Australia Looks at New SHORAD

Raytheon NASAMS
The Raytheon NASAMS employs the firm’s AIM-120 missile family as its armament. (Raytheon)

Australia’s Department of Defence announced in mid-April that it will invest up to $1.4 billion in the development of a new Short-Range Air Defence (SHORAD) system.

To this end, Raytheon is to adapt its Norwegian/National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) to Australian requirements. NASAMS is essentially a ground-based version of the Raytheon AIM-120 active radar homing-guided air-to-air missile developed in collaboration between Raytheon and Kongsberg. According to a statement announcing the news published by the Australian DOD, the initiative will investigate whether the missiles can be mounted onboard the Australian Army’s forthcoming Thales Hawkei four-wheel drive vehicles, and will seek to utilise CEA Technologies’ CEAFAR S-band (2.3-2.5/2.7-3.7 gigahertz)air surveillance radar which is already used on the Royal Australian Navy’s ‘ANZAC’ class frigates. NASAMS is in service in Norway, Finland, The Netherlands, Oman, Spain and the United States. It was not indicated when the Australian systems might be fielded.

by Stephen W. Miller