India currently possesses two batteries of S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems at this time. Reports from within the Asian nation indicate that they are now prepared for operational use. They are positioned to respond to a danger posed by China. In other words, the two S-400s are positioned to cover the northeastern portion of the border with China.
India will, however, improve its anti-aircraft capabilities. A third S-400 anti-aircraft missile system is expected at the end of the first quarter. By the end of February, Moscow should actually fly the S-400 to New Delhi. The Indian side says that these are the treaty’s terms, confirming that Russia is meeting all of its obligations.
Indian media said that by the end of the year, Indian specialists had already visited the missile system’s manufacturer, Almaz-Antey. On completion of their output, they inspected the finishing touches. According to reports, Indian Air Force troops accompanied the Indian delegation to Russia.
The participation of the first two S-400 batteries has already been confirmed. Although not in actual conflict, the air defense systems demonstrated remarkable effectiveness in their training exercises. India believes that the S-400 will have a significant deterrent effect against possible Chinese missile threats.
The purchase agreement between Russia and India for the S-400 was inked in 2018. The Indian government agreed to pay the demanded $5.4 billion. The United States attempted to influence India’s decision during this period. Washington warned New Delhi that this pact could trigger CAATSA sanctions.
India seemed unfazed by the threats. The United States did nothing regarding sanctions. Perhaps Washington’s indifference toward the Asian nation stems from India’s decision to let the F/A-18 Super Hornet compete in the contract for a new combat aircraft to serve the Indian aircraft carrier Vikrant.
Those in the know predict that the American fighter jet will fetch a high price at auction. Among these is the fact that Boeing has adapted the F/A-18 Super Hornet to launch from a ski-run-shaped runway, which is significantly shorter than the average runway.
The aircraft carrier Vikrant is built on such a plan. Washington can use this opportunity to challenge the MiG-29’s hegemony in the air combat market. Since India has granted Boeing a license to sell the F-15EX in the Indian market, that country’s government is another reason Washington hasn’t launched a full-scale attack on New Delhi with sanctions.
There are several amazing features of the S-400 air defence system. There is the confidence that it is the most effective long-range air defence system in the world against cruise and ballistic missiles. The system has a maximum range of 400 kilometers and a minimum range of two kilometers. At a distance of 60 kilometers, the S-400 is thought to be most effective against ballistic missiles.
Deployment of the S-400 takes only a few minutes, between 5 and 15. This system can rapidly launch two interceptor missiles at a single target.
The S-400 stands out from the crowd because it can be quickly adapted as an assault system for ground targets and air ones. This is extremely conditional on the specific missile and its payload.
The S-400 is not limited to defending against ground-based aircraft; it can also intercept cruise and ballistic missiles in mid-air. Among the strategic bombers marked for interception are the B-1, FB-111, and B-52H. Some electronic warfare aircraft, including the EF-111A and EA-6, can be safely added to this list.
The S-400 can take out enemy fighters as well. There is widespread agreement that the F-15 and F-16 are simple targets. According to reports, the S-400 is the first system in the world capable of detecting stealth technology, exposing the United States F-35, a fifth-generation stealth fighter. However, as of right now, the F-35 remains a mere statement, as there is no proof of such an interception.
The chance of the F-35 being intercepted by the S-400, however, cannot be ruled out. The United States cited security concerns regarding the F-35’s stealth technology as the primary technical basis for excluding Turkey from the program.
Aside from India, countries that currently use the S-400 are Russia, Turkey, Belarus, and China. It has been reported that many other countries, including Serbia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, and Qatar, are interested in purchasing it.