Norway donates IRIS-T A2A air defense missiles to Ukraine

On August 24th, the Norwegian Ministry of Defense announced its decision to donate IRIS-T A2A air defense missiles to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. This initiative will bolster Ukraine's air defense capabilities and follow Germany's previous contribution of IRIS-T missiles.
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IRIS-T A2A missile (Picture source: Wikimedia )

The Norwegian government emphasizes that Ukraine's air defense has been a top priority since the onset of the large-scale invasion. This defense is critical for safeguarding civilian populations, critical infrastructure, and the armed forces against all Russian aerial threats.

These missiles are expected to be deployed on ground-based launcher platforms provided by Sweden, most likely the same platforms used for the IRIS-T SLS (RBS 98) system, which Sweden received in 2019. It's worth noting that Germany delivered two of these systems to Ukraine in August 2023, indicating the potential interoperability of the IRIS-T A2A missiles with the German IRIS-T SLS systems.

Norway has significantly assisted Ukraine in its air defense efforts. It was previously announced that the Norwegian defense and aerospace company Kongsberg would provide Ukraine with mobile anti-drone systems known as Corte Typhon. Additionally, reports have indicated that Ukraine has received components of the NASAMS air defense missile system.

Norway's decision to donate IRIS-T A2A missiles complements Germany's and potentially Sweden's contributions. These surface-to-air missiles will greatly enhance Ukraine's ability to defend its airspace against potential threats. The adaptability and precision of these missiles make them a valuable addition to Ukraine's existing air defense capabilities.

Air superiority remains a crucial aspect of the conflict in Ukraine. Recent developments, such as the delivery of F-16 fighter jets, have significantly strengthened Ukraine's aviation capabilities. Moreover, there are rumors that Norway is considering authorizing the transfer of 25 F-16s (its maximum stock) to Ukraine, which would further tip the balance in the ongoing conflict.