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Russia to deliver S-400 by 2021-end, but will supply missiles and bombs amid LAC tensions

The Print logo The Print 01-07-2020 Snehesh Alex Philip
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New Delhi: India’s S-400 Triumf air defence system is currently in production in Russia and will undergo a series of trials before its arrival in the country by the end of 2021.

Sources said amid tensions with China at the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, Russia will supply certain kinds of missiles and bombs for the Indian Air Force and the Army as part of emergency procurement.

Sources also said during the recent visit of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to Russia, a review of all defence contracts signed and those in pipeline was done.

Diplomatic sources said India has sought emergency delivery of quite a few items.

They said India is aware that according to the contract, the delivery of the S-400 system would begin within 24 months from the payment of the first tranche of the $5.2-billion dollar deal.

Sources said even though the contract for the system, which will be India’s air defence umbrella and the main pillar of the Indian Air Force’s defence grid, was signed in October 2018, the payment took time because both countries had to find a way around the US sanctions against Russia.

Initially, it was expected that the first of the five S-400 systems will start coming in by the end of 2020. Following this, the rest of the four systems will be supplied over a period of four years.

“The production process involves a lot of computing and coding, which is very specific to the requirements of a particular customer. There are series of tests that are conducted, which are also followed up by training. The production can’t be simply sped up,” a source said.

The source added it is not like in-use missiles, which can be diverted from Russian forces to India or any other customer.

Also read: Covid-19 pandemic won’t affect S-400 deliveries: Indian Ambassador in Russia

Capabilities of S-400

The S-400 is the most modern air defence system in the Russian arsenal meant for export.

It is capable of destroying incoming hostile aircraft, missiles and even drones within a range of up to 400 km. It has a tracking capability of nearly 600 km.

The system has been designed to knock down flying targets, including those equipped with stealth technologies, at a distance of about 400 km. It is also capable of taking out ballistic missiles and hypersonic targets. 

Compared to its predecessor — the S-300 — the S-400 has a firing rate that is 2.5 times faster.

As reported by ThePrint earlier, each S-400 battery comprises long-range radar, a command post vehicle, target acquisition radar and two battalions of launchers (each battalion has eight). Each launcher has four tubes.

The S-400 can be armed with four different types of missiles with ranges of 400 km, 250 km, 120 km and 40 km. The long-range radar can track more than 100 flying objects simultaneously while being able to engage a dozen targets.

Also read: China ‘deploys’ S-400s, IAF has war gamed the scenario multiple times for air ops

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