The first line of defence

Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace and the Polish Ministry of National Defence have signed a contract worth $173.5 million for a second battalion-sized Nadbrzezny Dywizjon Rakietowy (NDR) unit of the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) Coastal Defence System, reported Doug Richardson, IHS Jane’s Missiles & Rockets correspondent.

A standard NASAMS unit has a modular design comprising a command post FDC, an active 3D radar AN/MPQ64F1 Sentinel, a passive electro-optic and infra-red sensor and a number of missile canister launchers with AMRAAM missiles
A standard NASAMS unit has a modular design comprising a command post FDC, an active 3D radar AN/MPQ64F1 Sentinel, a passive electro-optic and infra-red sensor and a number of missile canister launchers with AMRAAM missiles

NSM was originally developed as a shipboard system for the Royal Norwegian Navy (RNN), and entered service on Norway’s new Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates and Skjold-class corvettes in 2012. An earlier contract signed by Poland in 2008 covered the 6 launchers and 12 missiles needed to arm the first NDR, and deliveries started in mid-2013. This order made Poland the first export customer for the shore-based version. An additional 38 missiles and associated logistics equipment were ordered in December 2008.

A second NDR had always been planned, but in April 2014, Poland decided to speed its procurement as part of the country’s reaction to the current crisis in Ukraine.

The coast-defence variant uses command and weapon control system similar to that of the Kongsberg/Raytheon Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS), while its radar system and communications system are provided by Polish subcontractors, as are the trucks used to carry the missile launchers.

The new contract will also cover the setting-up of a capability to maintain the NSM system in Poland. This will involve the Polish company Wojskowe Zaklady Elektroniczne (WZE). Kongsberg also plans to expand its co-operation with Polish industry to cover what Kongsberg president Harald Ånnestad described as «a broader technological arena».

 

Characteristics:

  • Open architecture provides growth potential;
  • Single and multiple engagement capability;
  • Unprecedented fire capability;
  • Beyond visual range capability with active seeker missile;
  • Strategic and high mobility;
  • Low manpower requirements;
  • Network Centric Warfare principles of operation;
  • High survivability against electronic countermeasures;
  • Look down/shoot down capability;
  • High value asset defense, area and army defense, vital point and air base defense.
The radar and launcher elements can be deployed over a large area separated by up to 25 kilometres, providing an extended coverage with few elements
The radar and launcher elements can be deployed over a large area separated by up to 25 kilometres, providing an extended coverage with few elements

 

Integration of sensors and effectors

The proven, fielded, reliable and highly capable NASAMS system contains a BMC4I (Battle Management, Command, Control, Computers, Communications, and Intelligence) Air Defense capability through the integration of sensors and launchers. It employs the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AIM-120) as the primary weapon. Targets are detected and tracked by a high-resolution, 3D pencil beam radar. Multiple of these radars and the associated Fire Distribution Centres (FDCs) are netted together via radio data links, creating a real-time recognized air picture.

NASAMS can fire on target data provided by external sensors. Advanced emission control features of the radars minimize the risk of revealing the NASAMS unit’s own position. The FDC automatically performs track correlation, identification, jam strobe triangulation, threat evaluation and weapon assignment. The AMRAAM missiles used within NASAMS are identical to those used on fighter aircraft, yielding considerable rationalization returns for the user.

 

NASAMS in operation

The Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) was the first customer to introduce the NASAMS program. Because of their success during NATO live flying exercises, NASAMS batteries are taken extremely serious by NATO aircrew. From 2004, NASAMS is earmarked by the Norwegian armed forces to be deployed in support of international crisis management operations. NASAMS is under continuous development and every new program is adapted to the latest available technology. Currently, NASAMS is in use in 6 different nations.

NASAMS uses the Raytheon AMRAAM missile, identical to the AMRAAMs used on fighter aircraft
NASAMS uses the Raytheon AMRAAM missile, identical to the AMRAAMs used on fighter aircraft

 

NASAMS features

Status of NASAMS:                            In production and in operational use

NASAMS Tests & tactical firings:             162 (90,5 % success)

AMRAAM Dual use (identical missile): Fighter Aircraft and NASAMS

AMRAAM combat kills:                                  >9

Target sets:                                                            Aircraft, UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), helicopters, cruise missiles, UCAVs (Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles)

NASAMS Architecture:                                  Open SW & HW architecture, COTS (Commercial Off-The-Shelf software), Network Centric

Simultaneous multiple engagements: 72

Engagement modes:                                      Active and/or Passive

Mission of Reference:                                   >70,000 hours in the U.S.(continuous operations (24/7), ongoing)

Transportability:                        Air (C-130 and helicopter), Sea and Land

Data links (implemented and in use):  Link 16, JRE, Link 11, Link 11B, LLAPI, ATDL-1 (Army Tactical Data Link – 1)

Mission Planning Tool:                              Embedded and stand-alone (PC)

NASAMS User nations:                                 6

Air Defence C2 (FDC) User nations:   10

AMRAAM User nations:                             35

 

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