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IAI, Rafael go head-to-head for Finnish high-altitude GBADS requirement

The Finnish Ministry of Defence (MoD) has identified solutions by Israel's Rafael Advanced Defence Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to advance to the second and final round of negotiations for Finland's new, enhanced, high-altitude, short-to-medium range ground-based air-defence system (GBADS) requirement.

Finland operates the legacy Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace/Raytheon National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) in the NASAMS II configuration as its principal short-to-medium range GBADS solution. The system has a maximum engagement altitude of around 10,000 m.

The new GBADS system is intended to deliver improved regional coverage and enhanced engagement at higher altitudes and extended range. β€œThe aim is to build a more comprehensive high-level defence capability for air defence and to significantly increase the scope of air defence. High combat capability is built by acquiring an anti-aircraft missile system, which enables combat in all altitude ranges. The performance to be acquired is part of the whole air defence. Possible subsystems to be procured include missile launcher, radar, missiles, and related integration,” the Finnish Defence Forces said in a statement.

In 2018 Finland issued an initial request for information (RFI) for the development and supply of an advanced GBADS solution. Responses to the RFI were received from 10 competitor companies in the same year. Following an extensive analysis of the differing solutions, in October 2020, the Finnish Defence Forces' Logistics Department issued a long-anticipated invitation to tender (ITT) to five companies: Diehl Defence, competing with a solution based on its IRIS-T SLM system; IAI, with Barak MX; Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, offering an extended-range upgrade of NASAMS; MBDA in the UK, competing its Land Ceptor system with the CAMM-ER interceptor; and Rafael, with the David's Sling Weapon System (DSWS).

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