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India Receives S-400 Air Defence System – Free PDF Download


What has happened?

  • Russia has started supplying the S-400 Triumf air defence systems to India, the first unit of which will be deployed near the western front.
  • The announcement was made by the Director of Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Dmitry Shugaev in Dubai air show.
  • FSMTC is the Russian government’s main defence export control organisation.

  • Industry sources said the first parts of the squadron have already started reaching India, and they would be deployed on a location where it can take on threats from both Pakistan and Chinese airspace.
  • The parts of the missile systems are coming via both air and sea routes and would be quickly deployed on the designated locations.
  • The first squadron delivery would be completed by the end of this year and after its deployment, the Indian Air Force would start focusing towards the eastern front, they said.
  • Even as the systems meant for India were undergoing trials, over 100 personnel of the Indian Air Force (IAF) were being trained on the S-400.


  • It was in 2016 that India and Russia had signed an agreement on the ‘Triumf’ interceptor-based missile system,
  • Which can destroy incoming hostile aircraft, missiles and even drones at ranges of up to 400 km.
  • S-400 is known as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system.
  • $5.2-billion deal for five5 S-400 system

  • Each S-400 system, known as a battery, consists of long-range radar, target acquisition radar, a command post vehicle, and two battalions of launchers (each battalion has eight).
  • Each launcher has four tubes.
  • The command post, the radars, and the launchers are mounted on multi-axle, multi-wheel Ural carriers that have the capability to move on uneven terrains.
  • The delivery of the system was to begin by end of 2020.
  • However, payment got delayed post this and hence the delivery schedule was extended.

What is the issue with USA?

  • The United States Government has made it clear that the delivery of the five S-400 systems is considered a “significant transaction” under its Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) of 2017,
  • Which could trigger sanctions against Indian officials and the Government.

What kind of sanctions?

  • The CAATSA is designed to ensure that no country is able to increase military engagement with Iran, North Korea and Russia without facing deterrent punitive action from the U.S.
  • Section 235 lists 12 options, including stopping credit lines from U.S. and international banks like IMF, blocking sales of licensed goods and technology, banning banks, manufacturers and suppliers, etc.
  • However, the law empowers the President to waive sanctions or delay them if he/she certifies that the deal is not a threat to the U.S. and allies,
  • That waiver of sanctions is in the U.S.’s “vital national security interests” or that the country being sanctioned promises to reduce its future dependence on the “adversary country”.

Has this been used before?

  • The U.S. has already placed sanctions on China and Turkey for purchase of the S-400.
  • In 2018, the State Department said it, along with the Department of the Treasury, would impose sanctions on the People’s Liberation Army’s Equipment Development Department,
  • For the purchase of the S-400 system-related equipment and Sukhoi-35 combat aircraft from Russian defence exporter Rosoboronexport.
  • What about India?
  • The Biden administration has not given any firm indication on where it leans on India’s case yet.
  • Last month, during a visit to Delhi, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said the U.S. had made it clear that the S-400 is “dangerous and not in anybody’s security interest”,
  • But left the determination on sanctions after India takes delivery of the missiles to President Biden himself. 
  • In April 2021, ahead of U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin’s visit to Delhi, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Menendez (also a Democrat),
  • Had urged Mr. Austin to raise the S-400 issue with Indian officials, and make it clear that the purchase would lead to sanctions.
  • Saudi Arabia has also reportedly negotiated with Russia for the S-400, and some experts in the U.S. feel that giving a waiver to India would be the wrong signal for others seeking to go ahead with similar deals.
  • New Delhi may receive a clearer picture on which way the S. will go when-
  • External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh are due to meet their American counterparts in the next few weeks in Washington.

Why S-400 is important for India?

  • S-400 is very important for India’s national security considerations, especially as it faces new threats from China, Pakistan and Afghanistan, calling it a “game changer”.
  • The system will also offset the air defence capability gaps due to the IAF’s dwindling fighter squadron strength.
  • Integrating the S-400 into the national air defence architecture will be much easier as India has a large number of legacy Russian air defence systems, a major reason India did not consider the U.S. air defence systems as a viable alternative.

Q) Which among the following is not the ballistic missile?

  1. Dhanush
  2. Prithvi
  3. Agni
  4. BrahMos




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