New Delhi, July 29: In a bid to protect Delhi and other cities from missiles, drones, India is reportedly set to buy air missile shield system from the United States. The new missile shield, which costs around $1 billion, will replace the older one. The decision to buy National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System-II (NASAMS-II) was taken by the defence acquisitions council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

“…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,” TOI quoted the sources as saying.

NASMAS-II is equipped with three-dimensional Sentinel radars. Not just radars, it is also armed with short and medium-range missiles, launchers, fire-distribution centers and command-and-control units. The command-and-control units have the ability to shoot down missiles, drones and other airborne threats. These units have been shielding Washington, Moscow and several other Israeli cities.

India will be purchasing NASMAS-II even as the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is developing a two-tier ballistic missile defence (BMD) shield which would be used to track and destroy nuclear missiles. The NASMAS-II will be used to track and destroy cruise missiles and aircraft, according to another report.

The development has come more than a month after the Trump administration approved a deal to sell six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters to India for USD 930 million as well as Hellfire and Stinger missiles to bolster the country’s ability to defend its homeland and deter “regional threats”. The AH-64 Apache is a multi-role combat helicopter and is used by the US Army and a number of international defence forces.