Hungary has taken delivery of its first two NASAMS air defense systems from Norway as part of a 410-million-euro ($439-million) contract signed in November 2020.
An official handover ceremony was held in northwestern Hungary, with Defense Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky and other military officials in attendance.
According to the minister, the arrival of the NASAMS systems will enable the military to provide enhanced security and protection to Hungarian citizens and assets amid increasing threats in Europe.
“There is no national sovereignty, no security, and no effective homeland defense without well-functioning ground-based air defense systems,” Szalay-Bobrovniczky stressed.
“We have acquired a brand-new, state-of-the-art air defense missile system, which will be a cornerstone of the transformed and fully armed capabilities of the 21st-century Hungarian military.”
The NASAMS will be used by the Győr Air Defense Missile Regiment, replacing a Soviet-era defense system.
‘More Critical Now Than Ever’
The NASAMS, which stands for National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System, is a highly adaptable, medium-range air defense solution composed of Raytheon’s Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) and Sentinel radar.
It can identify, engage, and destroy aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles, and drones, as well as provide better protection to high-value assets against air-to-surface threats.
Szalay-Bobrovniczky emphasized that the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine and the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict are among the reasons why defense systems are crucial on today’s battlefield.
“It is now more critical than ever for Hungary, after years of military downsizing, to rebuild its independent, high-altitude, and medium-range national defense capabilities, and the tools for achieving this goal stand before us today,” he remarked.
With the recent delivery, Hungary became the 12th country to operate the highly-acclaimed NASAMS air defense system.