KONGSBERG Defence & Space has signed a NOK1.6bn (A$269m) contract with Raytheon Australia to provide key elements of the Enhanced NASAMS system for the Australian Army’s Project LAND 19 Phase 7B short range ground based air defence (SRGBAD) system.
The contract signature with KONGSBERG coincides with the signing of the contract between the Commonwealth and Raytheon Australia as prime contractor for LAND 19 Phase 7B on June 20, barely three months after the system received Gate 2 milestone approval.
“We are pleased that Australia has chosen NASAMS, President Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS, Erik Lie said in a statement. “The continuous technical evolution of the system and addition of users confirms that NASAMS is the most modern and advanced air defense system in the world. NASAMS, produced by KONGSBERG and Raytheon, is the backbone air defence system for many nations in decades to come.”
KONGSBERG will provide its Fire Distribution Center (FDC) and cannister missile launchers for Enhanced NASAMS, CEA will provide the CEATAC and CEAOPS phased array radars and Thales and Rheinmetall the vehicles as government furnished equipment, and Raytheon will provide the AMRAAM missiles, and will be the system’s integrator. Elements of the system will be manufactured at a new Centre for Joint Integration (CJI) at Mawson Lakes in Adelaide.
The contract milestones comes shortly after KONGSBERG successfully fired a Raytheon AIM-9X Block II infra-red missile from a NASAMS cannister launcher and destroyed a target in flight for the first time in May at the Royal Norwegian Air Force’s Andoya Test Centre in Norway.
“This flight test opened the door for NASAMS customers to add a vital, short-range layer to their ground-based air defense,” vice president of Raytheon Air Warfare Systems, Kim Ernzen said in a June 19 statement. “Pairing Sidewinder with AMRAAM means forces can have complementary interceptors with a mix of sensors to better engage and destroy threats that may attempt to overwhelm a defense system.”
Executive vice president of Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS, Kjetil Myhra added, “The NASAMS path of evolution continues by demonstrating yet another capability from the Raytheon family of missiles in the system, giving customers a true missile mix with AMRAAM, AMRAAM-ER (Extended Range) and AIM-9X.”
The AIM-9X option is under consideration by the Australian Army as a future capability enhancement for the Enhanced NASAMS system being acquired under LAND 19 Phase 7B, as is the Raytheon AMRAAM-ER.