NASAMS 2 air defense system for India, USD 1 billion contract
India has started the process of introducing a multi-tiered air defense network to secure its airspace by initiating the process of acquiring US-built advanced air defence system. According to Indian media reports, Defence acquisitions council (DAC), chaired by India’s Defence Minister Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman, has approved the "acceptance of necessity (AoN) for the acquisition of the Norwegian Advanced Surface to Air Missile System-II (NASAMS-II) worth around $1 billion.
NASAMS (Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System) is a medium to long range air defense missile system designed and manufactured by the Norwegian Company Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace teamed up with Raytheon for the missile (Picture source: Kongsberg)
“This system will help in preventing 9/11-type attacks on Delhi. It is in the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) stage now,” an official source was quoted as saying by The Hindu. NASAMS-II is an upgraded version of the NASAMS and features new 3D mobile surveillance radars and 12 missile launchers for quicker reaction.
NASAMS (Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System) is a medium to long range air defense missile system designed and manufactured by the Norwegian Company Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace teamed up with Raytheon for the missile. Since the introduction in Norway, another four countries in NATO and EU have acquired NASAMS. NASAMS is renowned for its use of the Raytheon AMRAAM missile, but is furthermore operational with command and control of a range of guns and short and medium range missiles, such as e.g. L-70 guns, RBS 70 and HAWK. It has also proven integration with directed-energy weapons (DEWs) and longer range systems, such as e.g. Patriot. The NASAMS can be deployed to identify, engage and destroy aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and for protecting high-value assets and mass population centres against air-to-surface threats.
India is also purchasing the S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems from Russia to boost its air defense. The deal is likely to be signed by the two countries later this year. In addition, India is in the process of inducting the first batch of its intercontinental ballistic missile system Agni V which is expected to significantly bolster the country's air defense system. Phase-I of the Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) is expected to be deployed soon.
Simultaneously, as part of the overall Delhi Area Air Defence Plan, work is on to further realign the "VIP-89 area" over New Delhi, which includes Rashtrapati Bhawan, Parliament, North and South Blocks, as well as shorten the decision-making loop to shoot down planes that may have been hijacked or commandeered for use as "missiles against strategic targets", Economic Times reports.