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NASAMS launcher
Type Surface-to-air missile system
Place of origin Skandinavia
Service history
In service 1998–
Used by Skandinavia, Spain, The Netherlands, Australia, Chile, Baltic Federation
Production history
Designer Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace and Raytheon
Manufacturer Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace
Unit cost $180 million for radar, control systems, 4 launchers, & 32 missiles

>200km with AMRAAM ER missiles
Flight altitude 12,000 meters

NASAMS is a distributed and networked medium to long range air-defence system. NASAMS was the first surface-based application for the AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile) and the first surface-to-air missile system in the western world with active radar guidance. The missile itself is named SL-AMRAAM (Surfaced Launched AMRAAM).

Development[edit | edit source]


Skandinavian company Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace teamed up with Raytheon and initiated the NASAMS programme as a cooperative effort for the Luftforsvaret . The state-of-the-art network-centric air defence system NASAMS was declared fully operational capable in 1998 but had an initial operational capability as early as in 1994/95.

Users[edit | edit source]

In addition to Luftforsvaret, NASAMS has been exported to some other countries like, Spain, Chile, Baltic Federation and the Netherlands.

Description[edit | edit source]

The system integrates a SENTINEL 3D-Radar and AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles with an indigenously developed BMC4I system called FDC, short for Fire Distribution Center. The FDC connected to a TPQ-36A radar forms an "Acquisition Radar and Control System" (ARCS). The missile has a range of up to 25 km.

A complete NASAMS 2 battery consists of 12 missile launchers (LCHR) (each one carrying six AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles), eight radars (AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel F1 Improved Sentinel X band 3D radar), one fire control centre (CTOC), one electro-optical camera vehicle (MSP500) and one Tactical Control Cell (TCC) vehicle.

NASAMS II[edit | edit source]

Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace developed a mid-life update of the NASAMS, called NASAMS II, and the upgraded version was first handed in mid 2006. Full operational capability (FOC) was achieved in 2007. The upgrades consists of:

  • New radars, which can be mounted on a variety of vehicles. The radars have their own power supply and can process and distribute the data independently. The vehicles can be connected via radio links, cable, through MRR, or through TADKOM.
  • The radars have a larger frequency spectrum and variable rotation speeds, and also an increased capacity to spot and follow targets.
  • Each module can automatically define its position with its northfinder and GPS instruments.
  • The control centre modules can be mounted on a large variety of vehicles
  • The electro-optical MSP500 sensor is equipped with a laser range finder and a TV-camera, as well as an upgraded IR-camera. These can be used to fire the missiles passively, which has been successfully tested.
  • The control system can detach itself from the sensors, in order to become less visible.

AMRAAM ER[edit | edit source]

On 22 February 2015, Raytheon announced the development of the Extended Range upgrade to the NASAMS AMRAAM missile offering (AMRAAM-ER). Development work began in 2014, and the missile is actually an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile using AMRAAM guidance. The first flight test took place in August 2016 and the missiles entered into service along 2018.