Amidst the global pandemic of coronavirus, the delivery schedule of the S-400 Triumf air defense missile systems, as well as other military programmes between India and Russia are not expected to be delayed.
Depending on the situation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Russian President Vladimir Putin are likely to meet next month.
“It is all dependent on the global situation. If it is safe to fly, there is a possibility of PM Modi visit to Russia to participate in the Anniversary Celebrations of the Victory Day in May. And if not then the two leaders are likely to meet in July for the BRICS and SCO summits, preparations for which are going on,” said a source.
Both leaders have has telephone talks and agreed to help each other in the fight against COVID-19.
The two leaders are also expected to meet each other in India for the annual summit later this year. “Military cooperation, as well as the military contracts between the two countries among other matters, is of great importance. Officers from the two sides are having regular discussions on these,” the source said.
Financial Express Online has already reported that the mode of payment for the S-400 has already been formalized. Russian officials had in 2019 made clear that to eliminate dependency on USD, perhaps the option of using of Rupee-Rouble currency will be preferred.
The contract for the S-400 missile system was inked on the sidelines of the Indo-Russia annual summit in India in 2018.
The Financial Express Online was told that the payment for the missile system will be made by India’s main bank to the state-owned Russian Sberbank.
What is India buying?
With the mode of payment issue sorted out, the delivery of the missile system is staggered and it will be completed in the first half of 2025 when the fifth and the final regimental set will be delivered.
The Ministry of Defence has signed a $ 5.2 billion deal for five regiments of the S-400 Triumf. This will be deployed in not only in the National Capital Region but also along the Mumbai-Baroda Industrial Corridor.
This will be under the Indian Air Force (IAF) and these will give more strength to the Air Defence and the officers and men who will operate this will be trained in Moscow as per the contract.
Referred to as the SA-21 ‘Growler’ by NATO, the S-400 has for four types of missiles.
There are different ranges varying between 40 km, 100 km, 200-km and 400 km.
This according to experts will help in forming an impenetrable interlocking grid of missiles.
It has the capability to be readied in a few minutes and can detect and destroy low flying as well as high flying targets.
Missiles and launchers will be mounted on cross country trucks.
It has 92N6E electronically-steered phased array radar.
Has the capability to track around 300 targets spread over an area of 600 kms away.
They are resistant to electronic jamming too.
What has the Indian envoy said?
In an interview with the Russian news agency TASS, the Indian ambassador Bala Venkatesh Varma has said that “The pandemic will not impact the contracts between the two countries, and the delivery of the S-400 systems will be on time.”
In February this year, the Deputy Director of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation ( (FSMTC) Vladimir Drozhzhov had announced that the delivery of the first batch of S-400 Triumf air defense missile systems to India would be by end of 2021, as per the schedule.