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Australia is enhancing its air and missile defense. The national advanced Surface to Air Missile System, NASAMS, was selected for the Australian Government’s Short Range Ground Based Air defense program known as LAND19 Phase 7B. The system will eventually become the inner tier of Australia’s integrated air and missile defense capability.
The announcement was made by Raytheon Australia and Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace, which joined the Australian Defense Minister, Christopher Pyne, and South Australian Premier, Steven Marshall.
NASAMS is a short to medium range air defense system owned by nine countries and has been integrated into the U.S. National Capital Region’s air defense system since 2005.
The system provides ground-based air defence against fixed wing aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial systems using the Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile).
In addition to the U.S., Norway, Finland, Spain, The Netherlands, Oman, Lithuania, Indonesia and one undisclosed country have chosen to depend on NASAMS for homeland defense and the defense of critical assets.
According to armyrecognition.com, the acquisition brings transformational change to the Army’s existing force protection capability, including a progression from man-portable ground-based air defense capability to a fully networked and distributed system. These advancements allow the Australian Army to counter complex air threats beyond visual range and significantly increases protection coverage for soldiers.
Raytheon Australia will open a first production facility in Australia, which will manufacture the LAND19 and other integrated air and missile defense projects, including the combat system upgrades to the Hobart Class destroyers. The two companies are building sovereign capability in this area.
As part of the deal, the Australian government requested up to 108 Raytheon AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), six AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM Air Vehicles Instrumented; and six spare AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM guidance sections, as reported by defenceconnect.com.au.