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S-400 Triumf: India to receive remaining S-400 Triumf missile regiments from Russia by next year

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India is set to receive the remaining two regiments of S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile systems from Russia by next year. This new timeline comes after some delays in supplies due to the war in Ukraine. Russia has already delivered three units of the long-range missile systems to India under a USD 5.5 billion deal.
Warship Deliveries
India is also expected to take delivery of the warship Tushil, the first of the two Russian-built frigates, in September. The second warship, Tamal, will be supplied by Russia in January. Originally, the ships were supposed to be delivered by 2022, but the delays were attributed to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Stealth Frigates Deal
Russia is supplying the stealth frigates under a four-frigate deal signed in 2018. The remaining two ships are being constructed in India.

Completion of S-400 Deliveries
According to sources, the deliveries of the S-400 missile systems will be completed by next year. India is acquiring these systems to bolster its air power capabilities, primarily to address security challenges from China.

Background of S-400 Deal

India signed the USD 5.5 billion deal with Russia in October 2018 to buy five units of the S-400 air defence missile systems. This decision was made despite warnings from the US that proceeding with the contract could lead to US sanctions under the CAATSA act.Deployment and Resolution
Russia began delivering the first regiment of the missile systems in December 2021, deploying them to cover parts of the border with China in the northern sector and the frontier with Pakistan. India, unlike many other leading powers, has not directly criticized Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Instead, India has been advocating for the crisis to be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.

Indian Air Force Bolsters Defense with S-400 Triumf and Project Kusha
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has acquired the S-400 Triumf from Russia, renowned as the world’s most advanced air defense system. This acquisition enhances India’s air defense capabilities significantly. Concurrently, on the indigenous front, the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is spearheading Project Kusha. Set for deployment by 2028-29, Project Kusha aims to equip the air force with a long-range air defense system. This system will be capable of detecting and neutralizing enemy projectiles and armor, including cruise missiles, stealth fighter jets, and drones, at extended ranges of up to 350 km.

Turkey Considers Deploying S-400 Triumf Air Defenses on Iraqi Border
In other news, Turkey is contemplating deploying its advanced Russian S-400 Triumf air defense systems on the Iraqi border for its planned summer offensive against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Iraqi Kurdistan. This move would mark the first operational deployment of the missile system since Ankara received it in 2019, despite Western reproach.

Potential Deployment Reasons
The deployment of Turkey’s S-400s on the border could be to defend against drones allegedly acquired by the PKK. However, the system is effective against more significant threats than crude drones, capable of shooting down cruise and ballistic missiles, like those fired by Iran in its unprecedented April 13 attack against Israel. Such a deployment could escalate tensions with other NATO allies, incensed that Turkey even possesses the S-400s.

Costs and Consequences
The deal for the S-400 cost Turkey an estimated $2.5 billion, but it has indirectly cost far more in losses of over $9 billion from manufacturing over 900 parts for the global F-35 supply chain. Washington banned Ankara from buying F-35s over concerns of sharing data with Russian technicians, spoiling the fighter’s stealth. The US also imposed sanctions on Turkey’s arms procurement agency.

Complex Implications
While Turkey has not yet put the S-400s into service, their purported deployment on the Iraqi border would be the first operational use, five years after receiving them. Analysts speculate that the deployment could be a trial balloon, operational necessity due to foreign threats in Northern Iraq, or simply untrue news.

Potential Objectives
The deployment could serve several objectives for Turkey. It could silence critics at home regarding the costly and controversial S-400 purchase. It could also signal to Moscow that military cooperation remains intact and reaffirm Ankara’s stance toward Russia and NATO. However, deploying the S-400 could complicate Turkey’s relationship with the US and its efforts to be readmitted into the F-35 program.

(With inputs from PTI)

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