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Australia plans to develop missile system

Australia is planning to develop a ground-to-air missile system based on a Kongsberg-designed weapon system.

By
Richard Tomkins
Kongsberg-designed NASAMS defense system is to be used as the basis for an Australian air defense project. Photo courtesy of Kongsberg
Kongsberg-designed NASAMS defense system is to be used as the basis for an Australian air defense project. Photo courtesy of Kongsberg

April 10 (UPI) -- Australia intends to develop a ground-based missile capability using the Kongsberg-designed National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System.

The NASAMS-based solution for the Australian Army will come through a single supplier limited tender process to Raytheon Australia, which will be the prime systems integrator. Kongsberg, which manufactures NASAMS along with Raytheon, will be a major subcontractor.

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"We are pleased to see that NASAMS is recognized as the preferred ground-based air defense capability solution for the Australian Army and we are looking forward to the process leading to a contract," said Eirik Lie, president of Kongsberg Defense Systems.

The Australian NASAMS will feature locally made components and be mounted on Hawkei vehicles.

"A modern and integrated ground-based air defense system is needed to protect our deployed forces from increasingly sophisticated air threats, both globally and within our region," said Australia Minister for Defense Marise Payne.

"Australia's current short-range capability is 30 years old and due to be retired early next decade. The replacement system will provide improved protection for our deployed service men and women."

Australia's Department of Defense said Raytheon will conduct workshops across the country to give them the opportunity to be part of the project's supply chain.

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