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Norway buys air defenses for a billion dollars

Norway buys air defenses for a billion dollars

Billion across the table: Senior executives Eric Li (left) and Geir Hui of Kongsberg Gruppen have breakfast with Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Sture and Defense Minister Björn Arild Gram on Friday morning. Photo: Gøran Bohlin/VG

The government is preparing for a major acquisition of the Nasams air defense system from Kongsberg Gruppen.

Above the table, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Sture (Ap) promised nearly 1 billion kroner so that Kongsberg could prepare a large order later.

It can be an early warning of this Minister of Defense “Trip Alarm” From his professional military council last year, the government is listening to him.

– Kongsberg can now source spare parts from several hundred subcontractors so they can produce quickly when orders arrive, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (Ap) tells VG.

Read also: February: Norway will purchase air defenses for Ukraine for an additional $3.5 billion

Norwegian air defense system breeze It was a huge success for the Ukrainian defense.

– We do this to strengthen Ukraine's ability to protect itself, but also because Norway will need this air defence. He adds that it will be an important part of the long-term plan for the Armed Forces that we will present during Easter.

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Nasams is a system Norway has reason to be proud of, says Storr.

On Friday morning, Sture and Defense Minister Björn Arild Gram (Sp) invited Kongsberg Gruppen's top management to breakfast at the Prime Minister's residence to share the news.

Air defense meeting: Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Sture and Defense Minister Björn Arild Gramm met with Geir Hoy (left) and Erik Lie from Kongsberg Gruben on Friday morning. Photo: Goran Bohlin/VG

The money will come when Parliament gives the green light. The proposal to allocate NOK 941 million directly to Kongsberg is now part of a new investment plan for the Norwegian Armed Forces which the government will send to Parliament on Friday, in a so-called investment proposal.

Delivery time is shorter

Kongsberg Defense and Aerospace is the sole supplier of Nasam's air defense system, while the missiles are manufactured in the USA.

-This money enables us to deliver faster on the day we get the contract. “We can get critical parts in a very long delivery time,” says Eric Li, CEO of Kongsberg Defense and Aerospace.

Thirteen countries have visited Kongsberg and ordered Nasams, and according to Lee, there are negotiations to deliver them to more countries.

– The largest demand is delivery to Ukraine. Lee says the system has proven its ability to save lives and protect infrastructure there.

-These are not off-the-shelf items, but very specialized parts. When there is pressure on orders, it takes longer. When we have the opportunity to pre-order parts, the delivery time will be significantly reduced when orders arrive, he continued.

Photo: Goran Bohlin/VG

Thick order book

Defense production in Kongsberg has seen very high demand since the start of the war in Ukraine. The company's order reserve amounts to NOK 65 billion, compared to NOK 10 billion a few years ago.

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The company is now investing in a new missile factory in Kongsberg. It should be ready to go into production this summer.