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Norwegian Army to receive air-defence capability

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Norway's army is to receive a new ground based air defence system derived from Kongsberg's NASAMS. Source: Kongsberg

The Norwegian Army is to be equipped with a new ground-based air-defence system, the country's Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 6 February.

The move ends a policy that has been in place since the early 2000s, whereby ground-based air defence has been the responsibility of the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF).

Known as the Army Ground Based Air Defence project, the new system is expected to leverage the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) in service with the RNoAF. NASAMS is essentially a ground launching system for the Raytheon AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM).

According to the MoD, the Forsvarsmateriell (Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency - NDMA) will now work with NASAMS manufacturer Kongsberg to define the final system solution for the army; and then place a production contract. Deliveries of the new system to the army are expected to take place between 2018 and 2021.

In a statement, Kongsberg said, "Army Ground Based Air Defence is a highly mobile, short-range air-defence system based on some existing elements in today's structure in combination with the acquisition of some new elements. The system will reuse NASAMS command and control and its unique network solutions."

The RNoAF currently operates the updated NASAMS II system in two configurations: a six-round truck-mounted/towed pedestal launcher, and a lightweight four-round launcher fitted to a High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV). When ground launched, the AMRAAM missile has a range of 20 km.

The Norwegian Army will also operate two versions of its new air-defence system, the high mobility variant, and a new version to be mounted onto a tracked chassis. It's expected that the tracked platform is intended to provide an organic air-defence capability to the Norwegian Army's Leopard 2 tank units.

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