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US approves $3B NASAMS sale for Kuwait

NASAMS AMRAAM-ER launch in Norway
Photo: Raytheon

The US State Department has approved the potential sale of National Advanced Surface-To-Air Missile System (NASAMS) kit to Kuwait for an estimated $3 billion.

According to the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), Kuwait requested to buy seven Sentinel radars, which provide guidance for the system’s missiles. Also included in the request were AIM-120C-8 AMRAAM, AMRAAM-Extended Range (AMRAAM-ER), and AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II tactical missiles.

NASAMS is produced jointly by Norway’s Kongsberg and US-based Raytheon Technologies. The system is in service with, or under delivery to, 12 nations, with most recent customers including Hungary, Lithuania, and Australia.

One of the most recent operators is Ukraine, which received the systems from the US to better defend against the Russian invasion. Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy confirmed in late September that Ukrainian armed forces had received the first two NASAMS batteries.

Raytheon is responsible for delivering its advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAM) for the system, while Kongsberg is supplying launcher systems.

Should the deal with Kuwait be completed, the principal contractor would be Raytheon. The quantities and potential contract values set out in the State Department’s notification to Congress are also subject to change.

“The proposed sale will improve Kuwait’s capability to meet current and future threats by enhancing the ability to defend itself against regional malign actors and improve interoperability with systems operated by US forces and other Gulf countries. Kuwait’s continued investment in its defensive capabilities is crucial to protecting its borders, energy infrastructure, and its residents, including over 4,000 US citizens and military personnel living and working in the country. Kuwait will have no difficulty absorbing this capability into its armed forces,” DSCA said in a statement.

Earlier this summer, the US State Department also approved the sale of AMRAAM missiles and guided bombs to Kuwait for its Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft for an estimated cost of $397 million.