The U.S. Army awarded a $1.2 billion contract to Raytheon Co., to help Ukraine bolster its air defenses by procuring six National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS), the Pentagon announced Wednesday.
Washington last month pledged to send Ukraine eight NASAMS as Kyiv and Western nations look to fend off Russia’s constant barrage of missile fire.
Two of the advanced systems are already operating in Ukraine, which have been “extremely successful,” according to a report by the U.S. Department of Defense this week.
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The other six missiles will be sent to Ukraine once they have been built.
The NASAMS were first pledged to Kyiv under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) in July, and bids were opened to military contractors for the development of the other six systems.
Providing arms to Ukraine under the USAI enables the Biden administration to procure weapons for Ukraine from industry contractors rather than using presidential drawdowns to send arms from existing weapons stocks.
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The Raytheon contract also includes providing Ukraine with associated equipment, services and spare parts to keep the advanced air defense systems operational.
The work to develop the NASAMS, which will be performed in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, will be completed by Nov. 28, 2025.
Chief weapons buyer for the Army, Doug Bush, confirmed last week that the U.S. was accelerating its weapons acquisition process to more effectively replenish its weapons stocks as the war in Ukraine continues, reported Reuters.
“Acquisition speed and agility is a top priority,” Bush said in a statement Wednesday. “The rapid award of this contract is another example of the Army’s ability to accelerate the delivery of critical capabilities through our industry partners to our allies.”
Russia has increased its bombing campaign across Ukraine as its forces on the front lines have faltered.
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Despite significant gains in Kharkiv and Kherson, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy this week warned that Russia is attempting to advance in both sectors on the front lines.
Defense officials have assessed that Russia’s missile stocks are waning, and its forces are now deploying unarmed cruise missiles to target civilian populations – meaning Russian troops are relying on the destruction caused by the force of the missile rather than the larger impact that a warhead would achieve.