S-400 Missile System India - Russia Relations | Strange Military Stories

S-400 Missile Deal

In 2018, India and Russia signed a USD 5 billion deal (with no sovereign guarantee [a sovereign guarantee ns that the company that won the contract has to by law provide a guarantee from an international bank which can be encashed by the purchaser of the product in case delivery of the product does not happen on time despite the payments being made] but as a government-to-government deal) where India will purchase Russian Triumf-400 (five units) long-range surface-to-air missile system. 

India has decided to purchase the missile defence system that will shield any incoming ballistic missile directed towards the soil of India.

S-400 Missile System  India - Russia  Relations | Strange Military Stories


The NATO calls S-400 Triumf as SA-21 Growler, which is a modern long-range surface-to-air missile (MLRSAM). The S-400 Triumf (a fourth-generation MRSAM and a successor to S-200 and S-300) is more sophisticated and effective than the American Terminal High Altitude Area Defence system. 

To create a layered defence, the S-400 Triumf can be deployed in 5 minutes and fire three types of missiles. Within an altitude of 30 km and a range of 400 km, the S-400 Triumf can engage aerial targets, aircraft, UAV's and ballistic and cruise missiles. The two sides have developed their own systems of transactions including a national currency swap for payments (due to US CAATSA-explained below). 

It has the potential to target 100 airborne targets simultaneously including F-35 of the US. Russia has been using the S-400 Triumf since 2007 and in 2015 deployed them in Syria to guard Russian and Syrian naval and air assets. 


There are some S-400 Triumf units in the Crimean peninsula as well. China in 2015 purchased S-400 Triumf and has been using it since 2018. With the coming of S-400 Triumf, India will be able to tackle air and missile threats from Pakistan. 


Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA)

However, in 2007, the US President signed Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). The legislation was for Russia, Iran and North Korea. As per the Title II of the act, because of Russia intervention in Ukraine and meddling into US Presidential elections in 2016 any dealings by any state with the Russian gas, defence and security industry will invite sanctions. 

The section 235 of the act talks about 12 sanctions that can be imposed upon persons engaging in significant transactions (39 Russian entities identified by the US State Department, which includes space defence cooperation JSC, the manufacturer of S-400 Triumf) with the defence and intelligence of Russia. Section 231 gives powers to the US President to invoke 5 out of the 12 sanctions in section 235. However, India, Indonesia and Vietnam were granted a waiver under CAATSA, which conveys that India retained its strategic autonomy. 


More SO, India has this understanding that it needs to balance its relations with the US and Russia both. India needs Russia because it is endowed with natural resources and military technologies fruitful for Indian development and security. More importantly, based on India's past diplomatic engagement, Russia is more inclined to align to the interests of India in South Asia than the US. India also knows that as the US tries to withdraw from Afghanistan, it will need Russia more in Afghanistan (and beyond in Eurasia) than anyone else. 

More so, today, Russia is more crucial for us as it is more than willing to share those technologies that the US is not willing to share, like nuclear-powered submarines.

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