India has started the process of acquiring the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System-II (NASAMS-II) from the US in what it claims will secure Aerial threats from drones to ballistic missiles for the National capital area. India will be spending nearly 6,000 crores for a missile system which it can develop locally and in fact, already has in its current inventory… so why does India even need this missile system?

Fact is that SPYDER-MR short and medium-range mobile air defense system is quite similar to the NASAMS-II Air Missile System and is a combination of short-to-medium range air-to-air missile, each missile system comprises of a Radar unit, EO Units, and Missile Launchers. SPYDER-MR is made of Python-5 and Derby Air-to-Air missiles and NASAMS-II are made of AIM-120 and Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile Air-to-Air missiles and both missile system are designed to take down aerial threats ranging from Drones to sub-sonic cruise missiles and have a similar range of 50-70km depending on the AIM-120 variant which India will be purchasing.

India on other hands already has developed QR-SAM Air Missile System which has a range of 30km and has the technology to successfully convert its Astra Air-to-Air missile into a NASAMS-II and SPYDER-MR types mobile air defense system by converting Astra missile into a surface to the air missile system.

If NASAMS-II is to buy the silence of the American government over purchase of S-400 missile system from Russia? or it has something else which has triggered the deal? , while the government version is that NASAMS-II will be used to along with indigenous, Russian and Israeli systems to establish a multi-layered missile shield over the National Capital Territory of Delhi, but India already has reliable and deadly air missile system which can over multi-spectrum aerial defense coverage and with the range they come with, it is likely to be deployed only against high value targets if they are somehow able to defeat the much longer interceptor missiles.

NASAMS-II battery consists of up to 12 multi-missile launchers, each of which can carry six AIM-120-series advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAMs) or other surface-to-air missiles (SAMs); up to eight AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel X-band 3D radars; up to four Fire Distribution Centres (FDCs); and up to four MPS 500 electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor system vehicles.

Are some of the equipment in the NASAMS-II battery somehow essential to the missing puzzles of India’s own weapons system? or is it part of some secret pact with the US Government to protect its self from any possible sanctions? , well we may never know but it will be interesting to know what AIM-120 variant India will be getting with the NASAMS-II, will it be most sophisticated AIM-120-C7 missile? for that, we need to wait.



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