The bilateral relations between India and Russia have stood the test of time and have been rock solid over the years. The two countries are close allies despite American Presidents including current Democrat leader Joe Biden casting aspersions over the bonhomie. Once again, in direct defiance of America and Joe Biden, Russia has started supplying the game-changing S-400defence system to India.
Sputnik, the Russian news agency reported, “Russia has started delivering the S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile systems to India, the deliveries are going as planned,”. Quoting Dmitry Shugaev, director of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, the news agency stated, “The supplies of the S-400 air defence system to India have started and are proceeding on schedule,”
The S-400 air defence system was contracted for by India in a deal worth around Rs 35,000 crore in October 2018, despite the then US President Donald Trump huffing and puffing at the signing of the deal. At the time, it was decided that five squadrons would be provided to India. The first of the five squadron deliveries are expected to be complete by the end of this year.
The US is in a fix over imposing sanctions or not
Ever since the US brought the sanctions-triggering Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) and Turkey was sanctioned for buying S-400 from Russia — there have been apprehensions that Washington may impose similar punitive measures on India.
However, as reported by TFI, two influential American senators recently warned Joe Biden against sanctioning India under CAATSA. Republican Senator John Corny and Democrat Senator Mark Warner wrote a letter to Biden, calling for a waiver on the grounds of national security and broader cooperation.
The senators wrote, “We believe that a waiver for India is appropriate for several reasons,” adding that India has been cutting its dependence on Russia for defence purchases and, more importantly, “Imposing sanctions at this time could derail deepening cooperation with India across all aspects of our bilateral relationship – from vaccines to defence cooperation, from energy strategy to technology sharing.”
Why is S-400 important?
S-400 is one of the most advanced air defence systems in the world. It can track numerous incoming objects- all kinds of aircraft, missiles and UAVs — in a radius of a few hundred kilometres and launch appropriate missiles to neutralize them.
The S-400 air defence system is a highly sophisticated and robust system being a large complex of radars, control systems and different types of missiles. Its radars can pick up incoming objects up to a range of 1,000 km, track several incoming objects simultaneously and launch appropriate missiles for such targets.
It has a high success rate to go with such high standards of efficiency and automation. It can engage up to a mind-boggling 36 targets at a time and simultaneously launch 72 missiles.
With Russia staring the supply, the US does not have a much of choice here. It needs to pipe down and stop interfering in India’s defence plans.