Weeks ahead of the US President Donald Trump's two-day visit, the State Department has given its approval for a possible Foreign Military Sale to India of an Integrated Air Defense Weapon System (IADWS) for an estimated cost of $1.867 billion. US-based companies Raytheon Corporation and Kongsberg Defense and Aerospace will be part of the negotiating team. Through the proposed sales the Indo-US relations are going to deepen further and help in peace, economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region. The certification notifying Congress of this possible sale was made by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) last week.
In 2018, India had reached out to the US for an Integrated Air Defense Weapon System (IADWS). This includes five AN/MPQ-64Fl Sentinel radar systems; 118 AMRAAM AIM-120C-7/C-8 missiles; three AMRAAM Guidance Sections; four AMRAAM Control Sections; and 134 Stinger FIM-92L missiles. And, 32 M4A1 rifles; 40,320 M855 5.56mm cartridges; Fire Distribution Centers; Handheld Remote Terminals; Electrical Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) Sensor Systems; AMRAAM Non-Developmental Item-Airborne Instrumentation Units; Multi-spectral Targeting System-Model A ; Canister Launchers ; and High Mobility Launchers.
Also, the package includes Dual Mount Stinger (DMS) Air Defense Systems; Vehicle Mounted Stinger Rapid Ranger Air Defense Systems; communications equipment; tool kits; test equipment; range and test programs; and other related elements of logistics and program support.
According to the notification these are needed for the modernisation of the armed forces and to further expand its existing air defence architecture for countering threats of air attacks.
So what is this all about?
This a missile shield that India has been wanting in an effort to replace the old air defence systems in place. The deal which is around $1.867 billion, in 2018 Defence Acquisitions Council (DAC), had given approval for Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for the purchase of IADWS from the US.