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India to Acquire World’s Most Advanced S-400 Triumf Missile System

S-400 Triumf Russian Air Defence Missile System one of the most formidable in the world that even the US fears could soon be acquired by India as negotiations have been concluded after finalization of financial component worth ₹40,000 crore ($ 5.5 billion) and the deal is likely to be officially announced before an annual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin in October 2018. The deal has also landed India in the global strategic complexities as a stringent US law ‘Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act’ (CAATSA) seeks to punish countries and entities engaged in transactions with defence or intelligence establishment of Russia; and Mac Thornberry, Chairman of the US House Armed Service has said that there was a lot of concern in Trump administration regarding the S-400 missile being acquired by partner countries, including India. Russia and India are now trying to find a way out.

As India is caught in the crossfire of anti-Russian sanctions, US Defence Secretary James Mattis has called for waiver for India though it has significant defence cooperation with Russia. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also had a closed-door meeting with Mattis in Singapore on the sidelines of Shangri-La Dialogue on Saturday June 2, 2018, which assumes significance, as they discussed issues of mutual and global interest pertaining to security, days after the Pentagon renamed its Pacific Command as the Indo-Pacific Command – meant to reflect the US’s growing relationship with India, as the rhetorical shift is also likely part of a gambit to undercut China’s growing clout in the region. The first ‘two-plus-two’ ministerial dialogue between India and the US is scheduled for the first week of July, 2018.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday June 5, 2018 said, “We have very clearly explained that India and Russia’s defence cooperation has been going on for a long time and that it is a time-tested relationship. This has been explained. Sanction cannot affect relations with Russia. We have reached a final stage in S-400 negotiations. CAATSA cannot impact the relations”.

India will also acquire Six Pinaka Multi-barrel Roacket Launch Systems; 571 bullet proof vehicles for counter insurgency; 120 trawls for T-72 and T-90 tanks.

  • S-400 Triumf, its NATO reporting name is SA-21 Growler, is the most advanced anti-aircraft defense system in Russia and is unparalleled in the world.
  • Manufactured by Russian producer Almaz Antey under a contract with the Russian Defense Ministry and introduced into service in 2007.
  • S-400 is a variant of the S-300 missile system of Russia with 2.5 time faster firing rate.
  • Can track and shoot down about 80 simultaneous targets.
  • Specifications include Command/control system, multiple radar units, mid-range and long-range guided missile capability with missile launchers
  • S-400 is a surface to air missile that can attack UAVs, drones, cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, aircraft, UAVs, as well as ground based targets.
  • It is designed to ensure air defense using mid-range and long-range guided missiles that can hit both land and aerial targets, including tactical and strategic aircraft as well as ballistic and cruise missiles, at ranges up to 400km (248 miles).
  • Its Maximum altitude is 10000 ft and Maximum speed is 4800m/s
  • Its deployment time 10 minutes
  • It’s completely automated, right from acquisition to final engagements.
  • S-400 is widely considered Fourth-generation system in terms of combat capabilities.

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