Russia has confirmed that it is delivering the S-400 long-range air defense system to India. By the end of this year, India will obtain its first complete S-400 air defense missile battalion. It is still unclear where India will deploy its first S-400 air defense missile battalion, but news shows that India is likely to deploy its first S-400 air defense missile battalion near the India-Pakistan border.
Relevant experts believe that India has many advantages in deploying the S-400 air defense system near the India-Pakistan border. The terrain of the India-Pakistan border area is relatively flat, which can give full potential to the performance of the S-400 air defense system and the radar detection of the S-400 air defense system. With a distance of more than 1,000 kilometers, the missile has a range of 400 kilometers. It can not only monitor the air activities in the hinterland of Pakistan but also pose a serious threat to the Pakistan Air Force within its range: theoretically, as long as the Pakistan Air Force’s fighters take off, they may be detected. The defensive S-400 air defense system can even play an offensive role, the so-called “ground control of the air.”
In the face of the Indian Air Force, which is about to acquire the S-400 air defense system, the Pakistani army, which has already served the HQ-9 long-range air defense system (Chinese replica of S-350). More importantly, in the face of the S-400 air defense system that has been coordinated with other air defense systems, early warning aircraft, and fighter jets, the Pakistan Air Force seems to lack sufficient countermeasures: the missile range of the S-400 air defense system is 400 kilometers, and it has a strong Anti-ballistic missile capability, capable of intercepting medium-range ballistic missiles. The S-400 air defense system is specially equipped with a low level radar detector.
In contrast, the Pakistan Air Force has nothing like S-400 not even close, either they have electronic warfare capabilities like Israel that can deal with S-300 and S-400, basically, it has never dealt with opponents such as the S-400 air defense system. The Pakistani Air Force’s F-16 fighter jets do not have the ability to launch anti-radiation missiles, and the US Air Force has not had in-depth exchanges with the Pakistan Air Force in the field of “Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses” (SEAD). The JF-17 is capable of launching anti-radiation missiles, equipped with the Brazilian MAR-1 anti-radiation missile but has a range of only 50 kilometers. It needs to go deep into the range of the S-400 air defense system to obtain the launch opportunity. It is likely to be shot down by S-400 before the missile is launched.
Soon after the news that India was about to deploy the S-400 air defense system near the India-Pakistan border, the Pakistani army tested Shaheen-1A surface-to-surface ballistic missile. It can carry nuclear warheads and has strong penetration capabilities. Although the Pakistani army claimed that the test fire was to re-verify the relevant design and technical parameters of the weapon system, many relevant people believe that this is likely to be Pakistan’s response to India’s deployment of the S-400 air defense system to the India-Pakistan border.
The flat terrain on the India-Pakistan border, lack of adequate mountain cover, combined with the super detection capability of the S-400 air defense system radar, and the support and cooperation of the Indian early warning aircraft and other radar systems, make it difficult for Pakistan’s fighter jets and cruise missiles to use radar blind spots. Low-altitude penetration tactics, and the fast-speed ballistic missile, although the radar signal is obvious, seems to be capable of breaking through the interception of the S-400 air defense system. “Shaheen-1A” (Shaheen-1A) missile can carry a 1-ton cluster warhead. If it can break through the interception, it can cause devastating damage to the S-400 air defense system. Check the S-400 air defense system’s anti-missile ability.
However, judging from Russian news and export sales, the anti-missile capability of the S-400 air defense system seems to be really strong. Using ballistic missiles against the S-400 is probably not optimal. Besides that India has MRSAM which can shoot down ballistic missiles and hypersonic targets.