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On May 24, the State Department gave its approval for a foreign military sale to Ukraine of National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) from Raytheon Missiles and Defence, with an estimated value of $285 million.

The proposed sale is expected enhancing the security of Ukraine and play a crucial role in promoting political stability and economic progress in Europe, according to a release from the US Defence Security and Cooperation Agency (DSCA).

Ukraine is facing a pressing need to enhance its defence capabilities against potential missile strikes and aircraft attacks from Russia. The highly adaptable mid-range air defence solution NASAMS will allow the Ukrainian forces to defend themselves against advanced air threats. The acquisition and efficient deployment of this capability is set to improve Ukraine’s capacity to safeguard its citizens and shield vital national infrastructure, during a conflict with Russia that has seen an extensive use of missile and drone attacks.

NASAMS deal contents

The NASAMS deal includes a single AN/MPQ-64F1 Sentinel Radar and an array of essential components, including a Fire Distribution Centre (FDC), canister launchers, secure communications, GPS receivers, code loaders, and cable sets. Additionally, tool kits, test equipment, support equipment, prime movers, generators, technical documentation, spare parts, US Government and contractor technical support, and other related elements of logistics and programme support are also included.

The NASAMS system is comprised of several components, including the AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel radar, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace’s Fire Distribution Centre, launcher, and a variety of munitions that include the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile, Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile Extended Range, and AIM-9X.

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Air-defence capability enhancements

While the deal will be welcomed by supporters of the defence of Ukraine against Russia’s invasion, but the DCSA notes that the proposed sale of the equipment and support is not expected to have any significant impact on the existing military balance in the region. It also notes that the proposed sale is not expected to have any negative effects on the readiness of the United States’ defence capabilities.

The deal with Raytheon Missiles and Defence, contains no offset agreements proposed in relation to this potential sale, and it will not necessitate the assignment of any more US Government or contractor representatives to Ukraine.

Raytheon was awarded a separate contract to supply Ukraine with an additional 6 NASAMS and munitions in August 2022, with a value of $182m, awarded as part of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative. Norway delivered an additional 2 NASAMS in March 2023, in cooperation with the US.