Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has confirmed the arrival of much-touted NASAMS and Aspide air defense systems to the war-torn country.
“Look who’s here! NASAMS and Aspide air defense systems arrived in Ukraine!” Reznikov wrote on social media, thanking Norway, Spain and the United States.
Look who’s here!
NASAMS and Aspide air defence systems arrived in Ukraine!
These weapons will significantly strengthen #UAarmy and will make our skies safer.
We will continue to shoot down the enemy targets attacking us.
Thank you to our partners: Norway, Spain and the US. pic.twitter.com/ozP4eXhgOg
— Oleksii Reznikov (@oleksiireznikov) November 7, 2022
The United States will provide six additional NASAMS to Ukraine, but those are not expected to be delivered anytime soon. US allies, such as Germany and Spain, are also providing Ukraine with air defense capabilities.
NASAMS are short-to-medium-range ground-based air defense systems that can defend against drones, helicopters, cruise missiles, and aircraft.
Earlier, as EurAsian Times reported, the US had pledged to hasten the delivery of the National Advance Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) to Ukraine after Russia started an unprecedented bombardment of its cities on October 10.
Raytheon Technologies announced last month that it had delivered the first two of the NASAMS air defense systems promised to Ukraine to the US government.
Ukraine had repeatedly asked for NASAMS to counter Russia’s bombardment using cheap, expendable suicide drones it bought from Iran. In the face of brutal attacks targeting critical infrastructure, the calls for NASAMS only got louder.
NASAMS is a robust defense system that guards sensitive airspace surrounding the White House and US Capitol in Washington. The missile system reportedly has a range of more than 100 miles, and the troops in Ukraine believe that it would be a game-changer, much like the HIMARS.
The cutting-edge capabilities of NASAMS include a net-centric design, numerous simultaneous engagements, beyond visual range (BVR) capabilities, and its ability to be tightly integrated and tailored to a country’s integrated air and missile defense system.
NASAMS Strengths & Limitations
The NASAMS uses the AIM-120 AMRAAM adapted for ground launch. When fired from an aircraft, the AMRAAM has high energy on launch. When fired from the surface, the AMRAAM has no energy on launch.
It has to climb and accelerate, expending its rocket motor fuel. As such, the range of the system is limited to around 30 km. The system has no area defense capability.
The NASAMS is a point defense system created to protect critical assets. It is deployed around Washington, and at one point, India was set to deploy it around New Delhi.
The NASAMS-2 variant, likely to be delivered to Kyiv, has a Link-16 data link. It means that the system needs no surveillance radar. It can be cued towards the target over a data link by an airborne surveillance asset.