Ukraine Deploys NASAMS And APSIDE Anti-air Missiles In Kyiv

In the course of the Russia-Ukraine war, Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov has claimed that the country has acquired the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS).

Sharing the news, Reznikov tweeted, “Look who’s here! NASAMS and Aspide air defence systems arrived in Ukraine! These weapons will significantly strengthen #UAarmy and will make our skies safer. We will continue to shoot down the enemy targets attacking us.”

Ukrainian military at the Spanish air base in Zaragoza. October 2022. Spain. Photo credits: Ministry of Defense, Spain

Stating that the Ukrainian skies will now be safer, Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov thanked countries like the USA, Spain and Norway, addressing them as Ukraine’s partners. 

Spain helps Ukraine ensure the protection of its airspace from Russian air and missile strikes.

The new military assistance package from Spain includes a battery of the Aspide anti-aircraft missile system, four Hawk air defense systems, anti-tank missile systems, as well as guns and shells for them.

This was stated by Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, at a briefing in Kyiv with his Spanish counterpart, José Manuel Albares, according to European Pravda.

“I am very glad that there is a new package, it is already on its way to Ukraine, and in the near future our state will strengthen its defense capabilities by receiving a battalion of the Aspide anti-aircraft missile system and missiles to it, four Hawk air defense systems, anti-tank missile systems, guns and shells to them, as well as other military equipment,” he stressed.

What is NASAMS? 

According to Norwegian international technology group Kongsberg Gruppen, the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System or NASAMS has a “net-centric architecture” and provides “multiple simultaneous engagements”. The NASAMS enhances the total fighting capabilities of the armed forces by defending the skies from any attacks. According to Kongsberg, around 12 countries have the system deployed.

The system’s flexible architecture is capable of “carrying multiple missiles”. Kongsberg said, “It has the ability to introduce new capabilities to counter current and future threats.”

The NASAMS is known for its unprecedented firepower and has low manning requirements. Countries like Sweden, Norway, France and the USA have the technology to defend their lands. 

The Aspide air defence system

Another acquisition by the Ukrainian army is the Aspide air defence system The Aspide is an Italian medium-range air-to-air and surface-to-air missile produced by Selenia (now part of the Alenia consortium). Provided with a semi-active radar homing system the Italian Medium range missile often gets confused with a version of the American AIM/RIM-7 (Sea) Sparrow. Selenia claims that Aspide has “original technology electronics, warheads and a new and more powerful engine.”

In the mid-1980s, China imported a small batch of the Aspide Mk.1 from Italy, then the country signed an agreement with Alenia to produce the missile locally under a license. China then developed its own version of the missile and called it LY-60.

As the NASAMS and Aspide systems arrived in Ukraine, Reznikov hoped these weapons would significantly strengthen the Ukrainian Army. 

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