Australian DoD Announces New Short-Range Air Defense Capability

The Australian government announced on March 25 its intended procurement of a new short-range air defense capability involving the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) from Norway’s Kongsberg and U.S.-based Raytheon’s Australian arm. Australia will purchase two versions of NASAMS, one involving a trailer-mounted six-cell launcher and the other  involving four missiles fitted to a Hawkei 4×4 armored vehicle.

Australian Minister for Defense Industry Linda Reynolds stated that local industry will secure more than AUD1 billion ($708 million) of the AUD2.5 billion ($1.77 billion) program known as Project LAND 19 Phase 7B.

NASAMS is intended to replace the Australian Army’s existing 30-year-old system (based on the Saab RBS70 short-range man-portable air defense system and the Lockheed Martin PSTAR-ER radar) that is slated for retirement in the early 2020s. The new system will provide the innermost layer of Australia’s integrated air and missile capability as outlined in the 2016 Defence White Paper and will be operated by the Army’s 16th Air Land Regiment.

NASAMS was tapped by the Australian government to meet the Project LAND 19 Phase 7B requirement via a Single Supplier Limited tender process on April 10, 2017. Under the project, Raytheon Australia serves as prime contractor, with Kongsberg acting as subcontractor.

NASAMS – photo via Kongsberg

About Daniel Darling

Dan Darling is a senior analyst covering both the Europe and Asia-Pacific regions for Forecast International's International Military Markets group.

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