India has quietly approved a plan to the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System-II through a government-to government deal with United States.
The moves comes before September 6 “2+2 dialogue” between defense and foreign ministers of India and United States here to bolster bilateral defense and strategic partnership.
The apex defense procurement body, Defense Acquisition Council, headed by Defense Minister Nirmarla Sitaraman, has approved the buy of hte NASAMS-II, manufactured by Kongsberg and Raytheon, at more than $1 billion, a Ministry of Defense official confirmed.
The new system will replace India’s aging Russian Pechora air defense systems that protect strategic assets and locations, said an Indian air force official.
If this program is approved by the U.S., the deal will be expedited through foreign military sales. India is expected to issue the letter of request by end of this year.
IAF official noted that NASAMS-II will have to be modified to India specific requirements and will integrated with the service’s integrated command & control system.
NASAMS II – a highly adaptable mid-range air defense system ::
The National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System was developed for the Royal Norwegian Air Force by Kongsberg and Raytheon in partnership.
It reached initial operational capability in Norway by 1995 and was fully operational capable by 1998. The updated NASAMS II was operational in 2007.
It employs the AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) as the primary weapon. It can also fire the RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile, AIM-9X Sidewinder and can be modified to use other weapons including indigeneous missiles.
A NASAMS II battery consists of up to 12 missile launchers carrying six missiles each, networked with up to eight AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel X-band 3D radars, MSP 500 electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor systems and Fire Distribution Centres.
Targets are detected and tracked by a high-resolution, 3D pencil beam radar, while advanced emission control features of the radars minimize the risk of revealing the NASAMS unit’s position.
The FDC conducts identification, threat evaluation and weapon assignment automatically.
NASAMS can also fire using target data provided by external sensors.
NASAMS has been sold to seven countries. It is in service in Norway, Finland, Spain, the Netherlands and one undisclosed country, and has been integrated into the U.S. National Capital Region’s air defense system since 2005. It is currently in production for Oman, and Australia, Indonesia and Lithuania have also signed contracts to procure the system.
By: Defense News
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