Once “Rejected” By India, The US To Give Ukraine “Game-Changing” NASAMS; Will The Game Now Change For Ukraine?

In the meantime, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov confirmed that the German air defence system IRIS-T has arrived in Ukraine and that the US ground-based antiaircraft system NASAMS is on its way.

“There are already IRIS-Ts from Germany here. US NASAMS are on their way. This is just the start. And we need more,” Reznikov tweeted.

According to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Russia fired at least 83 cruise missiles in response to the explosions that shook its strategic Crimean Bridge. At least 43 of these were said to have been shot down by Ukrainian troops. But it’s not possible to check it on your own.

At the G7 meeting to talk about the “horrific” air raid, Zelensky made a case for more advanced air defence systems because the situation had gotten so bad that hundreds of people had to hide in bomb shelters and there was a lot of damage to the energy infrastructure.

The White House agreed to speed up the delivery of two of the eight National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) that had been promised to Ukraine. In addition to IRIS-T, the US sent Ukraine four more M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Tuesday that they are on track to send the first two NASAMS there soon. He said, “We are definitely interested in getting NASAMS to Ukraine as soon as we can.”

NASAMS is a powerful system that the US uses to protect the airspace around the White House and the US Capitol in Washington. Reports say that the missile system can hit targets that are more than 100 miles (161 kilometres) away.


The National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) is the first ground-based air defence system with a short to medium range. It has a net-centric design, can engage many targets at once, can shoot beyond visual range (BVR), and is tightly integrated and customised to a country’s integrated air and missile defence system (IAMD).

The US hasn’t said which version of the system will be given to Ukraine. The system can be set up in many different ways.

The US has looked into HIMARS as part of its “common launcher” idea. NASAMS can also be put on HIMARS. HIMARS is already in use in Ukraine, and it has become the country’s most powerful weapon against Moscow.

EurAsian Times had said before that the US had tested three different kinds of missiles from a single National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System with an open architecture (NASAMS).

The AIM-9X Sidewinder was the option with the shortest range for the test. The Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) was the option with the middle range, and the AMRAAM-Extended was the option with the longest range. The US hasn’t said which missile will be sent with the NASAMS to Ukraine.

Military experts say that air defence systems can’t completely protect all of Ukraine’s land. But air defence systems like NASAMS could help Ukraine protect key military installations and other high-risk places from attacks.

The system was made by the Norwegian company Kongsberg Defense and the American company Raytheon. It is already being used in more than one country. Recent years have seen a huge rise in demand for it.

It’s interesting to know that India, one of the US’s partners in the Quad, was once also offered the NASAMS, but turned it down.

When India Considered Buying The NASAMS

Before the coronavirus pandemic, India was very close to getting the NASAMS II from the US. This is an improved version of the basic NASAMS model. At the time, the US government had told Congress that NASAMS II was going to be sold to New Delhi for USD 1.86 billion.

India wanted to buy the system so it could build a multi-layered missile defence like the one that the United States has. At the time, Indian sources said that the purchase of NASAMS would be part of the national capital’s overall air defence shield, which also included the country’s own Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) shield.

India planned to use it along with the S-400 Triumf air from Russia and the Barak-8 medium-range surface-to-air missile made by a joint venture between India and Israel.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency of the US government said that the proposed sale to India would have included five AN/MPQ-64Fl Sentinel radar systems, 118 AMRAAM AIM-120C-7/C-8 missiles (the surface-to-air version of the medium-range air-to-air missiles that Pakistan used against India after the Balakot strike), three AMRAAM Guidance Sections, and 134 Stinger FIM-92L missiles.

But this deal never happened, so India didn’t get to buy this high-tech air defence system. As Livefist previously reported, the Indian Air Force told the government that it would rather put money into the country’s multi-tiered Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) programme, which includes medium- and long-range surface-to-air missiles.

Since then, no one has said anything about getting NASAMS II. Reports say that India’s ballistic missile defence (BMD) programme, which has been in development for 20 years, is ready for deployment in a configuration for the country’s national capital region, with more phases planned to improve its capabilities.

At the moment, the BMD system is made up of the Prithvi Air Defense (PAD) and the Advanced Air Defense (AAD) interceptor systems. This layered architecture could be improved by adding NASAMS II.

More than two dozen countries already use NASAMS, and so far, the system has been able to stop missile attacks in the unique place it was put.

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