According to a statement given by a senior Russian official, the delivery of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems have been started by Russia to India. It was also said by Russia’s Director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) that the deliveries are under process as planned.
In order to purchase five units of the above-cited S-400 air defence missile systems, a $5 billion deal was signed with Russia in October 2018 by India despite being warned by the Trump administration that if the deal goes ahead, the contract might invite unwanted US sanctions. Back in 2019, the first tranche of payment of around $800 million was made by India.
All about the S-400
The Missile system is capable of simultaneously tracking numerous incoming objects including unmanned aerial vehicles, aircraft and missiles in a radius of a few hundred kilometres along with launching appropriate missiles in order to neutralize them. The S-400 is known to be Russia’s most advanced long-range surface to air missile defence system.
Along with ensuring a high success rate, distributing the targets to missile systems, an incoming object up to a distance of 1000 km can be picked up by the radars which have been equipped by the S-400 while it can also track several dozen incoming objects simultaneously, as per a report released by The Hindu.
In order to detect and destroy a range of targets including early warning and reconnaissance, Aircrafts used for electronic warfare, fighter jets such as F 16 and F 22 along with strategic bombers, the S-400 has been specifically designed to do so.
For engaging airborne warning and control system planes, missiles and enemy aircrafts, at 400 km, 200 km, the medium-range 120 km along with the short range 40 km, the S-400 missile defence system is also equipped with four different missiles designed for the same.
The parts of the air defence system would be first deployed at a location that would be close to The Western border as the system has started reaching India. Locations from where the system can tackle threats from both parts of the Western and northern frontiers with Pakistan and China shall be equipped with the systems, as said by sources in the Indian defence industry
India would be provided with an edge in South Asian skies by the air defence system as they would be able to take out enemy aircraft and cruise missiles from a distance of 400km while according to the sources, the equipment is being brought to India through both sea and air routes.
According to a report released by the Hindustan Times, along with providing resources for training of personnel within the country after the first Squadron is deployed, the Eastern borders shall then be focused on by the Indian Air Force.
In response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea back in 2014 along with its alleged meddling in the 2016 United States Presidential elections, in order to impose sanctions on those countries which have the willingness to purchase major defence hardware from Russia, CAATSA is a tough United States law that authorises the administration to impose such sanctions. Its provisions have served as an important tool for the Government of the United States in order to discourage Russian arms purchase across the world as it includes sanctions targeting Russia’s defence and intelligence sectors.
That said, for the multi-billion dollar deal which has been signed with Russia by India, the United States can willingly impose sanctions on India under the above-cited law, as per a report released by The Print.
On the contrary
Apprehensions have been there saying that Washington may impose similar punitive measures on India as the United States did on Turkey over the procurement of S-400 missile systems.
On the other hand, the United States President has been urged by two powerful US senators for not imposing the provisions of the punitive Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) against India with regards to the purchase of the S-400 Surface to air Missile system from Russia in the previous month.
The United States President was urged to grant a national interest waiver to India as provided under the above-cited law in a letter by the senators as this is in America’s national security interest.