US in talks with Oman and Qatar to transfer NASAMS systems to Ukraine — Politico

2 December 2022, 11:35 AM
US trying to ‘redirect’ NASAMS systems to Ukraine from Middle East, NATO allies (Photo:DW/Twitter)

US trying to ‘redirect’ NASAMS systems to Ukraine from Middle East, NATO allies (Photo:DW/Twitter)

The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden is negotiating with Middle Eastern countries on the transfer of their NASAMS air defense systems to Ukraine, news outlet Politico reported on Dec. 1.

Greg Hayes, the CEO of NASAMS manufacturer Raytheon Technologies, said that they intend to deliver the systems within the next three to six months.

"There are NASAMS deployed across the Middle East, and some of our NATO allies, and we (the United States) are actually working with a couple of Middle Eastern countries that currently employ NASAMS and trying to direct those back up to Ukraine," Hayes said.

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He noted that the transfer of systems from the Middle East to Ukraine will take less time than the production of new ones, which takes about two years. In the Middle East, NASAMS are operated by Oman and Qatar.

The first NASAMS systems arrived in Ukraine on Nov. 7, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov announced earlier. According to the Pentagon, two anti-aircraft missile systems of this type are already operating in Ukraine. The systems arrived about a month after Russia began a campaign of mass missile strikes on Ukrainian energy facilities.

Washington announced the fifth Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative package – worth almost $3 billion, and which includes six additional NASAMS batteries and missiles – on Aug. 24, Ukraine’s Independence Day.

Yuriy Ihnat, the spokesman for Ukrainian Air Force Command, said that NASAMS air defense systems shoot down 100% of the Russian cruise missiles they target.

Ukraine urgently needs modern, effective air defense systems, as Russia is currently waging a campaign to destroy civilian infrastructure, including power generation and transmission facilities, heating plants, and water supply facilities.

Ukraine has been requesting such systems from its allies since the first days of Russia’s full-scale invasion of the country, which started on Feb. 24.

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