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U.S. State dept. nod for sale of air Defense system to India

Indian Defence News (Strengthening Forces)

Approx Read Time: 3 minutes 

In News:

  • The U.S. Department of State has approved the potential sale of Integrated Air Defense Weapon System (IADWS) to India.
  • It is also referred to as the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System-II (NASAMS-II).

News Summary:

  • The U.S. Department of State has approved the potential sale of a $1.86 billion Integrated Air Defense Weapon System (IADWS) to India.
  • The IADWS system includes radar, launchers, targeting, and guidance systems, advanced medium-range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) and Stinger missiles, and related equipment and support.
  • The potential sale, which is being processed via the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route.
  • IADWS will be used along with India’s indigenous systems, as well as Russian and Israeli systems to erect a multilayered missile shield over the National Capital Territory of Delhi against aerial threats ranging from drones to ballistic missiles.
  • India had in 2018 made a $5.4 billion deal with Russia for five squadrons of the advanced S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile systems in October 2018.

Components of India’s IADWS:

  • The Indian government had asked to buy an IADWS comprised of:
    1. Five AN/MPQ-64Fl Sentinel radar systems
    2. 118 AMRAAM AIM-120C-7/C-8 missiles
    3. Three AMRAAM Guidance Sections
    4. Four AMRAAM Control Sections
    5. 134 Stinger FIM-92L missiles
    6. Others including sensor systems, launchers etc.
    7. Communications, testing and training equipment and documentation and technical and logistics support are also part of the package.

Indo-US Defense partnership:

  • India is a key partner in America’s efforts to ensure that the Indo-Pacific is a region of peace, stability and growing prosperity.
  • In 2016, India was awarded the status of a US major Defense partner.
  • This allows India to receive license-free access to a wide range of military and dual-use technologies.
  • The two countries also agreed to an updated ten-year Defense Framework Agreement in June 2015 until 2025.
  • Recently India was elevated to the Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 status giving India the same access as NATO allies in high-technology dual-use exports.
  • Bilateral Defense trade between India and the United States has risen from near zero to more than $15 billion since 2008.

Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Route:

  • The Foreign Military Sales is security assistance programme of the US under its Arms Export Control Act (AECA).
  • It primarily aimed at strengthening the strategic partnership with foreign countries.
  • Accordingly, a government-to-government agreement is signed for military sales and services.

FMS with India:

  • Government-to-government foreign military sale from US to India in recent years has grown, including transport aircraft, missiles, helicopters, howitzers etc. and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) support equipment.

Latest defense deals under FMS route include:

  1. Naval multi-role MH-60 ‘Romeo’ helicopters
  2. NASAMS-II missile shield
  3. Apache attack helicopters
  4. CH-47F (I) Chinook helicopters
  5. M777 Ultra-Light Howitzers
  6. 24 MH-60R (Romeo) Multi-Role Helicopters


  • The Integrated Air Defense Weapon System, also known as the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS), is designed for mid-range air defense. NASAMS II is the upgraded version of the system.
  • It can be deployed to engage aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles, and UAVs.
  • The system is also fielded to protect high-value assets and mass population centers.
  • It is currently deployed around Washington, DC.
  • NASAMS is owned by eleven countries and has been integrated into the U.S. National Capital’s air defense system since 2005.
  • In addition to the U.S., Norway, Finland, Spain, Australia etc. have deployed NASAMS for nation’s defense and the defense of critical assets.
Indian Defence News
Indian Defence News

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