high-mobility vehicles for NASAMS crews. (Picture source: Lithuania MoD)

The NASAMS launchers procured by Lithuania will be integrated into the fire control units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, further building on the operational capability established through NASAMS donations from the United States and Norway.

The Defense Materiel Agency under the Lithuanian MoD signed a contract with Norway's Kongsberg for the NASAMS purchase in June 2023. Prior to the assistance transfer, comprehensive training for Ukrainian troops, including drivers and maintenance personnel, was conducted in Norway.

Minister of National Defense Arvydas Anušauskas underscored Lithuania's commitment to supporting Ukraine's defense, having provided military assistance totaling approximately half a billion dollars. Future aid packages are anticipated to include mortar ammunition, logistical vehicles, and cold-season equipment.

The National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) has been in service since 1997, developed collaboratively by Norway and the United States and manufactured by Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace in conjunction with Raytheon Missiles & Defense.

Unlike systems requiring large operational teams, the NASAMS is designed for efficiency, necessitating only a two-person crew. This minimizes labor costs and facilitates deployment in various operational scenarios. As reported on November 2, 2023, the Norwegian Ministry of Defense announced an agreement to enhance the NASAMS air defense capabilities, which will include Norway, the American company Raytheon, and the Norwegian company Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace.

In terms of performance, the NASAMS is recognized for its versatility, with different versions offering varying capabilities. The NASAMS 2, equipped with the AMRAAM missile, boasts an effective firing range of 30 km. The more advanced NASAMS 3, using the AMRAAM-ER missile, extends this range to an impressive 50 km. The system's radar capabilities are noteworthy, with the NASAMS 2 featuring the MPQ-64F1 radar, providing a radar track range of 120 km, allowing ample time for decision-making and engagement of incoming threats.

The NASAMS 2 can engage targets at altitudes up to 21 km, while the NASAMS 3 variant, equipped with the AMRAAM-ER missile, can reach altitudes as high as 35.7 km. This high-altitude capability positions the NASAMS as a defense against a spectrum of aerial threats, ranging from low-flying drones to high-altitude bombers.


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