The first regiment of the S400 system arrived in India in December 2021 right after the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to the country. The first regiment has been successfully deployed at the Punjab border to thwart any airstrikes from both Pakistan and China.
India and Russia locked the deal worth Rs 39000 Crore for five regiments of S400 missile defence systems in 2018. All five S400 systems will be delivered to India by end of 2023.
It was feared that the prevailing war situation might impact the schedule of defence deals between India and Russia, the most significant one being the S400 missile defence systems. Brushing this worry aside, Russia has commenced delivering the second regiment of S400 systems to India. By the end of April, the complete regiment will be ready for deployment.
The ‘Game Changer’ for India
S400 system is the most powerful air defence system in the world with a range that varies from 2 Km to 400 Km. It can track any aerial threat from a distance of 600 Kms. S400 is often referred to as the ‘game changer’ for India which is dealing with a dual-threat from Pakistan and China. S400 system can track and destroy any Ballistic missile, enemy aircraft or Drone that invades the Indian air space.
Structure of S400 System
Coming to the structure of the S400 system, each regiment of this system comprises 8 launchers, and each launcher has 4 missiles which mean one regiment can launch 32 missiles at a time. S400 can track up to 80 targets at a time. S400 can respond to a threat within 3 minutes. There are around 14 to 16 vehicles in one regiment of the S400 system including the command and control, launch vehicle and long-range radar vehicle.
Delivery of Russian S400 comes along with India-US 2+2
The time of delivery of S400 to India by Russia despite war and sanctions holds significance as Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar have just concluded a 2+2 dialogue with the US. India has maintained it’s traditional military and diplomatic relations with Russia even as US has been raising concerns over them. In 2018, when India had locked the deal for five regiments of S400 with Russia, the US had cancelled its first scheduled 2+2 dialogue with India as a strong reaction, however, India did not compromise with its deal with Russia. As the delivery of the first regiment of S400 began in 2021, there were statements from the US alleging violation of the CAATSA, Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act by India.
Despite these reactions, India has strongly continued it’s ties with Russia. After the complete delivery of the second regiment of S400, the deployment of these most powerful missile systems will begin on the sensitive border.