Norwegian-made National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System NASAMS) medium to long range air-defense system in Finnish service have been deployed on exercise on Estonian soil for the first time ever, ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reported Tuesday.
The NASAMS unit was taking part in the annual U.S.-led exercise Operation Saber Strike, focusing on air defense in winter conditions this year and with minds concentrated on the Russian Federation's invasion of Ukraine.
NASAMS has a range of up to 30km depending on projectile, and an altitude of up to 21km.
The system's control center was located in Tallinn, Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) air defense battalion (Õhutõrjepataljon) commander Lt. Col. Tanel Lelov told AK.
Finland itself is undergoing further long-range air defense systems procurement, a process which includes conscript training in Norway, exercise which the commander of the Helsinki Air Defense Regiment unit (Helsingin Ilmatorjuntarykmentti) Capt. Anssi Heinämäki, said can be quite complex.
In addition to the Finnish and Estonian participants, personnel and materiel, including fighter jets, from four NATO countries – Belgium, France, Poland and the U.K. – have joined the U.S. in Saber Strike for this year.
Finland, a non-NATO member, has been taking part in Saber Strike since 2012.
Lithuania purchased two NASAMS batteries several years ago, at a cost of €110 million, AK reported. Other current operators include Australia, the Netherlands and Indonesia, as well as the U.S. and Norway.
Editor: Andrew Whyte