Russia starts shipping S-400 air defence system to India ahead of sked: Official

Russia will send specialists to help with induction of S-400 air defence system that can hit targets 400km away, says Alexander Mikheyev, chief of state arms exporter Rosoboronexport
A view shows a new S-400 "Triumph" surface-to-air missile system after its deployment at a military base outside the town of Gvardeysk near Kaliningrad. Russia has started shipping the air defence system to India ahead of schedule (REUTERS/File photo)
A view shows a new S-400 "Triumph" surface-to-air missile system after its deployment at a military base outside the town of Gvardeysk near Kaliningrad. Russia has started shipping the air defence system to India ahead of schedule (REUTERS/File photo)
Published on Nov 16, 2021 12:31 AM IST
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ByHT Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Russia has begun shipping the S-400 air defence systems to India ahead of schedule and will send specialists to help with the induction of the weapon next year, the head of state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said on Monday.

“The equipment shipment has begun ahead of schedule,” Rosoboronexport chief Alexander Mikheyev was quoted as saying by Tass news agency.

The first regiment of S-400 systems will be delivered to India by the end of this year and Russian experts will help with the induction of the weapons in 2022, Mikheyev told the Russian state-run news outlet at the Dubai air show.

“All the material of the first regiment set will be delivered to India at the end of 2021. Immediately after the New Year, our specialists will arrive in India for the equipment transfer at the sites where it will be stationed,” he said.

Mikheyev said Indian specialists who will operate the first regiment of S-400 systems have completed their training in Russia and returned home.

The deliveries of the S-400 systems are being carried out in compliance with the terms of the contract with India, he added.

India announced its intention to purchase S-400 air systems in 2015. A $5.4-billion contract for five regiments of S-400 systems was signed during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India for an annual summit in October 2018.

People familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity that Russia started shipping the components for the first batch of S-400 systems by air and sea. India has signalled its intention to go ahead with the deal despite the US warning it could attract secondary sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

Putin is expected to visit India in the second week of December for the annual summit, which will set the stage for the two countries to renew their military-technical cooperation for the next decade.

The S-400 Triumf is Russia’s latest long-and medium-range surface-to-air missile defence system that went into service in 2007. It is designed to destroy strategic and tactical aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles and hypersonic weapons and can also be used against ground installations.

The S-400 can engage targets at a distance of up to 400km and at an altitude of up to 30km.

Mikheyev also said Rosoboronexport is in talks with seven of Russia’s strategic partners on possible supplies of the S-400 systems. “During the talks, we discuss the scope of supply, equipment, [and] offer additional means to boost the systems’ effectiveness and reliability,” he said.

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