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Despite US pressure, Russia begins delivery of second regiment of S-400 missile system to India

Ajay Banerjee

New Delhi, April 15

Pressure from the US notwithstanding, Russia has started delivery of the second regiment of S-400 air-defence missile system to India.

The first regiment was raised in December last year and is stationed at an Indian Air Force base in Punjab, duly tasked to tackle air-borne threats from Pakistan and China. In all, five such missile systems are on order under a $5-billion deal signed in October 2018.

“The Russian supplies of the S400, despite the conflict in Ukraine, have not been hindered and are on as per schedule,” a senior functionary told The Tribune.

By end of this month, the delivery of the critical system will be completed and thereafter it will be deployed, expectedly by June. The location of the base where the systems will be deployed is not known but is estimated to be in the north-east.

Each S-400 system has eight vehicle-mounted launchers. Each launcher has four tubes allowing the commander on ground to launch four missiles from each launcher.

The ground-based radar, monitoring station of the system, power systems and other systems are all transported on vehicles.

An S-400 missile can take down a hostile aircraft, missile or a UAV at a range between 40 km and 400 km. Each system has its own radar and can track over hundred targets at a distance of 600 km. This allows controllers on ground to choose which target poses a greater threat and needs to be shot down.

During the stand-off at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) China had deployed the S-300, a version lower than S-400, facing Eastern Ladakh.

The deliveries of the S-400 are on, even as the US threatens countries of imposing CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) for dealing with Russia. The CATTSA was passed in the US in 2017.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on his recent visit to the US had said CATSAA is a domestic law of America and Washington has to decide on it. “This is the law of America and whatever has to be done on it, they have to do it,” he said.

Jaishankar made it clear that whatever is necessary for India’s security, will be carried forward without worrying about any restrictions.

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