Russia starts the deliveries of S-400 air defence system to India

The $5.5 billion deal for five long-range surface-to-air missile systems, which India says it needs to counter a threat from China, was signed in 2018.

Russia has started supplying India with S-400 air defence missile systems, Russian news agencies reported on Sunday citing Dmitry Shugayev, the head of the Russian military cooperation agency.

“Russia has started supplying S-400 air defence system to India, the first division will be delivered by the end of 2021,” said Dmitry Shugaev, Director of Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC). The supplies are proceeding on schedule, he added.

In October 2018, India and Russia signed a $5.43 billion deal for five S-400 regiments. Ahead of the scheduled deliveries, two Indian Air Force (IAF) teams have already been trained on the system by the manufacturer Almaz Antey, in Russia.

S-400 Air defense missile system
S-400 Air defense missile system

Defence trade between India and Russia was $15 billion in the last three years because of several big ticket deals.

Each regiment of the S-400 air defence system acquired by India will be divided into 2 battalions with one 92N6E grave stone panoramic radar Has the ability to detect stealth targeting range of 150 km engagement, One 96L6E high-altitude detector (TSBS) radar and equipment operate independently of the 96L6E low-level radar detector. Each S-400 battalion will be equipped with 8 launchers. Each regiment will further have 1 91N6E Big Bird radar 1 55K6E command post.


What is India getting?

A contract between the two countries was inked in 2018 at the end of the annual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In the contract worth USD 5.43 billion, Indian Air Force will get S-400 Triumf ‘SA-21Growler’. This is a long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system and will help in strengthening India’s Air Defence. Under the contract India is getting five Triumf regimental kits from Russia and the delivery will be completed by 2025.

As has been reported in the Financial Express Online earlier, that the IAF is expected to deploy this in the National Capital Region (NCR) and along the Mumbai-Baroda Industrial Corridor. A team from the IAF has been in Moscow undergoing training for operating the system when it arrives later this year.


This system has 92N6E electronically-steered phased array radar. This radar is resistant to jamming.

Once deployed this system which is considered to be the best in the world will be able to not only detect but also to destroy low and high targets. It will also form a grid of missiles which cannot be penetrated through.

There are four types of missiles with different ranges and can be deployed in a short time. The ranges are between 40 km, 100 km, 200-km and 400 km.

In 2017, the Trump administration had introduced the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act or CAATSA. And during different stages of discussions with the US officials, India has made it very clear that the discussions for the process for getting S-400 from Russia had started much before the US sanctions on Russia.

Sino-India Border S-400 SAM Deployment

The militaries of India and China are in an 18 month long standoff and China has already deployed the S-400 air Defence System on their side along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh.

And the Indian Air Force has a very important offensive role to play as the land terrain in that region is very tough and inhospitable.

These air defence systems are truck deployable. This has an advantage as this mobility makes it difficult for others to detect it. The Border Road Organisation (BRO) which has been working on road infrastructure will help in moving S-400 SAM mounted heavy trucks on the Indian side. Overall, S-400 SAMs shall provide India with an offensive and a defensive capability.


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