US Ambassador to Hungary David Cornstein and Hungarian Secretary of Defense Tibor Benkő have signed a memorandum of understanding for Hungary's acquisition of $1 billion worth of NASAMS air defense systems, Hungarian website Magyar Narancs reported last week.
The National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System was jointly developed and designed by the US Company Raytheon and Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace from Norway. Currently, the medium to long-range NASAMS is in service with Chile, Finland, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, United States, and Indonesia. Other countries such as Australia, India, Oman, and Qatar have shown interest in purchasing the system, according to the Army Recognition website.
In May of this year, the U.S. State Department made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Hungary of 60 AIM-120C-7/C-8 AMRAAMER missiles, and two spare AIM-120C-7/C-8 AMRAAM-ER guidance sections and related equipment for an estimated cost of $230 million. The Stars and Stripes website reported in August that Hungary signed a deal with the United States to purchase NASAMS systems for around $1 billion.
A NASAMS battery includes three multi-missile launchers, each carrying up to six AIM-120 AMRAAM ready-to-fire missiles inside the protective canisters. The purpose of the NASAMS Multi-Missile Launcher is to transport, aim and fire missiles with different characteristics, all mounted on the same launch rail inside the protective canisters. The NASAMS launcher carries up to six AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles and is connected to the Fire Distribution Center command post via radio and/or field wire. The NASAMS missile is able to intercept aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles, and UAVs. In addition to the AIM-120 AMRAAM, the system can also launch the AIM-9X Sidewinder, the ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile), and indigenous missiles.