NASAMS sub-units inaugurated at Gyor army base

Two sub-units of the high-tech Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) were inaugurated at a Hungarian army base in Gyor, in north-western Hungary, on Thursday.

By installing NASAMS, the Hungarian Armed Forces will have a cutting-edge ground-based air defence system providing high-altitude medium-range capabilities, Defence Minister Szalay-Bobrovniczky said at the ceremony.

The strongest feature of the NASAMS used in 12 other countries is that it enables the formation of a network of command positions, he said.

NASAMS operate with US-made premier AMRAAM missiles which are widely used in other NATO countries as well as by Gripen fighter jets, the minister added.

Szalay-Bobrovniczky noted that the Surface-to-Air Missile Operations Center (SAMOC), a complete infrastructure provided by the Airbus Defence and Space company allowing country-wide coordination started operating last year.

The installation of ELM-2084 multifunctional radars purchased from Israel is ongoing, the minister said, adding that similar radars operate as “the eyes” of Israel’s Iron Dome air defence system.

Addressing the ceremony, Kyrre Lohne, vice president of Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace AS (KDA), the company that developed NASAMS, said the inauguration took place in record time, only three years after the purchase contract was signed.

Hungary is the first NATO country to use NASAMS extended-range AMRAAM missiles, he said, adding that the purchase had been made under cooperation of the Hungarian and Norwegian government with the participation of the US government and Raytheon, a major US defence contractor and industrial corporation.

KDA will supply another four NASAMS sub-units and the technical equipment of a smaller back-up sub-unit by next summer, according to the press material distributed at the event.

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