NASAMS selected by Australia for new air defence capability

NASAMS Australia
National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) | Image credit: Kongsberg Defence

The Australian Department of Defense (DoD) announced 25 March that the Raytheon/Kongsberg National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) has been selected for the Australian Government’s Short-Range Ground Based Air Defence program known as LAND19 Phase 7B.

Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne said, “This new air defence capability combines world-leading Australian radar technology with a highly effective air defence system that will contribute to the protection of our service men and women from modern airborne threats. The capability will be based on the Raytheon/Kongsberg National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) which is used by several countries including the United States. I’m delighted to announce that one of Australia’s most innovative technologies will be used to further enhance the effectiveness of NASAMS and contribute to one of the world’s best short-range ground-based air defence systems.”

Minister for Defence Industry Linda Reynolds said, “Australian industry will secure more than $1 billion of the total investment in acquiring and maintaining the short-range air defence capability. Today’s announcement will create opportunities for defence exports generating employment for at least 100 Australian workers over the projected life of the capability. This project is further proof of the Government’s determination to build a sovereign and sustainable defence industrial base as a national strategic asset, and is another example of Australian industry playing an integral part in developing world-class capability for the Australian Defence Force.”

Most of the work will be done at the new Raytheon Australia Centre for Joint Integration, which will be built in the defence industry precinct at Mawson Lakes with a $50 million investment from Raytheon.

In a statement, Kongsberg Defence said that in 2017 NASAMS was chosen for a Single Supplier Limited Tender process and has gone through a Risk Mitigation Activity, and subsequently passed Government approval marked at today’s event in Adelaide. NASAMS is a fully networked and distributed system allowing the Australian Army to counter complex air threats beyond visual range and, considerably increase protection of Australian soldiers. 

Eirik Lie, President Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS said, “This announcement lays the foundation for further expansion in Australia and the region. KONGSBERG sees more significant opportunities in Australia and have been a partner to the Australian Defence Force for 30 years starting with the Penguin anti-ship missile program. We opened an office in Canberra last year and is increasing our staff in the country.”

NASAMS is currently in service with nine nations, US, Norway, Finland, Spain, The Netherlands, Oman, Lithuania, Indonesia and one undisclosed country.