With clear orders from the Prime Minister Office, Armed forces have been told to cut import of foreign defense equipment amid slowing economy due to the Chinese virus pandemic and prefer procurement of local Indian substitute. According to sources close to, procurement of NASAMS II from the United States soon will be put on the backburner and likely to be shelved indefinitely for the time being

US state department had notified its Congress of the impending sale of NASAMS II multi-layered air defense shield earlier this year for $1.86 billion. Delhi had called for price negotiation after it was found to be too expensive to procure. Defense analysts had called out New Delhi for ignoring indigenous products for the imported system due to alleged mounting pressure on India to consider their procurement to avoid sanctions after New Delhi went ahead to ink the $5.43 billion deal with Russia for five squadrons of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems in 2018.

NASAMS II multi-layered air defense shield was selected to provide aerial shield for a National Capital Territory of Delhi against aerial threats ranging from drones to ballistic missiles. India has plans to have a Three-layer shield for the National Capital where will see the deployment of the indigenous two-tier ballistic missile defense (BMD) system being developed by DRDO for the Outer security against Intermediate-range ballistic missile and long-range cruise missiles. Mid-tier will see the deployment of the S-400 system against Aircraft and ballistic missile and inner-tier will see the deployment of the NASAMS II type system which will provide a shield against precision-guided ammunition and drones in the inner circle.

If New Delhi goes ahead and shelves NASAMS II purchase from the United States then Akash 1S and Akash NG could be procured for providing aerial shield at an inner circle or DRDO will be cleared to develop NASAMS II type system consisting of Ground launched Astra BVRAAM missiles for protection against smaller threats.

Defense Analysts Ranesh Rajan speaking to believes that more such aerial shied will be coming in major cities of India in near future and Mumbai is next city to get a similar shield and NASAMS II system requirement could only have grown in near future as more cities come under three-tier missile shield in near future, going for the local system will make much more sense as NASAMS II system as no capability to tackle short or medium range ballistic missiles and indigenous Akash surface to air missiles have demonstrated its ability to neutralize small targets like Drones and PGMs.

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