Norway announces record air defense purchase

NASAMS air defense system delivered to Hungary. (Wikimedia Commons)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

Norway has announced its largest-ever investment in air defense as European nations continue to shore up their own security.

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store told NRK on Wednesday his administration would invest 12.5 billion kroner ($1.15 billion) on procuring short, medium, and long-range ground-based NASAMS missiles, as well as launchers and firing control centers.

“With this investment, the government is contributing to strengthening our national preparedness and we are replacing the air defense donated to Ukraine as soon as possible,” Store said.

Developed from the original air-to-air AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles of the United States, the NASAMS (Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System) was jointly developed by Norway’s Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace and the U.S.’s Raytheon (now RTX).

“NASAMS air defense is the result of the long-standing cooperation between the Norwegian Armed Forces, the authorities, research institutions, and private industry, and today’s news from the government will contribute to the further development of NASAMS,” said Eirik Lie, president of Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace.

The system consists of radars, missile launchers, and command centers. The Norwegian order is of a similar size to that ordered by Hungary in 2020 when the country bought four NASAMS batteries at a reported cost of $1 billion.

Norwegian Defense Minister Bjorn Arild Gram said Norway urgently needs a modern air defense system, but noted that international demand for such systems is very high.

“Delivery times are longer than we would like,” the Norwegian minister said, which is why the government must order new systems now and has taken extraordinary measures to speed up ordering.

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