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Australian Army begins inducting NASAMS

The National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System – pictured above firing an AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile at Woomera Test Range in South Australia in mid-November – provides air defence against a variety of aerial threats, including UAV, missile, helicopter, and aircraft attacks within 40–50 km. (Commonwealth of Australia)

The Australian Army has started inducting its new short-range ground-based air-defence capability known as the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS), a spokesperson for the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) told Janes on 23 November.

β€œ[The] army began receiving NASAMS this year,” the spokesperson said.

In mid-November the Australian Army conducted a live-fire exercise with the NASAMS at Woomera Test Range in South Australia.

In that exercise the service fired five AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs) from the NASAMS to target unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) flying at an altitude of 5,000 ft, about 15 km away.

β€œThe live-fire activity at Woomera was an important activity for the army during the introduction of [the NASAMS] into service phase,” the spokesperson added.

In a DoD video footage released after the live-fire exercise, Lieutenant General Simon Stuart, the chief of the Australian Army, said the live fire was the final step to introduce the first NASAMS unit into the Australian Army.

The first NASAMS unit of six troops will be introduced over the next two-and-a-half years and by the middle of 2026, the Australian Army will be fully mission capable in its Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) role with the NASAMS, Lt Gen Stuart said.

According to the spokesperson, the NASAMS will be operated by the Australian Army soldiers from the 16th Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, which is based at Woodside in South Australia.

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