The Ukrainian armed forces have received the first two batteries of the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) from the United States.
This was confirmed by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy in an interview on Sunday.
Zelenskiy thanked President Joe Biden for the transfer but stressed that the systems so far delivered would not be “even nearly enough to cover the civilian infrastructure, schools, hospitals, universities, homes of Ukrainians.”
According to unconfirmed reports, the batteries are expected to be deployed to Kharkiv.
Jointly developed and produced by Raytheon and Norway’s Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, NASAMS consists of the Sentinel radar, Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile, and KDA’s fire distribution center. Other missiles that can be launched from a NASAMS include the AIM-120 AMRAAM B/C5/C7, and the AIM 9-X Sidewinder Block II missile.
NASAMS provides air defenders with a tailorable, distributable defense system that allows them to identify, engage and destroy current and evolving enemy aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and emerging cruise missile threats.
It is unclear how many NASAMS Ukraine will eventually receive, but Raytheon received a $182.3 million contract to produce the systems for Ukraine in August this year. In the same month, the US defense department committed to the transfer of an additional six NASAMS systems as part of a broader military assistance package for Ukraine.