India is moving to secure National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System-II (NASAMS II) from the United States in an attempt to bolster bilateral defense and strategic partnerships between the two countries.
"STA1 provides India greater supply chain efficiency, both for defense and for other high-tech products," U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said, adding that the United States will grant India the same access to advanced tech as NATO allies, Australia, Japan and South Korea.
India's Defense Acquisition Council has already approved the purchase for the NASAMS-II for some US$1 billion, a ministry of defense official confirmed. The new system will replace India’s aging Russian Pechora air defense systems.
The announcement comes just before foreign and defence ministers from the countries' scheduled September 6 meeting for a “2+2 dialogue.”
India is expected to issue an official letter of request by end of this year.
India has used one-fourth of the country's capital expenditure to buy or order military equipment worth US$15 billion from the United States.
The types of equipment include C-130J special operations planes, C-17 transport aircraft, P-8I submarine hunter planes, Harpoon missiles, Apache and Chinook helicopters and M777 lightweight howitzers, since 2008. Arms exports from the U.S. to India increased 557% from 2013-17.