The countries of India and Russia have recently come to an agreement for the supply of five S-400 air defense systems. The S-400 Triumf, formerly known as the S-300PMU-3, was developed by Russia’s Almaz Central Design Bureau during the 1990s and serves as an anti-aircraft weapon system which was intended to replace and modernize the S-300 family. The S-400 missile has been in service with the Russian Armed Forces since 2007.
The S-400 anti-aircraft weapon system utilizes three various missiles in order to cover its entire performance envelope. These three distinct missiles include the medium range 9M96 missile, the long range 48N6, as well as the extremely long range 40N6. The S-400 anti-aircraft weapon system also comes with a threat detection radar/command center along with a mobile launcher. This deal between the two countries also encompasses the purchase of around 6,000 missiles from Russia.
Just recently in December of 2015, the Indian Defense Acquisition Council had approved of the purchase of five S-400 missile systems, totally in at around $6 billion. Around this same time, India’s Reliance Defense had disclosed that they would be entering into a maintenance and manufacturing partnership with Russian Almaz-Antey, the manufacturer of the S-400 air defense missile system.
The S-400 has many qualities. It has a very high range. Our 40-year-old existing air defense system has a range of only 20-25 kilometers. With S-300 and S-400 [systems], we can target enemy aircraft from a range of 250 kilometers.
said Air Marshal, Anil Chopra.
If we are to protect big cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, this system will help us destroy enemy planes and missiles from quite a far range. Secondly, the S-400 is quite precise. The old system lacks precision. The S-400 has 95% precision hitting the target. The precision of our existing system is only about 80%.
The purchase agreement among the two countries will focus on automated control systems as well as radars as areas of partnership for the air defense missile systems. Although many countries are interested in acquiring this S-400 anti-aircraft weapon system, Russia has suggested to potential buyers that they will only be selling the system to foreign countries after Russia’s own military needs are met.