Friday 20 September 2019, 07:13 AM
India studying new AD missile proposals
By Sushil Sharma | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 8/20/2019 4:53:28 PM
India studying new AD missile proposals

In what aims to form a multi-layered protection shield around key military and civilian targets, India after going in for S-400 missile from Russia will be studying two separate US proposals.One called the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System-II (NASAMS-II) is near for area defence and the other called the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) is to shoot down nuclear missiles. It will broaden the umbrella of air defence.The US is sending a proposal to provide the NASAMS-II. It will be sending a final draft of the ‘letter of acceptance’ for the sale of NASAMS-II to India under its foreign military sales programme, at a cost of over Rs 6,000 crore.

Once the deal is inked, the deliveries will take place in two to four years.The NASAMS-II will be used alongside indigenous, Russian and Israeli systems to establish a multi-layered missile shield over the National Capital Territory of Delhi. As per the proposed overall air defence plan for Delhi, the innermost layer – or the last resort -- of protection will be through the NASAMS. Defence acquisitions council (DAC), chaired by India’s Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, had in 2018, approved the ‘acceptance of necessity’ (AoN) for the acquisition of NASAMS-II.
 
What does the NASAMS-II Do?
 
NASAMS-II is an upgraded version of the Norwegian Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace/Raytheon National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) and features new 3D mobile surveillance radars and 12 missile launchers for quicker reaction. The new air-defence system will eventually supplement the long-delayed indigenous two-tier ballistic missile defence (BMD) shield that is in an advanced stage of development by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
 
A NASAMS battery consists of up to 12 multi-missile launchers, each of which can carry six AIM-120-series or other surface-to-air missiles (SAMs). It can have up to eight AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel X-band 3D radars and four fire distribution centres (FDCs). These will be backed by electrooptical and infrared (EO/IR) sensor system vehicles.
 
US once again pursues India to take THAAD and not S400 
 
Almost an year after India ignored a threat from US to impose sanctions and went ahead with the Purchase of S-400 Triumf missile defence system  from Russia, the US has offered Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) made by Lockheed Martin.The US is positioning as an alternative to Russian S-400, system. The Donald Trump led US administration is understood to have made the offer in May this year.
 
The Trump administration is understood to have made the offer as it simultaneously extended and somewhat gone back on assurances  on giving waivers under the Countering American Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). Last year in September, US officials had conveyed willingness to waive the clauses for sanctions for S-400s during the inaugural 2+2 meeting. India was represented by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj the US had their Secretary of State and the Secretary Defence at the meeting. Trump administration had already told Turkey, a NATO ally, that it cannot get the fighter jet F35 as it now has purchased the S-400 missile.
 
THAAD and S-400
 
Cost could be one factor. Saudi Arabia signed a deal with the US in November to buy 44 THAAD launchers and missiles - each battery comes with six launchers - for $15 billion, the first tranche of order was placed on July 20. In comparison, India is reported to be paying $5.4 billion for five S-400s, each of which consist eight launchers.
 
Comparisons between THAAD and S-400s are typically divided. The United States is pitching them as part of a larger plan of enhanced defence and security cooperation with India. India has cut down its dependence on Russian equipment from 78% between 2009-13 to around 58% between 2014 to 2018, according to report of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). In contrast India has given America big deals, the American sales to India have gone from zero in 2007 to US $ 18 billion as of now.
 
THAAD will fit in better with other American equipment, is the US argument
 
With India buying five of the S-400 air defence missile systems costing some $5.4 billion, it will an “umbrella coverage” against any air-borne threats, including nuclear missiles, stealth aircraft, fighter jets, missiles, UAVs etc. The radars on ground can track around 300 targets and then guide missiles to shoot down around three dozen targets simultaneously over a range of 400 km.It can engage up to 36 targets at a time and simultaneously launch 72 missiles. Though the target detection range of this system is up to 600 kilometers its tactical ballistic missile destruction range varies from five kilometers to 400 kilometers.
 
The key advantage is its modular setup and high mobility, meaning it can be set up, fired and moved within minutes. It's very rugged, it's adaptable and it's a road-mobile system. It can be configured with long-range, semi long-range, medium-range and even short-range weapons systems, depending on how the individual user wishes to configure the S-400.The American THAAD is typically an anti-ballistic missile defense system designed to shoot down short-, medium-, and intermediate-range nuclear missiles in their terminal phase by intercepting it.
 
The THAAD interceptor carries no warhead, but relies on kinetic energy of its impact to destroy the incoming missile. In a normal hit using a conventional weapon, the nuclear warhead can detonate, however, with the impact of THAAD the risk of exploding the ballistic missile is not there. The incoming missile fails to deliver the warhead. Clearly the S-400 is a different system than THAAD. 
 
At least 13 countries have expressed interest in buying the Russian missile system, despite the US threat of the imposing the CAATSA. US media has reported in November 2018 that among those interested are Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Vietnam, and Iraq. China and Syria already have the system while India and Turkey have ordered it. 
 
There is a provision for a waiver and New Delhi has argued out its case to the US. The US had earlier reacted to the S-400 deal saying “the intent of CAATSA is to impose costs on Russia and is not intended to impose damage to the military capabilities of our allies (India)... The waiver authority is not a blanket waiver. Waivers are considered on transaction basis. We cannot prejudge any sanctions decisions”.Among the 39 entities listed by the US on the ban list is the Rosoboronexport, the exporter of the S-400.
 

Tags:

S-400 missile,US,CAATSA,THAAD,sanctions

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