Defence

Modi-Trump meet & India’s air defence: How cutting edge NASAMS II tech bolsters New Delhi’s security apparatus

Despite latest reports that the upcoming meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump is unlikely see the inking of any noteworthy bilateral trade agreements, the US president’s visit may still prove fruitful in helping Washington and New Delhi come to an agreement on India’s purchase of an Integrated Defence Weapon System (IADWS) in a deal that could be worth $1.86 billion.

In June 2019, it was reported that India was looking to acquire the highly regarded National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System-II (NASAMS-II) from the United States, as it looks to bolster its security apparatus in the National Capital Region. India had submitted a formal ‘letter of request’ to purchase the air defence system in July 2018.

The NASAMS-II, developed by Norwegian defence developer Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, in collaboration with Raytheon, is primarily used to effectively guard against aerial threats in the form of fighter aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, and missiles.

The air defence system employs “network-centric, open architecture” that improves its survivability against electronic jamming techniques. Its base weapon is the AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM).

The defence system employs AMRAAM missile launchers, electro-optic and infra-red sensors, a real-time communication network, and a mission planning platform.

The NASAMS-II can be fitted with multiple missile launchers, each capable of launching a maximum of six surface-to-air missiles. Equipped with 360-degree defence capabilities, the system can be used in both day and night operations and transported via rail or truck.

The mobile missile launchers can be activated remotely via a Fire Distribution Center (FDC) located up to 25 km away. In total, up to 12 launchers can be installed, firing 72 missiles against 72 separate targets.

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