Air Defence Systems Current Affairs
India is in talks with United States to procure National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System-II (NASAMS-II), an advanced air defence system at $1 billion to defend National Capital Region (NCR) from aerial attacks. The proposal is in Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) stage now which was approved by Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
NASAMS-II is an upgraded version of the NASAMS developed by Raytheon in partnership with KONGSBERG Defence and Aerospace of Norway. It has been operational since 2007. It features new 3D mobile surveillance radars and 12 missile launchers for quicker reaction.
NASAMS-II is highly adaptable mid-range solution for any operational air defence requirement. It provides 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 armed with 3D Sentinel radars, short and medium-range missiles, launchers, fire-distribution centers and command-and-control units to quickly detect, track and shoot down multiple airborne threats. It is part of the air defence network guarding US capital city Washington DC. It is also deployed in several NATO countries.
Significance for India
India’s purchase of NASAMS-II will help in preventing 9/11-type on NCT Delhi. It will also complement India’s other systems such as the medium and long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems under procurement. With this, India will join league of nations including US, Russia and Israel etc. who have their own missile defence systems to protect their national capital regions.
India is deploying multi-tiered air defence network to fully secure its airspace from incoming fighter aircraft, missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). It is also in advanced stage of talks with Russia for procurement of very long range S-400 air defence systems. Apart from these imports, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is in the final stages of developing its two-tier Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system which is designed to track and destroy nuclear missiles both inside (endo) and outside (exo) earth’s atmosphere. Phase-I of indigenous BMD is expected to be deployed soon.
India has signed a defence deal worth nearly Rs 39,000 crore with Russia to purchase five state of art S-400 ‘Triumf’ air defence systems.
Besides, India also announced to collaborate in making four stealth frigates and setting up a joint production facility for making Kamov helicopters under Make in India.
In this regard, inter-governmental agreements (IGAs) were signed between both countries following talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the 8th BRICS Summit in Goa.
What is S-400 ‘Triumf’ Air Defence System?
- An S-400 ‘Triumf’ long-range air defence missile system is one of the most advanced long-range defence systems in the world. It is referred to as SA-21 Growler by NATO.
- It is an upgraded version of the S-300 defence system and is manufactured by Almaz-Antey. It has been in service in Russia since 2007.
- It is capable of firing three types of missiles. Thus, it creates a layered defence, and simultaneously engaging 36 targets.
- It has capability to destroy incoming all airborne targets at ranges of up to 400 km. With it, India can destroy Pakistani aircrafts even when they are in their airspace.
- The five S-400 systems will be operated by the Indian Air Force (IAF). India is the second export customer, after China to purchase this most advance defence system.
- Kamov 226T is a light multipurpose helicopter designed for work in difficult conditions like high mountains, hot climate and marine areas.
- It allows for reconnaissance, monitoring, targeting and transportation. It also boasts of incredibly precise hovering ability, excellent maneuverability and high safety standards.
- The helicopters will be made by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) with Russian cooperation under Make In India. It will replace the aging Cheetah and Chetak choppers.
- After induction, Kamov helicopters will operate at 20,000 feet and alsol help to maintain the forward posts on the Siachen glacier.
- India and Russia will built four stealth frigates which will be improved versions of Krivak or Talwar class stealth frigates
- Two frigates will be built in Russia and other two will be constructed at an Indian shipyard with Russian cooperation.