Norway to provide more air defense systems to Ukraine

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PARIS — Norway will donate more National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems, better known as NASAMS, to Ukraine, this time with a value of 335 million kroner (U.S. $31 million), the government said in a statement Wednesday.

Air defense is vital to Ukraine, and the country is asking for more systems to fend off Russian attacks, according to Norwegian Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram. Due to the urgent need for more systems, Norway will supply equipment from its own reserves.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre announced the additional support at a meeting with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Oslo, also promising 1 billion kronor in co-financing for a European effort to boost production of artillery shells and missiles for Ukraine.

“Ukraine is entering the third winter since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of its neighbouring country,” Støre said in a statement. “When it comes to military support, Norway will now be providing more air defence equipment to protect Ukrainian cities against the Russian attacks.”

The Norwegian government will donate eight more NASAMS launch systems and four more fire-direction units, which it says is the same number of systems as donated previously. The equipment can be sent “within a relatively short time” and will be crucial to strengthen Ukrainian air defense against Russian attacks this winter, Norway said.

NASAMS is a short- to medium-range system developed by Kongsberg and Raytheon. Norway in March said it would provide two firing units in cooperation with the U.S., in addition to two systems supplied by the U.S. in 2022.

The government said the systems from its own reserves can be donated without lowering Norway’s ability to defend itself.

Norway will provide more funds for the country’s industry to boost output of artillery ammunition and missiles, the government said in a separate statement Wednesday. That could allow the Norwegian defense industry to expand production capacity of shells, rocket engines, missiles and explosives by “several billion” kroner.

The country is boosting industry support to 950 million kroner from 500 million kroner, with project applications from Nammo Raufoss, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace and Chemring Nobel, the government said. Norway will also provide 190 million kroner to the European Union program to boost munition production capabilities.

Rudy Ruitenberg is a Europe correspondent for Defense News. He started his career at Bloomberg News and has experience reporting on technology, commodity markets and politics.

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