In a significant development for Hungary's national defense, the Tibor Dánielfy 205th Air Defense Missile Regiment barracks in Győr witnessed the ceremonial handover of two units of the NASAMS air defense missile system recently.
During the handover event on October 27, Minister of Defense Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said, "There is no national sovereignty, no security, and no effective homeland defense without well-functioning ground-based air defense systems." The Minister highlighted the system's ability to provide high-altitude and medium-range protection and its unique network-based structure, allowing it to establish control stations. This feature sets it apart as a valuable asset for the Hungarian Defense Forces (HDF).
The NASAMS system employs U.S.-made AMRAAM missiles, which are not only prevalent in NATO member states but also used on HDF Gripen fighter aircraft. Szalay-Bobrovniczky also pointed out the recent addition of the Multifunctional Air Defense Missile Operation Centre (SAMOC) and the ongoing deployment of Israeli LM 20-84 multifunctional radars, part of the Iron Dome system.
Vice President of Norwegian Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace AS, Kyrre Lohne, noted the record time it took to deliver the system, three years from the contract signing.
Hungary holds the distinction of being the first NATO country to employ the extended-range AMRAAM missiles with NASAMS.
The acquisition involved cooperation between the Hungarian and Norwegian governments, as well as the U.S. government in collaboration with Raytheon. According to the provided press materials, four additional NASAMS units and technical equipment for a smaller reserve unit are expected to be delivered by the summer of 2024.
One of NASAMS' standout features is its ability to deploy radars and missile launchers at a distance from each other.
The NASAMS system is capable of employing various types of missiles, with a range that varies from approximately eight to 50 kilometers, depending on the specific type.
In closing, Minister Szalay-Bobrovniczky emphasized the global significance of the NASAMS system, stating that it has already proven its combat effectiveness in the Russo-Ukrainian conflict.