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More NASAMS for Spain

The Spanish Directorate General of Military Procurement (DGAM) signed a contract with the Norwegian company Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace for the delivery of additional NASAMS air defense systems.

On Wednesday, May 29, 2024, the Norwegian company Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace (KDA) announced the signing of a contract worth approximately EUR 410 million (USD 445 million) with the General Directorate of Armament And Materiel (Dirección General de Armamento y Material, DGAM) of the Spanish Ministry of Defense for the delivery of additional NASAMS (National/Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System) air defense systems in the latest configuration (NASAMS III) as part of the Spanish Armed Forces’ air defense modernization program.

Photo: KDA

“We are delighted to strengthen the long-standing relationship with the Spanish Army and the Spanish Air and Space Force through deliveries that will significantly increase the existing NASAMS capability of Spain and further strengthen the cooperation between Spain and Norway,” said Eirik Lie, President of Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace.

“One of the earliest adopters of NASAMS, Spain has relied upon this advanced and combat-proven system to defend against current and emerging threats,” said Tom Laliberty, president of Land & Air Defense Systems at Raytheon, an RTX business. “Through this contract, Spain will enhance its existing air defence capabilities, while contributing to collective European security.”

The signing of the contract follows the contract award notification issued by DGAM on April 19 and communicated by KDA. The number of fire units ordered was not disclosed.

NASAMS is the world’s leading medium-range air defense system, jointly offered by KDA and Raytheon. Spain was the first international user of NASAMS, and the country has operated NASAMS for over 20 years. Spanish NASAMS units are currently deployed in the Baltic states as part of NATO’s mission to strengthen the Alliance’s eastern flank. Currently, the NASAMS users include 13 countries belonging to NATO and their partners, including Ukraine, which has received systems as part of international military aid.

NASAMS II launcher on an Iveco M250 chassis from the 73rd Anti-Air Artillery Regiment / Photo: Outisnn via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

A NASAMS battery consists of six launchers, an AN/MPQ-64F1 Improved Sentinel 3D radar, a command and control vehicle equipped with a Link 16 data transmission system, and a vehicle with an optoelectronic observation and targeting unit. One battery, operating within an integrated air defense system, can simultaneously engage up to 36 air targets, such as aircraft, helicopters, and cruise missiles.

Spain ordered four NASAMS II fire units in 2003. It is possible that the new systems will replace the older MIM-23 HAWK Phase III system, of which six batteries have been promised to Ukraine. Additionally, Aspide 2000 systems have been transferred from the Air and Space Force (Ejército del Aire y del Espacio).

Within the air defense command of the Spanish Army (Mando de Artillería Antiaérea, MAA), NASAMS systems are grouped in the III Air Defense Group with the Marines, part of the 73rd Anti-Air Artillery Regiment (Regimiento de Artillería Antiaérea n.º 73) from Cartagena, as well as the Canary Islands General Command in the 94th Anti-Air Artillery Regiment (Regimiento de Artillería Antiaérea n.º 94).

As part of the aforementioned modernization of Spain’s air defense, on October 5, 2023, the U.S. Department of State approved the potential sale of four MIM-104F Patriot PAC-3+ air and missile defense systems for up to USD 2.8 billion.


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