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US to sell two missile defence systems worth $190 million for Air India One

The defence systems, which would bring security of Air India One at par with that of Air Force One, would be installed in two Boeing 777 Head-of- State aircraft, the Pentagon said

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Illustration by Ajay Mohanty
Illustration by Ajay Mohanty

The US has agreed to sell two state-of-the-art to One for an estimated cost of $190 million, a move that will enhance the security of planes flying the

According to the Pentagon, the sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping to strengthen the US-Indian strategic relationship.

The Trump administrations approved purchase of the two systems known as Large Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCAM) and Self-Protection Suites (SPS) for an estimated cost of $ 190 million, the (DSCA) said in a notification to the on Wednesday.

The US decision came after the recently made a request for LAIRCAM SPS, given the high-level threat to the

The defence systems, which would bring security of One at par with that of Air Force One, would be installed in two 777 Head-of- State aircraft, the said.

The plans to buy two Bowing 777 from the national carrier for this specific purpose and unlike in the past would not be used for commercial purposes.

The purpose of the LAIRCM programme is to protect large from man-portable missiles. Once installed, the LAIRCAM system increases crew-warning time, decreases false alarm rates and automatically counters advanced intermediate range missile systems, according to the Federation of American Scientists.

The missile warning subsystem will use multiple sensors to provide full spatial coverage.

The counter-measures subsystem will use mounted in pointer-tracker turret assemblies. It also automatically counters advanced with no action required by the crew.

The pilot will simply be informed that a threat missile was detected and jammed.

Observing that it will improve India's capability to deter regional threats, the Congressional notification said SPS will facilitate a more robust capability into areas of increased missile threats.

"India will have no problem absorbing and using this system, it said.

According to the notification, India had requested to buy two SPS consisting of AN/AAQ 24(V)N Large Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM), ALQ-211(V)8 Defensive Electronic Warfare Suite (AIDEWS) and AN/ALE-47 Counter-Measures Dispensing System (CMDS) to protect two (2) Boeing-777 Head-of-State aircraft.

"This potential sale would include twelve Guardian Transmitter Assemblies AN/AAQ-24 (V)N (6 installed and 6 spares), eight (8) LAIRCM System Processor Replacements (LSPR) AN/AAQ-24 (V)N (2 installed and 6 spares); twenty-three (23) Missile Warning Sensors (MWS) for AN/AAQ-24 (V)N (12 installed and 11 spares), five (5) AN/ALE-47 Counter-Measures Dispensing System (CMDS) (2 installed and 3 spares)," the notification said.

Also included in this sale are Defensive Electronic Warfare Suites (AIDEWS), LAIRCM CIURs, SCAs, HCCs, and UDM cards, initial spares, consumables, repair and return support and support equipment.

The department also assured that the sale will not "alter the basic military balance in the region".

The US is the second-largest arms supplier to India. It has already recognised India as a "major defence partner", a status that which commits the US to facilitate technology sharing with India.

In 2018, the US granted India Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 (STA-1) status. India is the only South Asian country to get STA1 status and third Asian country after and The status eases defence procurement from US. Last year both and signed COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement).

First Published: Thu, February 07 2019. 10:55 IST