India’s first S-400 Missile Defence System to go live in April, all 5 units to be deployed along the LAC

India has fast-tracked the deployment of the S-400 Triumf missile system. The first unit will be made operational in April while the other four units are expected to be operational by end of 2023, sources said.

India has initiated work towards deploying the S-400 Triumf advanced surface-to-air missile defence system as its first unit will be operational in April 2022, Hindustan Times reported.

Officers in the know of developments told the publication mentioned above that each of the five units of the S-400 would be stationed in in-depth areas to tackle the threat emerging from China.

The S-400 Triumf is a mobile surface-to-air missile system developed by Russia’s ACDBME (Almaz Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering). It is among the most advanced air defence system currently available in the market. The missile system was designed with an aim to exterminate tactical and strategic aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, and hypersonic weapons.

The Russia-made S-400 system can take down a hostile aircraft or missile at a range between 40km and 400km. It was bought by India in a $5-billion deal, inked in October 2018.

The advance consignments of two S-400 systems have already arrived in India from Russia. The work to assemble the systems is going on in full swing, by the Indian teams who have been trained by Russia.

India’s Junior Defence minister Ajay Bhatt had said the S-400 Missile is “a potent system in terms of its operational capability to provide continuous and effective air defence system to a very large area. With the induction of this system, the air defence capability of the nation will be significantly enhanced.”

In October 2018, India had signed a $5 billion deal with Russia to buy five units of the S-400 air defence missile systems, despite a warning from the Trump administration that going ahead with the contract may invite US sanctions.

 The US has made clear to India that it is ‘discouraging’ it from proceeding with its acquisition of S-400 missile defence systems from Russia but Washington will have to weigh ‘important geostrategic considerations’ while taking a decision on growing calls for a presidential CAATSA waiver to New Delhi, President Joe Biden’s nominee for Coordinator for Sanctions Policy has told lawmakers.

The US has already imposed sanctions on Turkey under the CAATSA for the purchase of a batch of S-400 missile defence systems from Russia. The Biden administration has not yet clarified whether it will impose sanctions on India under the provisions of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) for procuring the S-400 missile systems.

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