Russia supplies S-400 to India amid warfare

Updated on Apr 16, 2022 12:12 AM IST

“These are ongoing deliveries as part of the contract signed with Russia four years ago. The deliveries are on schedule,” said one of the officials cited above. The first elements of the S-400 air defence missile systems were supplied by Russia last December.

India ordered five S-400 missile systems from Russia for <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>39,000 crore in October 2018.(REUTERS)
India ordered five S-400 missile systems from Russia for 39,000 crore in October 2018.(REUTERS)

Russia has begun fresh deliveries of S-400 Triumf air defence systems that will constitute the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) second squadron of the weapon amid the ongoing Ukraine war and Washington’s attempts to wean India away from its dependence on Russian military hardware, two senior government officials familiar with the development said on Friday, asking not to be named.

“These are ongoing deliveries as part of the contract signed with Russia four years ago. The deliveries are on schedule,” said one of the officials cited above. The first elements of the S-400 air defence missile systems were supplied by Russia last December.

India ordered five S-400 missile systems from Russia for 39,000 crore in October 2018. The S-400 is capable of destroying a variety of aerial threats, including enemy fighter jets and missiles, at a range of 400km.

IAF is on track to bolster its air defence capabilities with the phased induction of the new system, said the second official. Russia is expected to complete all deliveries by 2023. The S-400 comes with a mix of radars and missiles that allow it to knock down threats at various height and range bands.

The latest S-400 deliveries came days after defence minister Rajnath Singh and external affairs minister S Jaishankar met their American counterparts, secretary of defence Lloyd J Austin and secretary of state Antony J Blinken for the 2+2 dialogue earlier this week.

In an interview to HT, Singh said the US was aware that India and Russia are “natural allies” and enjoy stable ties, but at the same time, India would not allow its relationship with a third country to adversely affect the US’s “core national interests”.

“There were apprehensions that there may be delays in S-400 supplies from Russia due to the Ukraine war. But ground and test equipment, simulators and other hardware that form the S-400 air defence systems have started flowing in. This is a reassurance that there will be no disruption in supplies,” said Air Marshal Anil Chopra (retd), director general, Centre for Air Power Studies.

He said the S-400 system is a game-changer in air defence in the region.

The complications stemming from the wide-ranging sanctions slapped on Russia by the US and its allies on the back of the war in Ukraine have posed new challenges for the India-Russia defence relationship, put India’s military preparedness to the test and assigned new urgency to reduce dependence on imported military hardware to stay battle-ready.

The global backlash against Russia has also prompted questions about the fate of new projects, spares procurement for existing Russian-origin weapons, maintenance and servicing of legacy equipment and creating an alternative payment system for defence trade with Russia amid the banking sanctions.

Russia accounted for 46% of India’s imports during the last five years, even though India made fewer purchases from Russia over the last decade. Russian weapons exports to India fell 47% between 2012-16 and 2017-21, according to a report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) last month.

Still, two-thirds of India’s military equipment is of Russian-origin.

Russian-origin equipment held by the three services includes fighter jets, transport planes, helicopters, warships, submarines, tanks, infantry combat vehicles, multi-rocket systems, rifles and even shoulder-fired missiles.

Moreover, procurements and projects in the works include the S-400 air defence systems, more Sukhoi-30 and MiG-29 fighter jets, frigates, T-90 tanks, joint production of AK-203 assault rifles and, above all, the lease of a nuclear-powered submarine.

Get Latest India Newsalong with Latest Newsand Top Headlinesfrom India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, February 08, 2023
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals