Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace has received a contract from Raytheon Australia to supply National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) components.

The Nkr1.6bn ($186.2m) contract will support the Australian Government’s Land 19 Phase 7B programme for the army.

Raytheon Australia is the prime contractor for the delivery of the NASAMS missile systems to the programme that seeks to deliver the army-operated component of the Joint Integrated Air and Missile Defence (JIAMD) capability.

The new air defence capability will serve as the Australian Army’s principal air defence weapon, replacing the existing short-range air defence (SHORAD) capability, including the RBS-70.

Under the project, Australia will acquire new capability elements, including radars, missile launchers, command and control systems, as well as integration with current army vehicles and radios.

The Australian Government approved the A$2.5bn ($1.76bn) acquisition of NASAMS in March. The approval came after a year-long risk mitigation activity that involved the integration of NASAMS with in-service protected vehicles, communication systems, tactical data links, and radars.

Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace President Eirik Lie said: “We are pleased that Australia has chosen NASAMS. The continuous technical evolution of the system and the addition of users confirm that NASAMS is the most modern and advanced air defence system in the world.

“NASAMS, produced by Kongsberg and Raytheon, is the backbone air defence system for many nations in decades to come.”

“The new air defence capability will serve as the Australian Army’s principal air defence weapon.”

Being developed for the army, the ground-based surface-to-air missile system will have a beyond-visual-range capability.

The NASAMS weapon system is designed to quickly detect, engage, and destroy aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, and cruise missile threats.

Sense, warn and locate capabilities of the system’s counter rocket artillery and mortar (C-RAM) will help mitigate the threat of indirect weapons.

The Australian Army already received NASAMS familiarisation training from Raytheon and Kongsberg.