Hungary to Buy $1Bn NASAMS Air Defence System from US

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Hungary has agreed to buy the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) from the United States, the U.S. Embassy in Budapest announced Wednesday.

The NASAMS- a joint venture between Raytheon and Kongserg is a multi-engagement air defence systems capable of tracking and shooting down aircraft and missiles.

US Ambassador David Cornstein and Hungarian Defense Minister Tibor Benko signed declarations of intent on Wednesday. The NASAMS, produced by Raytheon-Kongsberg, are in use by many NATO and US allied countries.

At the signing ceremony, Benko said the missile system will be used as a deterrent. Cornstein added that the deal will be the biggest procurement in the history of Hungary-U.S. defense cooperation. The purchase forming part of the US Foreign Military Sales programme will be completed by September 30 this year, the signed document said.

The purchase comes as Hungary works, and spends, to modernize its military, currently comprised largely of outmoded Soviet-era equipment.