Norway Tests New 'Milestone' Mobile Air Defence

© AP Photo / PRNewsFoto/Raytheon CompanyNASAMS
NASAMS - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.05.2022
The test of NASAMS high-mobility launcher marks the first time the Norwegian army is getting mobile air defence. In the past, it relied on static air defences and for over a decade had none whatsoever due to military spending cuts.
The Norwegian Armed Forces have tested a brand new missile system at the Andøya Test Centre in Nordland County.
This is the first use of the novel NASAMS high-mobility launcher with vehicle-mounted anti-aircraft missiles. In the past, the Norwegian Army used static air defences that lack the opportunity to follow marching troops. For nearly 15 years, the Army has had no air defence at all. Combat air defence was disbanded in 2004, and slowly revived starting 2018 as part of the Artillery Battalion within Brigade North.
“This is the first time we get something that can follow a land force that moves in the terrain,” Army spokesman Eirik Skomedal said in a statement.
In the meantime, the Army had to borrow ground-based air defence from the Air Force.
“It is an important milestone for them to be able to shoot sharply, and I would also like to say that it is a very important milestone in the reconstruction of air defence in the Norwegian Army, which has unfortunately been closed for many years”, Ole Jørgen Maaø, Royal Norwegian Air Force Academy associate professor and historian, told national broadcaster NRK. According to him, the reasons why air defence has not been developed before are mostly financial, as the Norwegian Armed Forces have been through drastic cuts.
The novel air defence has a range of 20 kilometres; it is able to shoot down aircraft, drones, cruise missiles and helicopters, and is expected to be fully operational in 2024.
Женщины и мужчины-призывники во время базовой подготовки в Норвегии  - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.04.2022
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Army spokesman Skomedal cited the 2008 war in Georgia, Crimea's re-unification with Russia in 2014 and the ongoing demilitarisation campaign in Ukraine, all portrayed as “invasions” in the West, as the underlying reasons for the air defence build-up. At the same time, he denied that the re-armament is a direct consequence of the ongoing Ukrainian conflict, instead calling it a “coincidence” as building things up in a military context takes several years and longer.
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