US Follows HIMARS, HARMs & Harpoons With New Killer Missiles; Zelensky Says Thank You President Biden

On September 25, the Ukrainian president acknowledged that the US had delivered the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) to the country.

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This is the first time Kyiv confirmed the delivery of this weapon, which it had long sought and whose transfer was approved by Washington late last month. 

In an interview, President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed his gratitude to US President Joe Biden for transferring a new air defense system.

However, he noted that the systems so far delivered would not be “even nearly enough to cover the civilian infrastructure, schools, hospitals, universities, homes of Ukrainians.”

Zelensky also thanked the American officials for the high-mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS) and other equipment that assisted Ukraine in fending off the invasion of the Russian forces. 

The National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System, best known as NASAMS™, is a highly adaptable mid-range solution for any operational air defense requirement.
The National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems. Image: Raytheon Missiles & Defense

NASAMS is anticipated to considerably improve Ukraine’s defensive capabilities and enable it to protect its strategic assets. In August 2022, the US promised to send six NASAMS units to Ukraine to help with the protection of Kyiv, the country’s capital, and defend its population and vital resources.

This month, Ukraine launched counter-offensives to liberate vast tracts of land from the occupation in the northeastern Kharkiv region. Also, it has advanced in the south.

On September 25, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry mocked Moscow’s partial mobilization to reinforce its forces in Ukraine by sharing a compilation of online footage showing Russian police beating and detaining men protesting the call-up.

“We understand that not all Russian troops are like this; Russia still has remnants of a professional army that the UA army hasn’t yet destroyed. We also know that soon these “soldiers” will be at the front, and with such a love for alcohol, it will be easier for them to die on our land,” the ministry tweeted. 

The video in the tweet showed Ukrainian troops advancing and Russian armored vehicles being destroyed, as well as the graves of Russian soldiers, a map of the more than 8,500 square kilometers (3,282 sq. miles) that had been retaken from Moscow’s forces.

National Advanced Surface-To-Air Missile System (NASAMS)

The NASAMS was jointly developed by Raytheon and Norway’s Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace in 1994. The Royal Norwegian Air Force first deployed the system.

The two companies signed a ten-year deal in June 2015 to extend their cooperation on NASAMS until 2025. This highly adaptable mid-range air defense system consists of the Sentinel radar, the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile, and the KDA’s fire distribution center. 

NASAMS equips air defenders with a customizable, cutting-edge defense system that enhances their capacity to detect, engage, and destroy current and evolving enemy aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, and emerging cruise missile threats.

In both active and passive modes, the system can attack 72 targets at once, and by employing active seeker missiles, it can also intercept targets beyond visual range. 

National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS)

The NASAMS is outfitted with three launchers, each of which may accommodate up to six missiles. The AIM-120 AMRAAM is the system’s primary weapon. It can also employ the AIM-9X Sidewinder and ESSM.

Since 2007, NASAMS II, a more advanced version of the system, has also been in operation. It features 12 missile launchers and a new radar for more efficient target recognition and elimination. 

The NASAMS can utilize numerous warning and tracking radars shared through integrated links of 16 networks with a range of air defense interceptors. The NASAMS-3 incorporates the AIM-9X, a shorter-range interceptor.

AIM-9X is jointly developed by the US Navy, US Air Force, and Raytheon Missile Systems Team. It is designed with the essential offensive and defensive air-to-air capability to shoot down hostile cruise missiles and aircraft.

According to the manufacturer’s website, this air defense system has already been deployed by 12 countries. This includes the US, Norway, Finland, Spain, the Netherlands, Oman, Lithuania, Indonesia, Australia, Qatar, Hungary, and one undisclosed country. 

NASAMS has been used to protect the National Capital Region (NCR) by the US since 2005. After that, the Spanish Army purchased four units in 2003. Later, NASAMS was purchased by Lithuania, Oman, and Indonesia.

The improved NASAMS II air defense system was purchased by Norway, Finland, and the Netherlands. Meanwhile, Australia, Qatar, and Hungary have also procured the NASAMS units since 2017 to protect their strategic assets.