India wants to rush delivery of S-400 anti-missile system — here’s why it doesn’t want any delays

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India wants to rush delivery of S-400 anti-missile system — here’s why it doesn’t want any delays
The S-400 anti missile systemWikimedia

  • Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is on his way to the Russia-India-China (RIC) meeting.
  • He is reportedly going ask for a rush delivery of the S-400 anti-missile system amid tensions with China.
  • Here’s why India’s in such a rush to get the S-400 anti-missile system — other than the fact that China already has it.
India’s Defence Minister — Rajnath Singh — is reportedly on his way to Russia to convince them to rush delivery of the $5.2 billion S-400 anti-missile system amid tensions with China.

The kicker is that China already has this system. In fact, it was the first foreign buyer to make a government-to-government deal with Russia in 2014. By August 2018, they had the S-400 anti-missile system in place and conducted its first test firing, according to Russian news agency TASS.

India wants to rush delivery of S-400 anti-missile system — here’s why it doesn’t want any delays
S-400's long range radarWikimedia

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The contract between India and Russia was inked on the sidelines of the Indo-Russia annual summit in 2019. The delivery of the first batch of the Triumf-made air defence system was scheduled to reach India by the end of 2021. However, sources told FE that the delivery may be delayed to as far as 2025 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Some thought India would delay the Russia-India-China (RIC) meet scheduled for June 23 as a diplomatic tactic after the violent clash between Indian and Chinese troops along the border. However, that is no longer the case.

Here’s why India wants S-400 anti-missile system, and it wants it soon:

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  1. The S-400’s anti-missile system’s radar has a range of at least 600 kilometres for surveillance. And, it can track a large number of targets simultaneously.
  2. It also detects and tracks stealth fighter jets like the F-22 and F-35, which are a part of China’s arsenal.
  3. Its missiles can aim for a target up to 400 kilometres away.
  4. During China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) test, it shot down a ‘simulated ballistic target’ that was 250 kilometres away.
  5. It’s a one-size-fits-all missile system that can be configured to long-range, semi long-range, medium-range and short-range systems depending on an individual’s preference.
  6. According to experts, this will help India form an interlocking grid of missiles to cover all its bases.
  7. It’s cheaper to operate than other air defence systems. It reportedly costs $400 million per fire unit. This includes 9 launchers, 120 missiles, command and support vehicles.
  8. The S-400 anti-missile system won’t only be deployed in the National Capital Region but also along the Mumbai-Baroda Industrial Corridor.
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