Russian S-400 missile systems in India:
According to recent developments the delivery of the super popular Russian S-400 missile system has initiated. It is expected that the First unit will be operational by the end of this year. Director of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, Dmitry Shugaev said: “Russia has started supplying S-400 air defence system to India, and the first division will be delivered by the end of 2021”.
Order for 5 Units of the system was placed by India on 2018. In July 2019, India paid Russia around $800 million as the first tranche, that the final deliveries of all units are likely to be done by April 2023.
The Deal about S-400 Triumph
Following are the features which make S-400 a popular missile defense system.
- It can protect against almost all sorts of aerial attacks, including drones, missiles, rockets and even fighter jets.
- It can act as a shield over a particular area, also it is a long-range surface-to-air missile system.
- It has as an anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) asset designed to protect military, political, and economic assets from aerial attacks
- Each unit of S-400 has two batteries, each having a command-and-control system, a surveillance radar, and engagement radar and four lunch trucks.
- The system is equipped with four types of missiles: short- range up to 40 km; medium-range up to 120 km; long-range 48N6 going as far as 250 km, and very-long-range 40N6E up to 400 km and a flight altitude of 180 km.
- According to a recent study, it can simultaneously track up to 160 objects in a 600 km range, and target 72 objects in a 400 km range.
Need for S-400
Indian Air force needed this system badly as China has introduced the same system in LAC, so To protect against attacks by missiles, or fighter jets from China or Pakistan, it became necessary to buy the S-400 system. A recent observation mentioned that “There is no alternative system capable of serving its long-range air defence requirements, from the standpoint of either capability or cost”.
The US Factor
The purchase of S-400 System by India from Russia was not welcomed by US as US wants India to wean off its traditional reliance on Russian defence systems, US and India are coming closer both diplomatically and strategically hence US want India to purchase its defence supplies from US only.
The major reason of US concern is the 2017 law ” Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA)”. The Act empowers the US President to impose at least five of the 12 listed sanctions mentioned in Section 235 on nations who engage in a “significant transaction” with Russian defence and intelligence sectors. Whether US will impose sanctions on India, time will tell.