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Hawk XXI advanced air defence system tested

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Hawk missile launch. A file photo

KONGSBERG, NORWAY (BNS): Norwegian defence firm Kongsberg and US' Raytheon have carried out a successful test firing of the advanced Hawk XXI air defence system.

During the test, the system successfully engaged an air target by using the Raytheon-built ground-launched Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM), Kongsberg said.

The live-fire demonstration, conducted at the Andoya Rocket Range in Norway late last month, validated the Hawk XXI system's airborne target engagement capability.

"This is part of the Kongsberg and Raytheon continuous evolution of enhancing air defence systems to meet the evolving threats. The ESSM ground launch confirms our ambition of expanding our system capabilities and show current Hawk customers a path to upgrade their systems," Eirik Lie, Executive Vice President, Kongsberg Defence Systems, said.

The test firing also demonstrated the proven capabilities of the Kongsberg Fire Distribution Center (FDC), the NASAMS canister launcher, the ThalesRaytheon Systems AN/MPQ-64F1 Sentinel radar for target tracking and Raytheon's Hawk High Power Illuminator (HPI) as the semi-active missile guidance source.

The NASAMS (Norwegian Advanced Surface to Air Missile System) is a state-of-the-art network-centric air defence system used by the Norwegian Air Force. It consists of US-made AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles and AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel 3D radars which are integrated with indigenously developed BMC4I system called FDC (Fire Distribution Centre).

Integration of the NASAMS launcher with Hawk XXI system provided an opportunity to use other missiles apart from the AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM), the Norwegian firm said.

The Hawk system is deployed by 17 nations worldwide. The ESSM ground launched missile will enhance the air defence system's capability and provide operators with an in-production replacement missile, the company said.

The Hawk XXI - the latest configuration of the combat-proven Hawk air and missile defence system - is designed to engage and destroy fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, cruise missiles and can provide anti-tactical ballistic missile (ATBM) capability against short range ballistic missiles.

The system combines state-of-the-art command and control (C2) technology with a robust, multi-spectral sensor suite, and a wide range of missile options. It is also fully interoperable with Patriot and NASAMS.

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