India to Postpone Purchase of Russian S-400 Missile Defence System

According to sources, a senior official within the Indian Ministry of Defence, the Indian government will delay the purchase of five regimental units of Russian-made S-400 Triumf advanced Air Defence Systems (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler). The Indian Air Force plans to introduce Russian S-400 Triumf Missile System to its military arsenal next year. The cost of the deal has not been divulged by India but according to other sources, India is likely to pay approximately USD 6 billion for five S400 units. 

Expressing enthusiasm over the performance of the S-400 Triumf Missile System, the Indian defence minister, Parrikar said in Parliament today that the S-400 has better performance parameters compared to the S-300 in many respects, such as maximum and minimum target engagement range, minimum target engagement altitude, and the maximum speed of target engaged. Parrikar also said that the S-400 is better in terms of the number of targets and maximum radar cross-section of targets engaged simultaneously as compared to the S-300. It also takes less deployment time as compared to the S-300. 

On the other hand, a senior defence official who requested anonymity said ” Our priority is to clear the global buy of $8.9 billion for Rafale fighters, $1.5 billion for very short range air defence (VSHORAD) man-portable systems and $1.5 billion in short-range surface-to-air missile (SRSAM) systems. There is no money for other foreign purchases,”

The S-400 is the most advanced air defence system in the world and many countries are vying to purchase the units including China. However, Russia has made it clear to prospective buyers that it will only sell the system to foreign countries after its own military requirements are fulfilled.

India’s Defence Acquisition Council approved the purchase of the S-400 Triumf Missile Systems along with associated equipment and missiles from Russia. According to the Defence Minister, a separate contract has been signed for the supply of five Full Mission Simulators for SU-30 MKI aircraft with a Russian firm during 2015-16. Once acquired, India will likely station three S-400 regiments in the West facing Pakistan and two units in the country’s East in close proximity to the Sino-Indian border. China has also ordered six S-400 units and is expecting their delivery within the next 12 months. Source

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