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.
Hungary is said to have evaluated several rival defence systems before deciding on the NASAMS. However, no reports of an evaluation have been made public before.
According to Kongsberg information, the most recent capability enhancement of NASAMS includes the Raytheon AMRAAM Extended Range missile (AMRAAM ER).
A standard NASAMS unit has a modular design comprising a command post the FDC, an active 3D radar Raytheon AN/MPQ-64F1 Sentinel, a passive electro-optical and infrared sensor and a number of missile canister launchers with AMRAAM missiles. Normally, a number of NASAMS fire units are netted together in a uniquely designed ”hard-realtime” communication network to ensure minimum latency over large distances for maximum system performance utilizing the unique capabilities of the AMRAAM missile.