US Wants to Move NASAMS Missile System from Middle East to Ukraine, Ready to Fight Russia?

US Wants to Move NASAMS Missile System from Middle East to Ukraine, Ready to Fight Russia?
US Wants to Move NASAMS Missile System from Middle East to Ukraine

Washington - The United States (US) wants to transfer the NASAMS advanced missile defense system from Middle Eastern countries to Ukraine to counter the Russian invasion. This was conveyed by the chief executive officer (CEO) of Raytheon Technologies Greg Hayes. He said America has been working with Middle Eastern countries on the plan.

The plan, said Hayes, is that several NASAMS (National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems) units will be moved within the next three to six months. Furthermore, America will replace the new NASAMS in the Middle East over the next 24 months.

"There are NASAMS deployed in the Middle East, and some of our NATO allies and we (the US) are actually working with some Middle Eastern countries that are currently using NASAMS and trying to redirect it to Ukraine," Hayes said, as quoted by Politico, Saturday (3/3/2019). 12/2022).

He noted that diverting defense systems from the Middle East is faster than building new ones in the US. "Just because it took 24 months to build, doesn't mean it took 24 months to be accepted into (the) country," he said. Hayes said it took two years to build a new NASAMS because of the time needed to buy the electronics components and rocket motors.

President Joe Biden's administration was asked to agree to an arrangement to transfer air defense systems to Ukraine. However, a Department of Defense spokesperson was not immediately available to respond to a request for comment. Ukrainian officials have spent months lobbying the US to send NASAMS to Kiev to counter Russian missile attacks. The system has a longer interception range than other air defense equipment Western countries have sent to Ukraine.

The first two arrived in early November, and the US is promising more to come. Also read: Two New NASAMS Systems Installed in Ukraine Today On Wednesday, the US Army awarded a contract worth up to USD 1.2 billion to deliver six NASAMS to Ukraine by 2025.

The agreement is part of the fifth Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative package and includes training and logistical support. Raytheon declined to name the Middle Eastern countries whose NASAMS would be transferred to Ukraine. But the buyers in the region are Oman and Qatar, according to Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) records.

Oman signed a contract with Raytheon in 2014 to acquire NASAMS, with delivery in 2016. The US cleared Qatar to buy NASAMS in 2019. The American government notice did not make clear how many systems Oman and Qatar were buying.

The training presents a challenge for the US when it comes to sending advanced equipment to Ukraine. According to Hayes, Norwegian personnel trained about 60 Ukrainians with two NASAMS. Kongsberg, a Norwegian company, developed NASAMS together with Raytheon. Training to use NASAMS usually takes six months, but Ukrainians are trained in 60 days. Hayes said Raytheon has support facilities in the region where the company can provide technical support after units have been fielded.

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