The Norwegian Government will invest in National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) equipment supplied by its indigenous supplier, Kongsberg, and the US defence prime, Raytheon.

According to a 16 November press release, Kongsberg agreed to supply eight launcher units and four fire control centres for the systems. Likewise, Government officials indicated that Raytheon would supply new missiles for air defence vehicles and three different missiles for NASAMS with various range capabilities.

These investments are currently subject to parliamentary approval, and individual contracts will be announced when they have been concluded.

“NASAMS air defence is the result of the long-standing co-operation between the Norwegian Armed Forces, the authorities, research institutions and private industry, and today’s news from the Government will contribute to the further development of NASAMS,” says Eirik Lie, President of Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace.

Norway’s NASAMS capabilities

NASAMS are medium-range, network-centric air defence systems designed and developed jointly by Kongsberg and Raytheon, primarily for the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

The system can be deployed to identify, engage, and destroy aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as protect high-value assets and mass population centres against air-to-surface threats.

The missile system can engage 72 targets simultaneously in active and passive modes. The primary weapon of the system is AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAM).

Restocking air defence after Ukraine donations

Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year, Europe has become the leading geographical segment in the global missile defence system (MDS) market.

According to intelligence from GlobalData, the continent maintains a 31.1% share of the market since several countries contributed military aid to Ukraine and are eager to restore their stockpiles to optimum levels to meet their national security requirements.

Norway is one such country which had previously donated, among other equipment and services, two NASAMS firing units, which followed the same contribution made by the US in the autumn of last year.

The MDS sector is one of the largest in Norway and GlobalData forecasts it to be the fastest growing in coming years, with a compound annual growth rate of +28.6% for the 2023-2028 period. Several domestic Norwegian companies, including Kongsberg and Nammo AS, are among the largest missile manufacturers and exporters in the world.