What is the NASAM air defense system that the US is sending to Ukraine?

It is considered to be the "world’s first operational network centric short to medium-range ground-based air defense system."

A view shows captured Russian tanks with installed Ukrainian flags, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, near the town of Izium, recently liberated by Ukrainian Armed Forces, in Kharkiv region, Ukraine September 19, 2022. (photo credit: GLEB GARANICH/REUTERS)
A view shows captured Russian tanks with installed Ukrainian flags, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, near the town of Izium, recently liberated by Ukrainian Armed Forces, in Kharkiv region, Ukraine September 19, 2022.
(photo credit: GLEB GARANICH/REUTERS)

The US will send NASAM air defense systems to Ukraine within the next two months, Pentagon Press Secretary Patrick S. Ryder announced at a Tuesday press briefing.

"The US has not delivered NASAMS to Ukraine at this stage. We expect the first two to be delivered within the next two months or so," he said.

NASAMS was originally developed by the Norwegian business unit Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace and American multinational aerospace and defense conglomerate Raytheon Technologies.

"The US has not delivered NASAMS to Ukraine at this stage. We expect the first two to be delivered within the next two months or so."

Patrick S. Ryder

Short for Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System, NASAMS is the "world’s first operational network centric short to medium-range ground-based air defense system," according to Kongsberg.

The Kongsberg website describes the air system to have "unprecedented firepower, low manning requirements, redundancy and flexibility."

 Smoke rises over the remains of a building destroyed by a military strike, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Lysychansk, Luhansk region, Ukraine June 17, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/OLEKSANDR RATUSHNIAK) Smoke rises over the remains of a building destroyed by a military strike, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Lysychansk, Luhansk region, Ukraine June 17, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/OLEKSANDR RATUSHNIAK)

Ukraine will likely be using the air defense system against Russian forces in their ongoing war since late February.

Is this a response to the Russian mobilization and use of Iranian drones?

Russian President Vladimir Putin recently announced a partial military mobilization with reservists being called up with a focus on those who have military experience.

Earlier this month, it was confirmed that Russia has been carrying out strikes using Iranian-style Shahed 136 drones. As for the Russian drones produced domestically, most of the drones made do not meet up with the standards of the Russian Defense Ministry, Russian media reported.