NEW DELHI — India has quietly approved a plan to the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System-II through a government-to government deal with United States.

The moves comes before September 6 “2+2 dialogue” between defense and foreign ministers of India and United States here to bolster bilateral defense and strategic partnership.

The apex defense procurement body, Defense Acquisition Council, headed by Defense Minister Nirmarla Sitaraman, has approved the buy of hte NASAMS-II, manufactured by Kongsberg and Raytheon, at more than $1 billion, a Ministry of Defense official confirmed.

The new system will replace India’s aging Russian Pechora air defense systems that protect strategic assets and locations, said an Indian air force official.

If this program is approved by the U.S., the deal will be expedited through foreign military sales. India is expected to issue the letter of request by end of this year.

IAF official noted that NASAMS-II will have to be modified to India specific requirements and will integrated with the service’s integrated command & control system.

Vivek Raghuvanshi is the India correspondent for Defense News.

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