Raytheon Gifts Two More NASAMS to Ukraine: Raytheon Technologies, the American aerospace, and defense company based in Virginia, announced on Tuesday that two NASAMS air defense systems had arrived in Ukraine as part of an effort to shore up Ukraine’s air defense grid.
What Is NASAMS
NASAMS, short for National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System, is a short-to-medium-range ground-based missile system that is designed to take out cruise missiles, aircraft, drones, and a range of other missiles.
Speaking on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street,” Raytheon CEO Greg Hayes confirmed that the two missile systems were handed over to the United States government earlier this month and that they have finally reached Ukraine.
“We did just deliver two NASAMS systems,” Hayes said. “We delivered two of them to the government a couple of weeks ago. They’re being installed in Ukraine imminently.”
Hayes stressed the importance of the weapons system being used in Ukraine, explaining how the short-range air defense system can fire AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air missiles to “knock down everything in the sky from drones to ballistic missiles to fighter jets.”
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It comes as Russia prepares to import thousands more Iranian drones as part of an effort to bombard Ukraine with drone and missile strikes, forcing the Ukrainian military to rapidly use up its supply of rockets.
In September, Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told Pentagon reporters that a total of eight NASAMS would be delivered to Ukraine, with the first two expected within the following two months. The remaining four NASAMS would be delivered sometime in the future, though no exact time frame was offered at the time.
Reports suggested that all six NASAMS could be delivered within the space of a couple of years.
On October 11, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby announced that the delivery of the first two NASAMS would be expedited in the wake of new missile bombardments from Russian forces in Ukraine.
“We think that we’re on track to get those first two over there in the very near future,” Kirby told reporters. “We are certainly interested in expediting the delivery of NASAMS to Ukraine as soon as we can.”
The delivery of the first two NASAMS was a promise fulfilled by the White House, and while the remaining six NASAMS may arrive slightly sooner than anticipated, NATO allies are also speeding up the delivery of other air defense systems with a view to ensuring Ukraine can cope with future Russian missile and drone strike campaigns in the wake of fresh commitments from Iran to supply medium-range missiles and kamikaze drones.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.