Hungary Confirms Interest To Acquire US Air Defense Systems That Shield Washington DC

Hungary has reportedly agreed to acquire NASAMS air defense systems in a bid to bolster its air defense network, developed by the Norwegian company Kongsberg and American defense giant Raytheon for an estimated cost of $1 billion.

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The country is set to take its first deliveries of the system in 2023, reports mentioned. Hungary had signed a letter of intent (LoI) to acquire the system recently in August.

The U.S. State Department had agreed to the possible Foreign Military Sales of the systems which included AIM-120C-7/C-8 AMRAAM­ER (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile), and two (2) spare AIM-120C-7/C-8 AMRAAM-ER guidance sections and related equipment for an estimated cost of $230 million.

“By selecting the NASAMS systems, which also protect the U.S. capital and are in widespread use in NATO, we have opted for a solution providing the best fit with alliance requirements,” a statement cited government commissioner Gaspar Maroth as saying, Reuters reported.

NASAMS launcher


Abbreviated for National/Norwegian Advanced Surface to Air Missile System, the NASAMS is an air defense system developed by the Norwegian company Kongsberg.

Simply put, the system incorporates the AIM-120 AMRAAM (manufactured by Raytheon) to a ground-based launcher, making the air-to-air missile into a surface-to-air missile system.

A NASAMS battery consists of 3 multi-missile launchers, each of which carries 6 AMRAAM missiles in protected canisters connected to the central fire distribution center. The system is integrated with the American MPQ-64 Sentinel Air Defense radar.

The Norwegians even developed a more advanced variant of the NASAMS, called the NASAMS-2, which started fielding in 2006. The major difference between the two versions is the use of Link 16 on NASAMS 2 as well as a better ground radar.

A complete NASAMS (2) battery consists of 12 missile launchers (LCHR) (each one carrying six AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles), eight radars (AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel F1 Improved Sentinel X band 3D radar), one fire control center (CTOC), one electro-optical camera vehicle (MSP500) and one Tactical Control Cell (TCC) vehicle.

In short, the NASAMS-2 comes with a better radar, mobility, new sensors, which makes it a highly capable short-range air defense system.

The NASAMS II, which comes with net-centric architecture, multiple simultaneous engagements and beyond visual range (BVR) capabilities, was first deployed in Washington DC in 2005 as part of the steps taken to protect the city from another 9/11 type attack. Since then, it has been deployed in 15 countries.

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