The NASAM air defense system that the US provides Ukraine has a 100% success rate in intercepting Russian missiles, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on November 16, in the context of Western learned that the explosion in Poland on November 15 was caused by an accident of Ukraine’s air defense.
Speaking at an online meeting with defense ministers of several countries, Mr. Austin said the US would work with Poland to gather more information about the explosion and that he would not blame either party.
Unlike other expensive air defense systems, NASAM can use relatively low-cost air-to-air missiles deployed on fighter aircraft. The New York Times reported last week that NATO has many of these missiles.
The advanced NASAM air defense system was shipped to Ukraine amid concerns that the country’s military is running out of missiles to deal with missiles and UAVs from Russia.
Russia has stepped up air strikes against targets in Ukraine in recent weeks. Recently, President Zelensky called on Western countries to increase their support for the country’s air defense capabilities after Moscow attacked critical infrastructure.
NASAMS is one of the most advanced air defense systems developed in the West to date, capable of striking a wide range of aerial targets, from aircraft to cruise missiles and UAVs.
The system was developed by Norway’s Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace and Raytheon of the US, entered service in 1998 and is in service with the militaries of 9 countries. This is also the only fixed air defense complex deployed by the US to protect the airspace of Washington. NASAMS has a range of about 25-30 km, with high accuracy.