The Finnish Ministry of Defense has selected the NASAMS air defense system provided by Kongsberg of Norway and Raytheon [RTN] to fulfill Finland’s future Medium Range Air Defense Missile System (MRADMS) requirements in a contract worth about $457 million.

“We’re very pleased with the announcement and are committed to supporting the Finnish armed forces in making the MRADMS program a success,” Walter Qvam, Kongsberg’s CEO, said recently. “The NASAMS system will contribute to ensure Finland’s national security, and the MRADMS project will bring substantial Industrial Participation for Finish industry. It will also open up for increased export possibilities for Finnish industry,” he added.

The NASAMS Ground Based Air Defense System is designed and built in a transatlantic cooperation with Kongsberg and Raytheon. NASAMS features state-of-the-art sensors, command, control and communication systems and missile technology.

The system is a network enabled capability and distributed that utilizes the Raytheon MPQ-64F2 multifunctional radar and the AIM 120 AMRAAM missile in a surfaced launched mode.

The Kongsberg-Raytheon team has more than 25 years’ joint experience of delivering air defense systems to six NATO customers as well as Sweden, Kongsberg said.

NASAMS was developed in close cooperation with the Royal Norwegian Air Force during the 1990s and has since then been contracted by the Netherlands, Spain, and the United States.

In the U.S., the high capacity system was operational in connection with the 2005 Presidential inauguration and has been in continuous operation ever since.

This contract will provide Finland with the most recent NASAMS II version of the system that was completed and delivered to the Royal Norwegian Air Force in 2007.

“In a Nordic context, this choice of system opens up exciting opportunities for cooperation, operation, maintenance and even further joint Finish-Norwegian evolution of the system,” Harald Annestad from Kongsberg said.

‘I am confident that this relationship will be as fruitful and enduring as our relationship with Kongsberg and the Norwegian Air Force,” Pete Franklin, vice president, Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems’ National & Theater Security Programs, added.