New Delhi: The delivery of the second squadron of the S-400 Triumf air defence system to India, scheduled to start from next month, is likely to be delayed by three months because of Russia’s ongoing war with Ukraine, government sources have told ThePrint.
However, India has received a tranche of simulator and training equipment for the first squadron of S-400, which was , besides overhauled aircraft engines and spares, sources said.
“The scheduled delivery of the second squadron of the S 400 is set to begin in May. However, given that Russia is in the middle of a war, we are expecting a delay of about three months,” a source in the defence and security establishment said.
This refutes certain media reports that the delivery of the second regiment has already begun.
“Simulators and other training equipment have come in. The delivery schedule for the second squadron of the S-400 is in May. We are expecting it to be delayed,” a second source said.
A third source ThePrint spoke to said delivery of the air defence system happens through one of the ports in India, and is brought by two separate ships with two different timelines. One ship brings in the regular hardware, and the other brings in the actual missiles.
The third source also made it clear that no such ship has arrived with even parts of the second squadron of the S-400 system.
Sources said the first squadron of the S-400 has been deployed in the western sector (along the border with Pakistan) while the second squadron, as and when delivered, will be deployed in the east.
What is S-400?
The contract for the S-400 was signed in 2018, much to the discomfort of the US. While deliveries were to begin from 2020, the timeline got delayed because of payment issues, as reported by ThePrint earlier.
Each S-400 system, known as a battery, consists of long-range radar, target acquisition radar, a command post vehicle, and two battalions of launchers. Each battalion has eight launchers aand each launcher has four tubes.
The command post, the radars, and the launchers are mounted on multi-axle, multi-wheel Ural carriers that have the capability to move on uneven terrain, including mountains and the desert.
The air defence system has a tracking capability of nearly 600 km and is capable of destroying incoming hostile aircraft, missiles and even drones within a range of up to 400 km.
Over 100 personnel of the Indian Air Force (IAF) were trained on the S-400 in Russia.
While the US has been putting pressure on India not to accept delivery of the Russian defence system, President Biden’s administration is unlikely to sanction India under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) for procuring Russian S-400.
Responding to questions on CAATSA during his recent visit to the US for the 2+2 dialogue, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar had said: “This is the law of America and whatever has to be done on it, they have to do it.”
He also said that whatever is necessary for India’s security will be carried forward without worrying about any restrictions.
(Edited by Shreyas Sharma)
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