Delhi Set To Join Elite Club
Former US President Ronald Regan had decided to create a ‘missile defence system’ during the Cold War to protect his country’s capital from possible Russian missile attacks. A few years later, the US Forces installed the system in Washington, strengthening the security of the national capital and its adjacent areas. The system was intended to shield a region against incoming missiles, like Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBMs) or other ballistic missiles. Although it started with Washington, Moscow, too, got a missile defence shield, later. The same technology has been used to protect the Israeli cities. And now, the elite and modern defence shield will defend New Delhi, the Indian capital.
According to sources close to the Indian Ministry of Defence, the proposed move will make New Delhi more impregnable against military or terror attacks from aircraft, missiles and drones, as it will reconfigure the VIP no-fly zone and refine the protocol to shoot down rogue planes. The Defence Acquisitions Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, recently approved the ‘Acceptance of Necessity’ (AoN) for the acquisition of the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System-II (NASAMS-II) worth around USD 1 billion from the US.
Currently, the Indian capital is protected by the Russian missiles. However, (it seems) that the Russian missiles are outdated and it’s the right time to abandon them. The new system can destroy enemy aircraft, drones and even cruise missiles within a second.
Initially, the system will protect the Rashtrapati Bhawan (Presidential Palace) and the Parliament House. Later, other strategic areas (in and around New Delhi) will be covered as part of the overall ‘Delhi Area Air Defence Plan’.
Meanwhile, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) – an agency of India, charged with the military’s research and development – is in the final stages of developing a two-tier Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) shield. The BMD can easily track and destroy nuclear missiles, both inside (endo) and outside (exo) the earth’s atmosphere. The DRDO manages to develop the BMD at a much lower cost by using its own technology.
It is to be noted that India has Agni-1 with a 700km range, Agni-2 with a 2,000km range, Agni-3 and Agni-4 with 2,500-3,500km range in its missile armoury.
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