The Raytheon contract provides for procuring six “National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems [NASAMS], associated equipment, services and spares in support of the efforts in Ukraine.”
NASAMS was developed by Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, a Norwegian defense company, and Raytheon. In the U.S., the systems are used to defend the National Capital Region from possible air threats. “These are proven systems that will continue making a difference on the battlefield,” said William LaPlante, undersecretary for defense for acquisition and sustainment, in a November 30 statement.
Last month Washington pledged to send Ukraine a total of eight NASAMS as Kyiv and western countries try to counter missile barrages from Russia.
The Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) enables the Biden administration to procure weapons for Ukraine from industry contractors instead of using presidential drawdowns to send arms from existing weapons stocks.
The six NASAMS systems in the new Raytheon contract are part of the fifth USAI package, announced on August 24, which had a total value of $2.98 billion, according to an Army Statement. The other two NASAMS were funded by the third USAI package that was announced in July, according to Reuters.
Ukraine received delivery of the first two NASAMS, capable of firing AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles, in November, which the U.S. Department of Defense describes as “extremely successful.” According to the Pentagon, the newly provided NASAMS has had a 100% success rate in intercepting Russian missiles.
Ukraine will receive the other missiles once they have been built.
Doug Bush, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics, and technology, confirmed that the U.S. was accelerating its weapons acquisition process to more effectively replenish its weapons stocks as the war in Ukraine continues, reported Reuters.
“Acquisition speed and agility is a top priority,” Bush said in a statement. “The rapid award of this contract is another example of the Army’s ability to accelerate the delivery of critical capabilities through our industry partners to our allies.”
Thus far, under the Biden administration, the United States has committed more than $19.3 billion in security assistance to Ukraine.