Norway has unveiled a strategy to fortify its air defence capabilities by accelerating the production and procurement process of the NASAMS Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS)

In a move aimed at bolstering national security readiness, the Norwegian Government has earmarked approximately NOK 941m ($88.4m) for Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, signalling a concerted effort to streamline the delivery of components essential for NASAMS deployment.

With the backdrop of escalating global tensions and the recent conflict in Ukraine as a stark reminder of the importance of air defence systems, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre emphasised the imperative to safeguard civilian and military assets from aerial threats.

“We must enhance Norway’s air defence capabilities to protect both civilian and military objectives from air attacks more effectively. The present security climate necessitates the expedited procurement of advanced air defence systems,” stated Støre.

According to GlobalData’s intelligence on the Norwegian defence market, NASAMS is a medium-range ground-based air defence system.

NorwayLithuania, and the US have bolstered Ukraine’s air defence capabilities against Russian aggression through donations and sales of NASAMS. These efforts aim to enhance Ukraine’s defence against missile and drone attacks. 

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The investment proposition, slated for submission to the Norwegian Parliament, reflects a proactive stance by the Government in collaboration with Kongsberg, a player in the defence industry.

Geir Håøy, CEO of Kongsberg, welcomed the initiative, highlighting the company’s commitment to enhancing production capabilities in alignment with national security priorities.

NASAMS, developed through a collaboration between Kongsberg and American Raytheon, enjoys widespread adoption, with deployments in 13 countries. However, recent challenges in production timelines have prompted the Norwegian Government to intervene.

Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram noted the prevalent issue of extended delivery periods within the defence industry, underscoring the necessity of proactive measures to address these concerns.

“This government initiative will allow us to expedite NASAMS deliveries once new contracts are finalised. It offers us the chance to secure critical components with lengthy delivery schedules sooner than was previously possible,” remarked Eirik Lie, CEO of Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace business area, emphasising the strategic significance of the investment in mitigating production bottlenecks and ensuring timely deployment of air defence assets.

Norway, in collaboration with Raytheon and Kongsberg, has also been enhancing the mobility and operational flexibility of the NASAMS by purchasing eight NASAMS launchers and four fire control units from Kongsberg to replace stock deployed to Ukraine, along with new missiles from Raytheon for its air defence vehicles.

The commitment to enhancing NASAMS production reaffirms Norway’s commitment to national security and underscores the country’s role as a proactive contributor to regional stability. As geopolitical dynamics continue to evolve, investments in advanced air defence systems are a cornerstone of Norway’s defence strategy, ensuring preparedness in an increasingly uncertain global landscape.