S­400 air defence systems

S­400 air defence systems

Why in news:


  • Deliveries of five regiments of S­400 air defence systems under a $5.43­billion deal with Russia are expected to be completed by year­end or early 2024, according to official sources.

  • However, issues of delayed payments as well as insurance and reinsurance remain major stumbling blocks delaying deals in the pipeline.
  • Delivery of the third S­400 regiment has been completed.
  • The second and third regiments saw delays of a few months.
  • The three regiments are deployed along the Northen, Eastern and western borders.

Hurdles in the deal:

  • India has contracted five S­400 regiments under a $5.43 billion or ₹40,291 crore deal as per a conversation rate of ₹74.2 against the dollar at the time, signed in October 2018.
  • The deal has been delayed from the start over payment issues.
  • With the looming threat of U.S. sanctions under CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act), the two sides had worked out payments through the rupee­rouble exchange.
  • The payments troubles compounded after Russia was shut out of the global SWIFT system for money transfers.
  • India and Russia have agreed to conduct payments through the rupee­rouble arrangement after trying payments in euros as well.

About S-400 missile system:

  • It is a mobile, surface-to-air missile (SAM) system developed in the 1990s by Russia’s NPO Almaz as an upgrade to the S-300
  • The S-400 Triumph (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) is an air defence missile system developed by Almaz Central Design Bureau of Russia.
  • The new system replaced the S-300P and S-200 air defence systems of the Russian Army.
  • The S-400 was developed as an upgrade of the S-300 series of surface-to-air missile systems.
  • The system entered service in April 2007 and the first S-400 was deployed in combat in August 2007.
  • Russia set up four S-400 regiments defending national airspace in the Moscow region, the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad, and the Eastern Military District.

Main features of the system:

  • The S-400 Triumph air defence system integrates a multifunction radar, autonomous detection and targeting systems, anti-aircraft missile systems, launchers, and command and control centre.
  • It is capable of firing three types of missiles to create a layered defence.
  • The system can engage all types of aerial targets, including aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), and ballistic and cruise missiles, within the range of 400km at an altitude of up to 30km.
  • The system can simultaneously engage 36 targets.
  • The S-400 is twice as effective as the previous Russian air defence systems and can be deployed within five minutes.
  • It can also be integrated into the existing and future air defence units of the airforce, army and navy.

Syllabus: Prelims + Mains; GS3 – defence