Russia starts delivering S-400 air defence missile systems to India
Two Russian S-400 Triumf missile system military hardware (Photo by PAUL GYPTEAU/AFP via Getty Images)
IN a major boost to India’s capability to target enemy fighter planes and cruise missiles at long range, Russia has started supplying the S-400 Triumf air defence missile system to its old ally.
“Russia has started supplying S-400 air defense system to India,” director of Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) Dmitry Shugaev said at Dubai air show which kicked off on Sunday (14).
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FSMTC is the Russian government’s main defence export control organisation.
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Sources in the Indian defence industry said parts of the air defence system have started reaching India and they would be first deployed at a location close to the western border from where it can tackle threats from both hostile neighbours — Pakistan to the west and China to the north.
The S-400 air defence system was contracted for by India in a deal worth around Rs 35,000 crore (£3.5 billion) and five squadrons would be provided to India for tackling air threats from up to 400 kilometres (249 miles).
Deliveries of the first squadron are expected to be complete by the end of the current year.
Asian News International quoted sources as saying that the equipment are being brought to India through both sea and air routes.
Sources also said after the first squadron is deployed, the Indian Air Force would start focusing on the eastern borders besides providing resources for training of personnel within the country.
Indian Air Force personnel have trained in Russia on the system.
The air defence system is expected to give India an edge in South Asian skies. The S-400 missile defence system is equipped with four different missiles which can engage enemy aircraft, ballistic missiles, and AWACS planes at 400 kilometres, 250 kilometres (155 miles) and the medium-range 120 kilometres (75 miles) and the short-range 40 kilometres (25 miles).
Due to tough bargaining and negotiations, India managed to bring down the S-400 price by almost a billion dollars, sources said.