The Australian Army’s live-firing of a Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile) from its new NASAMS system has marked a major step forward in the introduction of the system into service and has followed on from an order placed four years ago.
The new capability comprises an integrated system between a Kongsberg launch platform, a AIM-120 missile and radar, based on CEAMount fire control radar, from CEA Technologies.
It has been designed to provide protection from current and emerging air threats including indirect weapons, uncrewed aerial vehicles, air-delivered weapons and aircraft.
The firing took place at the Woomera test range in South Australia and was conducted by the 16th Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, which will ultimately operate the system.
The project will see 16th Regiment move to new facilities at Edinburgh Defence Precinct in South Australia with relocation scheduled for late-2025.
The eventual introduction of the system into service will be a major capability enhancement for the Australian Defence Force replacing the less powerful RBS 70 man-portable air-defence (MANPAD) systems.
Chief of Army Lt Gen Simon Stuart said the firing was a substantial step towards meeting the challenges outlined in the Defence Strategic Review.
‘The firing of this world-class capability is a significant milestone for the modernisation of the army supported by defence industry partners,’ Stuart said. ‘NASAMS will enable the army to be interoperable with the wider Australian Defence Force and coalition militaries to provide integrated air and missile defence.’