Even as India gets ready to deploy the first regiment of the S-400 Air Defence System, Russia has already indicated that the newer version S-500 ‘Prometei’ anti-aircraft missile system is ready to be offered to India. According to media reports quoting Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov have indicated that India could be the first buyer of the S-500 air defence system. The comments of the Russian Deputy Prime Minister come at a time when India has already started receiving the S-400 `Triumf’ from that country and the US has expressed its concern over the system.
As has been reported in Financial Express Online earlier, the long awaited S-400 has started arriving in India, for the Indian Air Force (IAF). This will be followed by a team of Russian specialists, arriving in India next month (January 2022) for transferring the equipment to the sites and helping the Indian team who have been trained in Moscow to start the operation process. The deliveries of various parts of the system started in November this year.
What about the S-500?
A top officer who wished to remain anonymous explained to Financial Express Online,” It is too early to discuss this as the first regiment of S-400 is in the process of being delivered to India. The delivery will be completed by 2023. And only then a decision will be taken.“
When was the contract for S-400 inked?
It was inked in 2018when the Russian President Vladimir was in India for the annual Indo-Russia annual summit.
And, the first tranche of payment for the S-400 Air Defence System was made by India in 2019 equivalent to USD 800 million. In fact in 2019, the two countries had agreed that the payment mode will be in Indian rupees. At a media interaction at that time, the embassy officials in New Delhi had explained that the main bank in India will transfer the payment in Rupees to the state-owned Russian Sberbank. And then, the Russian Bank’s branch will transfer the money to its Moscow based Headquarters in rouble.
S-400 Vs S-500
Based on the information available in public domain the air defence system that India is receiving now has an operational range of 400 Km and the new version S-500 has the capability to target ballistic missiles from a distance of around 600 km.
Reports in public domain state that the S-500 has the capability of targeting hypersonic missiles, thus giving it an edge over S-400. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is working on hypersonic missiles and by 2024, will have them ready. The S-500 also has the capability to target American fighters including B-2, F-35 stealth aircraft and F-22.
S-400 compared to American systems?
What India is getting is considered to be the best in the world – S-400 air defence system. The system that India is in the process of receiving has the capability of targeting fighter jets, drone attacks, rockets and missiles. India has placed order for five regiments – this means that each regiment has eight launchers, which have four missiles and combined – when needed this system can fire 32 missiles at a time.
According to reports, by 2024 the Russian Army is getting ready to replace the S-400 which has been operational since 2007 with the S-500.
Deployment of S-400 in India
As has been reported earlier by Financial Express Online, the system India is getting will be deployed in the northern part of the country. Why? Because from this location any kind of air attack from either Pakistan or China can be prevented.
The second regiment of the S-400 is expected to reach in mid-summer of 2022 and are likely to be deployed in the region to protect Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh and also along the Mumbai-Baroda Industrial Corridor.