India Set to Flex Muscles as it Signs $5.43 Billion S-400 Missile Deal with Russia

(Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Russian President Vladimir Putin)

⏩The U.S. has warned that the deal could attract sanctions.
⏩ S-400 can simultaneously engage 36 targets
⏩ Effective against all types of targets including aircraft, UAV, ballistic and cruise missiles within the range of 400km, and at an altitude of up to 30km.

India and Russia signed a $5.43 billion deal for five S-400 missile system on Friday during a summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

While India has a long history of signing big ticket defence contracts with Russia, this deal comes at a time of increased friction between the United States and Russia, Washington’s strong objections to the agreement and New Delhi’s own deepening defence cooperation with Washington.

“The S-400 deal was signed today at 1100 hrs by the Joint Secretary Land Systems from India and the Director General, Rosoboronexport of Russia,” a top government source said.

The deliveries will begin in 24 months, which is end 2020.

The U.S. has warned that the deal could attract sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) that restricts defence purchases from Russia, Iran and North Korea. It has to be seen if the U.S. would grant a waiver to India in this case.

Few other defence deals are also expected to be concluded, which will be announced during the joint statement after the talks.


Armed with three types of missiles to create a layered defence, the S-400 Triumf (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) is an air defence missile system developed by Almaz Central Design Bureau of Russia. The rapidly deployable system is a standalone system and integrates a multi-function radar, autonomous detection and targeting systems, anti-aircraft missile systems, launchers, and the Command & Control (C&C) centre.

The S-400 air defence missile system uses four types of missiles, the first being 48N6DM (48N6E3) with powerful propulsion system to destroy air-borne targets within the range of 250 km. The Active-Radar Homing (ARH) 40N6 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) of the S-400 has a claimed range of 400km and in addition specifically targets hostile air-borne force multipliers at great distances like Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft, Joint-Surveillance Target Attack Radar (J-STARS), and support jammer platforms. To engage fast moving targets such as fighter aircraft with high hit probability, the S-400 Triumph also launches 9M96E and 120 km ranged 9M96E2 medium range SAM systems, which can engage targets flying as low as 10 metres.

The 55K6E C&C system of the S-400 Triumf is based on the Ural-532301 mobile command post vehicle, equipped with Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) consoles to process air space surveillance data of individual batteries. It controls and monitors long-range surveillance radars, tracks airborne threats, prioritises the threats, and coordinates other batteries. The fire control and target tracking radar of the S-400 is the 92N6E (NATO code name ‘Gravestone’). The radar is based on the MZKT-7930 8×8 vehicle. The 96L6 Cheese Board 3D surveillance and tracking radar is optionally carried by the same vehicle when the S-400 battery is deployed autonomously. The 91N6E Big Bird acquisition and battle management radar of the S-400 is based on the 8×8 trailer and is capable of detecting and tracking aircraft, rotorcraft, cruise missiles, guided missiles, drones and ballistic missiles within the distance of 600 km. It can simultaneously track up to 300 targets and engage 72 of them.


Confirmation will come soon, but India may well have opted for integration of the S-400 system with IAF-operated EL/M-2080 Green Pine and Super Green Pine radar systems. The ELTA Electronics subsidiary IAI developed the EL/M-2080 Green Pine Early Warning & Fire Control (EW&FC) radar for the Arrow Anti-Tactical Ballistic Missile (ATBM) system and the Green Pine radar has a proven track record demonstrated in over twenty successful ballistic missile intercepts. The radar includes the trailer mounted antenna array, the power generator, a cooling system and a control centre.

Developed from the ELTA Music phased-array radar, Green Pine is a dual mode, electronically scanned, solid state, phased array radar operating at L-band in the range 500 MHz to 1000 MHz, weighs 60 t and comprises of 2000 transmit-receive modules. Green Pine is said to be capable of tracking ballistic missiles from a range of up to 500 km and able to track targets up to speeds of 3 km/s while intercept of the attacking missile may occur 90 km away at an altitude of 10 to 50 km.

The long range of Green Pine radar system ensures that a second shot can be taken at the incoming ballistic missile if the first shot fails to secure the ‘kill’. India placed an order and received its first Green Pine Early Warning & Fire Control (EW & FC) radar in 2001 and has since been integrated with the country’s indigenous missile defence system as the Swordfish radar system.

The Super Green Pine, also operated by India, has an enhanced tracking range of 800 to 900 km. The S-400 SP85TE2 launchers are based on the BAZ-64022 6×6 tractor truck or MAZ-79100 series Transporter-Erector-Launcher (TEL) vehicle. The TEL vehicle can carry up to four launch tubes holding a mix of missiles.


The standard S-400 battery consists of four transporter erector launchers (TELs), four launch tubes per TEL, in addition to target acquisition and engagement (fire control) radar systems and a command post. (With an additional fire control radar system, a battery can consist of up to 12 TELs.). Two batteries make up a S-400 battalion (also known as a S-400 division), whereas a S-400 regiment consists of two battalions.

Neither Indian nor Russian officials have so far publicly commented on what type of surface-to-air missiles will be delivered to the Indian military under the deal. But given the deterrence value of S-400, now that India is procuring 5 S-400 systems, it gives the country significant advantage over Pakistan and even with China, India will be able to deal from a position of strength.

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