India could acquire NASAMS-II air defense missile systems from United States


According to news published by the newspaper website "The Times in India" on February 11, 2020, India could acquire National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System-II (NASAMS-II) from United States, to be used with Russian and Israeli air defense systems as a part of the overall air defense shield for the national capital which includes the indigenous Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) shield.


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NASAMS II surface to air missile launcher on SISU E13TP 8×8 truck on display during Finnish Defence Forces 2013 Flag day in Ekenäs harbour. (Picture source Wikimedia)


February 10, 2020, the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to India of an Integrated Air Defense Weapon System (IADWS) for an estimated cost of $1.867 billion.

The NASAMS is an air defense missile system produced by Norwegian Company KONGSBERG and Raytheon from the United States. The upgrade will be completed within a timeframe of three years. The contract comprises upgrading of existing missile launchers with new electronics and software for increased performance and lifetime extension.

Jointly designed by Raytheon and Kongsberg, NASAMS reached operational capability in 1994 and was first deployed by the Royal Norwegian Air Force. The system can engage 72 targets simultaneously in active and passive modes and, using active seeker missiles, can intercept targets beyond visual range.

The NASAMS uses Raytheon MPQ-64F1 Sentinel high-resolution, 3D pencil beam surveillance radar, which detects and tracks targets. The system is also fitted with a passive electro-optic and infrared sensor, a hard-real-time communication network, and an embedded and standalone mission planning tool. The NASAMS uses a fire distribution center command-and-control unit to perform the battle management command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (BMC4I) function.

The primary missile used by the NASAMS air defense system is the AIM-120 AMRAAM. The high-velocity AIM-120 missile is manufactured in two variants. The AIM-120B is field programmable and the AIM-120C is fitted with smaller control surfaces than the A or B variants, has a longer range and has very high agility to counter targets making evasive maneuvers. The missile is able to hit targets at the range of up to 40 km and at an altitude of up to 14 km.

The NASAMS II is an upgraded version of the NASAMS It uses new radars and 12 missile launchers for quicker identification and destruction of the targets.


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