Raytheon selected for Army’s ground-based air defence system with NASAMS

The federal government has approved the development of a short-range ground-based air defence system to improve protection for deployed personnel.

A single-supplier limited request for tender will be released to Raytheon Australia in the first half of this year that will see the development of the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) for use by the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

This project is the first step in the development of the Australian Army’s contribution to the Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) program. Valued at up to $2 billion, the system will provide the innermost layer of an enhanced capability, and will be operated by the 16th Air Land Regiment.

Defence will collaborate with Raytheon and CEA Technologies to look at integrating a CEA radar into an upgraded NASAMS. Defence and Raytheon will also investigate using the Hawkei protected vehicle as a potential platform for the system’s missile launchers.

“A modern and integrated ground-based air-defence system is needed to protect our deployed forces from increasingly sophisticated air threats, both globally and within our region,” said Minister for Defence Senator Marise Payne.

“Australia’s current short-range capability is 30 years old and due to be retired early next decade. The replacement system will provide improved protection for our deployed servicemen and women.”

Raytheon stated that approval of the LAND 19 Phase 7B Ground Based Air and Missile Defence project identifies Raytheon Australia as the Prime System Integrator.

Raytheon said its proposal will be based on the NASAMS capability, which can utilise different launchers, radar technologies and missile types, adding that an option known as MEDUSA would incorporate Australian AESA sensor technology into the baseline NASAMS.

“The Raytheon offering draws on a common launch rail that can make effective use of multiple weapons from existing Australian Defence Force inventory,” said Raytheon Australia managing director Michael Ward.

“As the prime systems integrator, our solution will provide short and medium-range defence capability using in-service multipurpose AIM-9X and AMRAAM missiles, providing a system to meet Army’s ground-based air and missile defence requirements.”

Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne stated that Australian industry content will be maximised.

“Through a risk-mitigation contract, the government will ensure there are opportunities for Australian industry participation, with direct access to Raytheon Australia for local businesses to showcase their abilities,” Minister Pyne said.

“As part of this contract, Raytheon will hold workshops across the country to engage with local industry, giving them an opportunity to be part of the supply chain for this project.”

Defence will complete a detailed analysis prior to returning to the government for final consideration of the project in 2019.


  1. Mick181 says

    This will be a massive step forward over the fairly limited capability we have now, the short range RBS-70.

  2. Bill says

    So instead of going to Raytheon, “hey, we need this as quickly as possible,” the government has decided to involve Australian industry in the production of this system. How much longer will this add to procurement process?

  3. Jasonp says

    To the vast majority of the Australian population who don’t understand (or care about) the risks involved in customising a capability with local content, it will always be a vote winner for government to be seen to be spending at least a portion of these vast budgets in-country.

  4. Mick181 says

    Bill, who said we need thiis urgently? According to the White Paper and accompaning IIP this is not required until about the mid 20s and the budgetted money won’t be available till then.. Every system that will cost $20m or more is currently budgeted for the next 10 years, so that means if we have a sudden urgent requirement for something then the money has to be taken from another program.
    This is at the very start of a project that will not reach IOC (initial operating capability) till much before 2025.

  5. Adrian P says

    Have I got this right, is this a system to utilise old air-air missiles for surface to air use?

    Has any body looked at a proven Close In Weapon System like the Centurion C-RAM or similar?.

  6. Jasonp says

    No Adrian, you haven’t got this right.

    This system will be for area defence (<50km) of deployed forces, and is compatible with ground-launched versions of AMRAAM and AIM-9X AAM missile rounds.

    CIWSs are point-defence weapons.

  7. Mick181 says

    Jasonp, the Australian content is going to center mainly around the development of a version of the hugely succesful Radar systems developed by Canberra Company CEA, who just finished refitting the Anzac class Frigates without a major hiccup. Because such a success story doesn’t sell papers the way that programs that are way late and over budget do, people who don’t read specialist defence websites & Magazines don’t get to hear about it.
    By all reports CEA are producing defence Radars that are as good as any in the world and it’s good to see them being supported, need to see more of it.
    Australia is a user of the C-RAM system which is used to counter incomming Artillary, Morters and Rockets. NASAMS is a SAM system for shooting down Planes & Missiles.
    NASAMS will be using the same Missiles as our Jets do, which will make procurement far easier.

  8. R Inglis says

    This system already has an upgrade to its missile in the development pipeline, replacing the AMRAM with NASAM-ER basically an ESSM with an AMRAM seeker and CEA radar already guides ESSM.

  9. Mick181 says

    R Ingles
    How the wheel turns, the ESSM evolved from the Sea Sparrow which Evolved from the AIM-7 Sparrow Air to Air Radar Guided Missile which was replaced by the AMRAAM.

  10. Allen Hamilton says


    My question is has anyone thought of using the NASAM-ER missile for air-air to extend the reach of legacy fighters that have no internal bay restrictions?

  11. Adrian P says

    In Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria do we need protection from incoming Artillery, Mortars and Rockets, or is it protection from Planes & Missiles.

  12. Roy Inglis says

    Allen Hamilton
    Maybe it has and from a size / weight / range / integration cost perspective, the Meteor’s the better option?