Russia starts delivery of S-400 missile system to India
17 November 2021
Russia has started delivery of the S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile defence systems to India and as per reports, some components of the missile systems have started arriving in India, although all key parts are yet to reach here.
According to reports, delivery of the missile defence system will be completed in the last two months of this calendar year so that it will become operational by January or February next year.
It is also likely that the deliveries will be completed ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin's scheduled visit to India on 6 December for a bilateral meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Russia has also trained a group of Indian personnel to operate the first regiment of the Triumf S-400 surface-to-air missile systems, a Russian official said on Sunday. Alexander Mikheyev, the head of Russia's state-run military firm Rosoboronexport, told news agency TASS that a number of Russian experts will visit India in early January to oversee the installation of the weapons at the sites where it will be stationed.
He said Russia has already trained "Indian specialists" to operate the S-400 systems.
"The Indian specialists who will operate the first regiment set have completed their training and returned home," the Rosoboronexport chief said on the sidelines of the Dubai Airshow.
The director-general of the Rosoboronexport said the company is in consultations with "seven partners" on possible supplies of S-400 Triumf missile systems.
"Rosoboronexport continues consultations with Russia's seven strategic partners on supplies of high-technology and effective S-400 missile systems," Mikheyev said.
He also said that the shipment of equipment of the missile systems to India has begun ahead of schedule and that the first S-400 regiment will be delivered by the end of the year.
"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," Mikheyev said.
India signed a $5 billion deal with Russia in October 2018 to acquire five units of the S-400 missile systems, despite US threats of sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
The CAATSA, which was brought in 2017, provides for punitive actions against any country engaged in transactions with Russian defence and intelligence sectors.
The US has already imposed sanctions on Turkey for purchasing S-400 missile systems from Russia.
Although the Biden administration is yet to comment on India's deal with Russia, there are still apprehensions that Washington may impose similar punitive measures on India.
US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, during a visit to India last month, said that any country deciding to use the S-400 missiles is "dangerous" and not in anybody's security interest.
At the same time, she hoped that the US and India will be able to resolve differences over the procurement.
It is learnt that the matter is being discussed between India and the US.
The S-400 is known as Russia's most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system.
Russia has been one of India's key major suppliers of arms and ammunition.
It is learnt that India and Russia are going to firm up a number of agreements in the areas of defence, trade and investment, and science and technology at the summit between Modi and Putin.