India and Russia inked their biggest defense deal in over two decades for S-400 worth of $5.43 billion dollar despite the threat of US financial sanctions. The air defense system is expected to be delivered by 2020.
While, Indian government cracked its largest defense deal, it might face another issue, as India and Russia, both of the countries have to deal with the challenge of transferring $5.43 billion dollar for the contract in the face of financial sanctions by the US.
The long pending S-400 deal, which was formally announced in a joint statement after a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin attend the 19th India-Russia bilateral annual summit at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Friday. It will equip India with five regiments of the cutting-edge system that will strengthen air defenses in the face of the air force’s depleting fighter squadrons.
The S-400 triumf missile is a surface-to-air missile system, which will reportedly start delivering in 2020 and likely to be deployed to cover both the Pakistani and Chinese borders, while Beijing had already taken the delivery of the systems which is considered to be the biggest threat to western-originated combat aircraft.
After the meeting, President Putin and PM Modi said in a joint statement, “Russia has stood by India through time and has played a crucial role In India’s growth story”.
Here are five developments of the Indo-Russia S-400 deal we jolt down
- In its reaction to the deal PM Modi said in a joint statement with Putin stated that “In this first changing world, our ties have grown at a fast pace. With time, the relations between our countries have gone from strength to strength.
- New Delhi, which ignored the warnings of US sanctions to go ahead with the S-400 deal, kept the announcement low-key. Air Force Chief BS Dhanoa has informed the press, “As and when the government approves it, delivery will be in 24 months”. India will have significant strategic autonomy as US have asserted on punishing countries doing ‘significant’ deals with Iran or Russia with sanctions. The US administration requires a domestic law, CAATSA to impose sanctions on any country that has transactions with Iran, North Korea or Russia.
- Modi government hopes that the Trump’s administration will give it a waiver on the weapons systems which New Delhi sees as a fetter against China whose growing military body has spooked Washington too.
- Besides a pact to help develop six nuclear power projects in India, Russia also gave green signals to train astronauts for India’s first crewed space mission ‘Gaganyaan’ in 2022.
- The deal will serve crucial for India’s defense as it can destroy hostile strategic bombers, stealth fighters, missiles and drones up to 250 km range. Russia says, it can radar lock and shoot at 5th Generation US F-35 jets.
What is S-400 missile system?
- S-400, the surface-to-air missile system, developed and manufactured by a Russian government’s own firm named Almaz Central Design Bureau of Russia. It is known as the SA-21 Growler by the North Atlantic Treaty (NATO).
- S-400 can hit aircraft, cruise missile and even first moving intermediate range ballistic missiles. The triumf has three components— the missile launchers themselves, powerful radar and a command centre.
- It can shoot down hostile aircraft and ballistic missiles, having an estimated range of 250 kilometers and possible upgrade can extend it to 400 kilometers away.
- Its radar can track targets 600 km away, like – S-400 system deployed in India can track aircraft flying well outside the country’s border, which can be a major threat to the enemy’s air force. NATO members considered it a major threat because of its sheer long range and it can spoil an enemy’s attempt at air dominance.
The system can engage all types of aerial targets including aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and ballistic and cruise missiles within the range of 400 km, at an altitude of up to 30 Km. the systems can simultaneously engage 36 targets.