KONGSBERG has confirmed that the first Mk 2 Canister Launchers for the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) have passed their Factory Acceptance Tests (FAT), achieving the first major production milestone for the Commonwealth’s LAND 19 Phase 7B project.
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Following the tests, KONGSBERG confirmed that the products form the first shipment of Canister Launchers to Australia under the Commonwealth defence program.
In 2019, Raytheon Australia was selected as the prime contractor for the LAND 19 Phase 7B project with Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace and Kongsberg Defence Australia supporting the prime's delivery of Short-Range Ground-Based Air Defence capabilities to the ADF. The NASAMS Ground Based Air Defence weapons system is currently used by, or in the process of procurement by, 12 nations across the world, and is jointly developed by KONGSBERG and Raytheon Technologies.
It is hoped that the new air defence system will enable the Australian Army to swiftly detect and destroy enemy capabilities, including aircraft, unmanned vehicles and cruise missiles. The newly tested capability is integrated with a new common ground launch rail, enabling the use of multiple missile weapons systems.
Leif Roar Olsen, Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace vice president air defence programs, explained that the partnership between the company and the Australian Army demonstrates the importance of technology sharing arrangements to build a stronger defence force.
“Successful Factory Acceptance Testing of the first Mark 2 Canister Launchers is a significant milestone for KONGSBERG. We have also been working closely with our Australian colleagues to ensure that we have a local workforce with the technical skills and expertise required to undertake final assembly, integration, and test of Army’s NASAMS Canister Launchers, as well as supporting them whilst in service,” Olsen said.
“Project Engineers from Kongsberg Defence Australia recently travelled to Norway to learn about the Canister Launchers from KONGSBERG specialists in preparation for shipment to Australia in early 2022.”
The Canister Launchers are expected to be painted by a South Australian company and trialled under a Fire Distribution Centre First of Type Factory Acceptance Test in the first half of the year.
The Launchers are expected to be delivered to Raytheon Australia's Centre for Joint Integration at Mawson Lakes expected in July.
“Army’s NASAMS Mark 2 Canister Launchers will allow them to employ a mixture of different AMRAAM missile variants, as well as the AIM-9X Block 2 missile. This mix of missiles is highly effective against advanced aircraft, just like they are on the F-35A and Super Hornet, as well as being highly effective against air-delivered threats such as cruise missiles,” John Fry, general manager of Kongsberg Defence Australia, said.
“Importantly, the Mk 2 Canister Launcher that will be provided to the Australian Army under NASAMS is the most modern launcher configuration. Successfully completing the first live-fire tests last year, this latest launcher also provides options for additional missile types.”
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