India has begun the process of introducing a multi-tiered air defence network to fully secure its airspace from incoming enemy threats by initiating the process of acquiring US-built advanced air defence system.
According to local media reports, Defence acquisitions council (DAC), chaired by India’s Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, has approved the "acceptance of necessity (AoN) for the acquisition of the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System-II (NASAMS-II) worth around $1 billion.
“This system will help in preventing 9/11-type attacks [when terrorists flew hijacked planes into New York’s World Trade Center] on Delhi. It is in the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) stage now,” an official source was quoted as saying by The Hindu.
NASAMS-II is an upgraded version of the NASAMS and features new 3D mobile surveillance radars and 12 missile launchers for quicker reaction.
India is also procuring the S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems from Russia at a cost of nearly INR 400 billion to boost its air defence mechanism. The deal is likely to be signed by the two countries later this year.
In addition, India is in the process of inducting the first batch of its intercontinental ballistic missile system -- Agni V -- which is expected to significantly bolster the country's air defence system. Phase-I of the Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) is expected to be deployed soon.
Simultaneously, as part of the overall Delhi Area Air Defence Plan, work is on to further realign the "VIP-89 area" over New Delhi, which includes Rashtrapati Bhawan, Parliament, North and South Blocks, as well as shorten the decision-making loop to shoot down planes that may have been hijacked or commandeered for use as "missiles against strategic targets", Economic Times reports.