New Delhi: As part of its move to tighten security in the national capital, it is set to get a multi layered missile defence system soon just like Washington with the US government notifying its Congress of the impending sale of an integrated air defence weapon system (IADWS) for US$1.86 billion known as the NASAMS II in the wake of President Donald Trump’s two-day visit to India from February 24.
The US said that the proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to strengthen the US-India strategic relationship and to improve the security of a major defensive partner, “which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region”.
National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System-II (NASAMS-II), a network centric short to medium range ground based air defence system, will be part of the overall air defence shield for the national capital which includes the indigenous Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) shield.
The NASAMS II, a product of Norwegian company Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace and American firm Raytheon, will be used for New Delhi along with the BMD and the current air defence systems from Russia (Pechora) and Israel (Spyder).
They will form part of the overall air defence systems of the country which will include the S400 Triumf from Russia and the Indo-Israel joint venture product Barak-8 medium range surface to air missile.
The NASAMS II, which comes with net centric architecture, multiple simultaneous engagements and beyond visual range (BVR) capabilities, was first deployed in Washington DC in 2005 as part of the steps taken to protect the city from another 9/11 type attack.
Since then, it has been deployed in 15 countries.
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) had in 2018 approved the “acceptance of necessity (AoN) for NASAMS II. However, at that time, the cost considered was about US$1 billion.
The Defence Security Cooperation Agency of the US government said that the proposed sale will contribute to India’s military goal to update its capability while further enhancing greater interoperability between India, the US, and other allies.