Thursday, 20 January 2022

First Fleet of S-400 deployed in Punjab sector

First Fleet of S-400 deployed in Punjab sector

On Monday, news agency ANI reported that the Indian Air Force (IAF) first squadron deployed a Russia-made S-400 missiles system in the Punjab sector. This will provide a boost to the country's air defense capabilities.

ANI quoted a government official as saying on condition of anonymity.

"The first fleet is being deployed in the Punjab area. The batteries of the first fleet would be capable of taking care of aerial threats from both Pakistan and China," 

Earlier this month, foreign secretary Harsh V Shringla had announced that Russia had started deliveries of the surface-to-air long-range missile system. Shringla's statement came soon after Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to India.

During Putin's one day-long visit, Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov praised the S-400 air defense missile systems deal between India, saying the US tried to strong-arm India into opting out of the pact New Delhi went through anyway.

First Fleet of S 400 deployed in Punjab sector 1Twitter image: @5thSu

Read More: S-400 air defense systems delivery started says, Russian official

The US, also India's leading defense partner, had expressed its disapproval towards the S-400 missile deal, but India's take on that the negotiations began years before (CAATSA) Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act was enacted, Hindustan Times reported earlier.

A purchases agreement was signed in 2015, and a deal worth $4.5 billion was finalized in 2018. The US tried to end it with counteroffers of its rival (THAD) Terminal High Altitude Area Defense and Patriot systems. It was an offer that came very late.

The US uses CAATSA to bring sanctions against nations with economic and defense ties to Russia, North Korea, and Iran. It used the law to sanction trade partner China and Nato ally Turkey to purchase the S-400 missile systems.

The US had said in November that it is yet to determine whether it will waive those sanctions concerning the deal between India and Russia.

India contracted for the S-400 air defense system in a deal worth around ₹35,000 crores, and five squadrons would be provided to India for tacking air threats from up to 400 km.

The S-400 missile defense system is equipped with four different missiles which can engage enemy aircraft, ballistic missiles, and AWACS planes at 400 km, 250 km, the medium-range 120 km, and the short-range 40 km.

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