The US has approved the sale of an Integrated Air Defence Weapon System (IADWS) to India at an estimated cost of $1.9 billion. The objective of the deal is to modernise India’s armed forces and to expand its existing air defence architecture to counter threats posed by air attacks.
- IADWS will be used along with indigenous, Russian and Israeli systems to erect an ambitious multi-layered missile shield over the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi against aerial threats.
- It comes amidst the massive military modernisation by China which is also flexing its military muscles in the strategic Indo-Pacific region.
Integrated Air Defence Weapon System
- The Integrated Air Defence Weapon System (IADWS) is called the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS-II).
- It is an upgraded version of the NASAMS developed by the US firm Raytheon in partnership with Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace of Norway.
- The IADWS system provides integrated air missile defence and is currently deployed around Washington, DC.
- It includes launchers, targeting and guidance systems, advanced medium-range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) and Stinger missiles, 3D Sentinel radars, fire-distribution centres and command-and-control units.
Proposed Multi-Layered Air Defence Shield for NCT of Delhi
- The innermost layer of protection will be through the NASAM-II.
- The indigenous Akash defence missile systems, with a 25-km range, will form the layer over the NASAMS-II.
- The next layer will be through highly automated and mobile S-400 systems.
- Then will come the Barak-8 medium-range surface-to-air missile systems.
- The outermost layer will be provided by the indigenous two-tier Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) System.
Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile
- Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) is an American beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile capable of all-weather day-and-night operations.
- Manufactured by Raytheon, more than 30 countries are using the AMRAAM.
- Stinger is a shoulder-fired Man-Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS) developed by the United States.
- It is a fire-and-forget, lightweight (15kg) weapon with the reusable launcher.
- Stinger missile is an extremely effective weapon for shooting down aircraft.
Also read: How To Unify Defence Resources