India is likely to acquire National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System-II (NASAMS-II) from the US for an estimated $1 billion (INR 6,000 Crore) in order to erect a multi-layered missile shield over New Delhi, in order to protect the capital against 9/11-type attacks.
“The networked system, capable of even shooting around buildings, will take care of 9/11-like and other close-in threats,” sources from the defense ministry told TOI on Monday.
America’s Raytheon and Norwegian company Kongsberg Defence & Aerospachave have jointly developed the NASAMS.
"The US is likely to send the final draft of the letter of acceptance for the sale of NASAMS-II to India under its foreign military sales programme, at a cost of over Rs 6,000 crore (almost $1 billion) by July-August of this year," the source said.
The MoD had earlier granted acceptance of necessity (AoN) to the NASAMS acquisition to defend the capital against aerial threats. This was followed by India issuing a formal LoR to the US.
“Several rounds of negotiations, including selection of sites for deployment of the missile batteries around Delhi, have already taken place. Once the deal is inked, the deliveries will take place in two to four years,” the source said.
As per the proposed air defense plan for Delhi, the outermost layer of the missile shield will consist of two-tier ballistic missile defence (BMD) system being developed by state-run DRDO, the second layer will be through the highly automated and mobile S-400 systems, and the innermost layer of protection will be through the NASAMS.
The innermost layer will be a combination of different weapons like Stinger surface-to-air missiles, gun systems and AIM-120C-7 AMRAAMs (advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles), backed by three-dimensional Sentinel radars, fire-distribution centres and command-and-control units.
The DRDO system’s AAD (advanced air defence) and PAD (Prithvi air defence) interceptor missiles are currently geared to intercept enemy missiles, in the 2,000-km class, at altitudes from 15-25 km to 80-100 km. The second layer consisting of S-400 systems will have missiles with interception ranges of 120, 200, 250 and 380 km, backed by their associated battle-management system of command posts and launchers, long-range acquisition and engagement radars. This is followed by Barak-8 medium-range surface-to-air missile systems with 70-100 km interception range, and the indigenous Akash area defence missile systems with a 25-km range.