India will receive S-400 air defence missile systems in 18-19 months: Russia
India will receive five S-400 air defence missile systems “in strict accordance” with the schedule, Russian deputy prime minister Yuri Borisov said on Sunday.
India had signed a $5.43-billion deal to buy five S-400s, Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system, in October last year despite the risk of US sanctions under Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). CAATSA impacts, among other things, making payments in US dollars.
According to the state-run Tass news service report, the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation said in June this year that the delivery of the S-400 to India is planned to start after 2020 and “issues with payment have been resolved.
“The advance payment has been received and everything will be delivered in strict accordance with the schedule, within about 18-19 months,” Borisov said, according to state-owned broadcaster Rossiya-1.
Senior Trump administration officials had cautioned India that the S-400 deal could attract sanctions under CAATSA law that restricts defence purchases from Russia, Iran and North Korea.
A Chinese military agency was sanctioned under CAATSA in 2018 for buying S-400s and Turkey, a NATO ally, has been told it will be denied F-35s, the most advanced fighter jets in the armoury of the military alliance, if it went ahead with its S-400 purchases.
India has said in the past that it meets the criteria for a waiver from US sanctions on the deal with Russia for the S-400 system and New Delhi cannot “wish away” its long-standing defence relations with Moscow. It has also told the US that it does not intend to give up the deal for the purchase of Russian-made systems.
In June, external affairs minister S Jaishankar told his American counterpart Mike Pompeo in New Delhi that India will go by its national interest while dealing with other countries, including with sanctions-hit Russia from whom New Delhi is procuring the S-400 missile defence systems.
The S-400 missile system is capable of engaging targets independently as well as after receiving data from other radars.
It is ground-based and it can detect, track and shoot down multiple targets including cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, aircraft, drones, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
It can target ballistic missiles in their terminal (descent or reentry) phase. The entire system consists of a multifunction radar, autonomous detection and targeting systems, anti-aircraft missile systems, launchers, command and control centre.
(With agency inputs)