NEW DELHI: Russia has begun delivering the second unit of the S-400 missile system to India. This comes amid the war between Russia and Ukraine and the sanctions imposed by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) countries.
A source confirmed, “Yes, the delivery of the second S-400 missile system is under process,” adding that it involves multiple components which are being delivered by both air and sea.
The first unit of the missile system was fully delivered by December 2021 and operationalised, added another source.
Defence analyst Major General SB Asthana (Retd) termed it a done deal. “This has to go through irrespective of what the US says. It is the buyer’s market and sovereign right of India to choose the best equipment which suits our military and national interest.”
The US has continued to put pressure on India for not condemning Russia over the Ukraine war.
However, during the recent 2+2 meeting between the US and Indian Defence and Foreign Ministers in Washington, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, "We have not made determination of potential sanctions or waivers under CAATSA." Acknowledging the old ties between India and Russia, Blinken said India and Russia have a "long history and long relationship" in defence equipment trade.
Replying to a query, Indian Foreign Minister Dr S Jaishankar said, “It is their legislation and whatever has to be done has to be done by them.”
The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) domestic law of the US allows it to impose sanctions against countries which continue transactions with Iran, North Korea and Russia.
The contract for delivery of the S-400 long-range air defence missile system from Russia was signed in October 2018 at a cost of around Rs 35,000 crore for five missile systems.
As reported earlier by The New Indian Express, the missile system can track a large number of targets at 600 km and can deploy four different kinds of missiles engaging the targets at varying distances. The system is capable of destroying aircraft, missiles (cruise and ballistic), UAVs and other air assault vehicles up to 400 kilometres from a range of 100 ft to 40,000 ft.