The first shipment of NASAMS and Aspide air defense systems have been delivered to Ukraine’s armed forces.  

The weapons arrived in Ukraine on November 7, 2022, Ukraine’s defense minister Oleksii Reznikov confirmed. “These weapons will significantly strengthen the Ukrainian army and will make our skies safer,” the minister said in a Twitter statement.  

"We will continue to shoot down the enemy targets attacking us. Thank you to our partners: Norway, Spain, and the US,” Reznikov concluded.  

The new batch of defense systems have been received while Russia continues to target civilian areas, such as power plants and other electrical infrastructure across Ukraine. The Ukrainian government estimates that Russian forces have destroyed approximately a third of the country’s power stations over the past month.  

The new advanced air defense systems should help defend Ukraine’s remaining infrastructure from Russian missile and drone attacks. 

What are NASAMS and Aspide? 

The Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS), also recognized as the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System, is a short- to medium-range ground-based air defense system developed by Norway’s military manufacturer Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace and US-based aerospace and defense conglomerate Raytheon. 

The system is designed for military defense purposes against a variety of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), helicopters, cruise missiles, and unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) as well as crewed fixed-wing aircraft. 

Meanwhile, Aspide is a medium-range anti-aircraft missile system, produced by Italian aerospace developer Leonardo. According to the manufacturer, the missile system is capable of engaging attacking aircraft before they can release their airborne stand-off rocket-propelled missiles.  

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