India is set to join the United States of America and Russia in providing advanced missile shield to its important cities like New Delhi and Mumbai. Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), headed by Defence Minister Nirmarla Sitaraman, has approved the plan to procure the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System-II (NASAMS) through a government-to government deal with US. The entire deal would be close to $ 1billion. Nasams-II is manufactured by Kongsberg and Raytheon.
The new missile system will replace aging Russian Pechora air defense systems. NASAMS-II will be armed with 3-D sentinel radar and short and medium-range missile launchers. It can also track and shoots down multiple airborne threats such as cruise missile, drones and fighter jets. This missile
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is also developing two-tier ballistic missile defence (BMD) shield. The missile system of DRDO will be capable of tracking and destroying nuclear missiles both inside and outside the earth’s atmosphere. Once developed the BMD shield will be deployed to protect cities like New Delhi and Mumbai, whereas NASMAS-II will be used to intercept cruise missiles and aircraft. India is likely to issue letter of request to the US by the end of this year.
NASAMS II – a highly adaptable mid-range air defense system. Its battery consists of 12 missile launchers carrying six missiles each. The missile system employs the AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) as the primary weapon. The RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile can also be fired by the NASAMS-II.