Published On: Wed, Mar 20th, 2024

Delivery of remaining two squadrons of S-400 air defence missiles system by 2026, assures Russia

New Delhi: Russia has assured India that the delivery of the final two squadrons of the S-400 long-range air defence missile system will be completed by August 2026. This announcement comes amidst delays attributed to Russia’s ongoing military conflict with Ukraine.

Indian Air Force views the acquisition of the S-400 system as a pivotal development in enhancing its air defence capabilities

Originally, Russia and India had entered into a deal for the purchase of five squadrons of the S-400 air defence system. However, due to the evolving situation arising from the Russia-Ukraine conflict, only three squadrons have been supplied thus far, with the remaining two facing delays.

According to sources in the defence establishment, the Russian authorities have communicated their commitment to providing the two outstanding squadrons by August 2026, altering their initial timeline for delivery.

The S-400 air defence system boasts a formidable range of 400 kilometres and possesses high efficacy against various threats, including fighter jets and cruise missiles. The delay in the delivery of the S-400 systems has impacted the fulfilment of the over Rs 35,000 crore deal signed between India and Russia. Originally, the completion of all deliveries was anticipated by the end of 2023-24, but this timeline is now subject to possible delays.

The Indian Air Force views the acquisition of the S-400 system as a pivotal development in enhancing its air defence capabilities. Despite recent acquisitions such as the indigenous MR-SAM, Akash missile systems, and the Israeli Spyder quick reactions surface-to-air missile systems, the S-400 is deemed a game-changer.

In addition to all this, the Indian Air Force is progressing with its indigenous Project ‘Kusha,’ spearheaded by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). This initiative aims to develop an indigenous air defence system capable of neutralizing enemy threats at extended ranges.

Against the backdrop of heightened tensions, both India and China have significantly bolstered their air defence deployments along the Line of Actual Control. This move underscores the strategic importance attached to maintaining robust defensive capabilities in the region.

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