India is in talks with the U.S. to procure an advanced air defence system to defend the National Capital Region (NCR) from aerial attacks. The process for procuring the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System-II (NASAMS-II), estimated at $1 billion, has been initiated.

“This system will help in preventing 9/11-type attacks [when terrorists flew hijacked planes into New York’s World Trade Center] on Delhi. It is in the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) stage now,” an official source said.

Secure airspace

India is deploying a multi-tiered air defence network to fully secure its airspace from incoming fighter aircraft, missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

The official said this system would complement other systems such as the medium and long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems under procurement. India is also in an advanced stage of talks with Russia for the procurement of very long range S-400 air defence systems.

Apart from these imports, India is also developing an indigenous Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system.

Phase-I of the BMD is expected to be deployed soon.

The NASAMS was developed by Raytheon in partnership with KONGSBERG Defence and Aerospace of Norway. The Raytheon website says it is a “highly adaptable mid-range solution” for any operational air defence requirement and provides a tailorable, state-of-the-art defence system that can maximise the ability to quickly identify, engage and destroy current and evolving enemy aircraft, UAV or emerging cruise missile threats.” NASAMS-II is an upgraded version of the NASAMS and features new 3D mobile surveillance radars and 12 missile launchers for quicker reaction.

India is going ahead with the procurement of the S-400 systems despite differing views of the U.S. over the sanctions against Russia and the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.

It [procurement of NASAMS-II] is in the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) stage now

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