The Indian Air Force has, according to LiveFist, indicated to the government that it would rather spend its budgets on the locally developed ballistic missile defense system (BMD) than buying United States (US) made NASAM-II networked air defense system.
India had been offered the NASAM-II system following India's choice of S-400 Tirumpf air defense system of Russia. However, a steep price tag - nearly two billion dollars, had stalled the negotiations between India and the US.
In February this year it was reported that the proposed acquisition of NASAM-II was part of replacing legacy Russian air defence systems currently being used to protect high security areas of New Delhi.
It was reported that the NASAMS could form the innermost layer of the protection for Delhi. It was reported that a combination of different weapons like Stinger surface-to-air missiles, gun systems and AIM-120C-7 AMRAAMs (advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles), backed by three-dimensional Sentinel radars, fire-distribution centres and command-and-control units would constitute the entire system.
In the place of NASAM=II the IAF has shown a preference to pursue the locally built two-tier ballistic missile defence (BMD), comprising of advance air defence (AAD) and Prithvi air defence (PAD) interceptor missiles.
In addition to this significant support to a local development program the IAF has also placed orders for a large number of another make in India success story - the Akash SAM systems.
With seven new squadrons ordered and earlier inductions of at-least eight squadrons the IAF will see a minimum of 15 Akash SAM squadrons in service. Each squadron is likely to require 125 Akash missiles.
According to Livefist, it is yet unclear as to whether the government will go by the IAF's recommendation or if the purchase will go through as yet another Indian engagement of US military industrial complex.
In recent times the Indian armed forces have purchased significant amount of military hardware from the US. These include P-8i maritime patrol aircraft, MH-60R Romeo helicopters for the Indian Navy, Apache and Chinook helicopters.
The most recent purchase from the US was that of 72,000 Sig Sauer assault rifles. The current order follows an earlier order of a similar number of rifles for the army.