|By Vinay Shukla||Published: June 2017|
Moscow. Russia could commence the deliveries of S-400 Triumf (read Triumph) air defence missile systems (ADMS) to India as early as in 2019 as it hopes that a final contract will be signed by the end of this year.
“We expect that the contract will be signed by the end of this year,” Maria Vorobyova, spokesperson of Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) was quoted as saying by Ínterfax Military Newswire-AVN and noting that the deliveries normally commence within two years after the signing of the contract.
Earlier speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin confirmed that pre-contract work is underway.
“In principle the preparations for signing the contract are underway and I hope the work will be completed soon,” he told AVN, adding that the two sides are negotiating the terms and formats of delivery, like the number of regiments, how many batteries would be in a regiment of the S-400 and other technical aspects of the deal.
The S400 is an anti-aircraft and anti-missile missile. Russia has already supplied this to China but the variant being to India should be later and possibly slightly better variant. Russia itself is deploying S 500, and developing S 600 in its missile evolution programme. The last two variants would be capable of destroying their targets in the outer space.
The Indo-Russian inter-governmental agreement on the acquisition of long range S-400 ADMS (NATO reporting name – SA-21 Growler) was signed in October 2015 at the Goa bilateral summit and is expected to cost USD 5 billion. At Russian INNOPROM Expo at Yekaterinburg last year, the Indian pavilion had projected the purchase of 12 complexes under ‘Make in India’ programme.
The S 400 is stated to be a multi-layer long-range air defence system capable of simultaneously destroying several airborne targets like ballistic missile warheads, stealth aircraft, drones and cruise missiles, depending on its configuration. It should be a game-changer for India when deployed in the forward areas on the western borders to counter Pakistani threats.
Designed and produced by Russia’s Almaz-Antey Concern, the S-400 system can be customised for full integration in the integrated aerospace defence of a customer country.
Military experts here told India Strategic on conditions of anonymity that Russia is expected to complete the deliveries of six S-400 systems to China by 2020-21 under a USD 3 billion deal signed in 2015.
However, Beijing will not get very long-range 40N6 SAMs with the range of 400 kilometres as China is not a member of MTCR (missile technology control regime) unlike India, so they will get anti-aircraft missiles with the range of 250 kilometres as MTCR prohibits export of missiles with a range above 300 kilometres to non-members.
Although India will be paying more for its five S-400 systems, the deal would include the longest-range 40N6 SAMs and transfer of technology for their manufacture under “Make in India” programme, experts believe.