Oman has signed a $1.28 billion contract for the purchase of the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS). It was selected over a competing offer from Europe's MBDA and included in the contract are ground support equipment, training and technical support.
The short-to-medium range surface-to-air missile defense system is able to defend against a range of aerial threats such as aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, cruise missiles and high precision munitions.
Initially developed by Raytheon in the United States and Norway's Kongsberg to meet Norway's defense needs as its launch customer, it has since been marketed to other countries and has been adopted by the US, Netherlands, Spain and Finland.
The system was the first application of the surface-launched version of the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (SL AMRAAM), but it's also compatible with other surface-launched missiles such as the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSM) and the Sidewinder Missiles.
NASAMS can be customized according to requirements and comes in a mobile configuration by mounting on various vehicles or in a static configuration for defending fixed structures. An updated
version is known as NASAMS II.
The acquisition by Oman is the latest development in an ongoing modernization of its armed forces that has in recent years included the purchase of Typhoon fighter aircraft and the commissioning of the first Khareef class corvette.