The U.S. State Department has approved a possible sale of an Integrated Air Defense Weapon System (IADWS) to India for an estimated cost of $1.867 billion under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which oversees the FMS sales, delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on Feb. 7.
India has earlier requested to buy the Integrated Air Defense Weapon System (IADWS) comprised of five AN/MPQ-64F1 Improved Sentinel radar systems; 118 AIM-120C-7/C-8 AMRAAM missiles; three AMRAAM Guidance Sections; four AMRAAM Control Sections; and 134 FIM-92L Stinger surface-to-air missiles (SAM). The principal contractors involved in this program are USA’s Raytheon and Norway’s Kongsberg Defense and Aerospace.
Also included in the sales package are 32 M4A1 rifles; 40,320 M855 5.56mm cartridges; Fire Distribution Centers (FDC); Handheld Remote Terminals; Electrical Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) Sensor Systems; AMRAAM Non-Developmental Item-Airborne Instrumentation Units (NDIAIU); Multi-spectral Targeting System-Model A (MTS-A); Canister Launchers (CN); High Mobility Launchers (HML); Dual Mount Stinger (DMS) Air Defense Systems; Vehicle Mounted Stinger Rapid Ranger Air Defense Systems; communications equipment; tool kits; test equipment; range and test programs; support equipment; prime movers; generators; technical documentation; computer based training equipment; training equipment; training towers; ammunition storage; training and maintenance facilities; infrastructure improvements; U.S. Government and contractor technical support, engineering and logistics support services; warranty services; Systems and Integration Checkout (SICO); field office support; and other related elements of logistics and program support.
According to a DSCA statement, India intends to use these defense articles and services to modernize its armed forces, and to expand its existing air defense architecture to counter threats posed by air attack. This will contribute to India’s military goal to update its capability while further enhancing greater interoperability between India, the U.S., and other allies, the statement added.
The major part of the IADWS sales package is the NASAMS II air defense system (AN/MPQ-64F1 Improved Sentinel radar systems and AMRAAMs).
In 2018, India’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by the then Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, approved the acceptance of necessity (AoN) for the acquisition of NASAMS-II system. Following the approval, a request was made to the U.S. for the procurement of the system through the FMS program.
India purchasing the new NASAMS II air defense system will help it prevent an aerial attack on its capital, New Delhi and will complement other medium and long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems under procurement such as the Russian S-400 Triumf long-range air defense system.
NASAMS-II, short for National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System-II, is an advanced air defense system developed by American defence major, Raytheon in partnership with Norway’s Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace and has been operational since 2007. It is an upgraded version of the NASAMS (Norwegian Advanced Surface to Air Missile System) air defense system.
The NASAMS system integrates U.S.-built AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel 3D air defense radar and the surface-launched variant of AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile) missiles with a Kongsberg developed Battle management C4I system called FDC, short for Fire Distribution Center. The FDC connected to an MPQ-64 radar forms an “Acquisition Radar and Control System” (ARCS).
NASAMS was the first surface-based application for the AIM-120 AMRAAM. The missile itself is named SLAMRAAM (Surfaced Launched AMRAAM) and has a horizontal range of up to 25 km.
The Sentinel radar is a highly mobile, three-dimensional, phased-array, ground-based air defense radar system that operates in the X-band region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The radar automatically detects, tracks, identifies, classifies and reports airborne threats, including helicopters, high-speed attack aircraft, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles.
A complete NASAMS 2 battery consists of 12 missile launchers (LCHR) (each one carrying six AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles), eight radars (AN/MPQ-64F1 Improved Sentinel X band 3D radar), one fire control center (CTOC), one electro-optical camera vehicle (MSP500) and one Tactical Control Cell (TCC) vehicle.
NASAMS is a highly adaptable mid-range solution for any operational air defense requirement and provides a tailorable, state-of-the-art defense system that can maximize the ability to quickly identify, engage and destroy current and evolving enemy aircraft, UAV or emerging cruise missile threats.
NASAMS is owned by seven countries and has been integrated into the U.S.’ National Capital Region’s air defense system since 2005. In addition to the U.S., it is in service in Norway, Finland, Spain, The Netherlands, and one undisclosed country. It is also currently in production for Oman and Australia.