IAF deploys first S-400 air defence system in Punjab
The deployment of the S-400 Triumf air defence system will provide a major boost to Indian capabilities to shoot down any enemy fighter aircraft and cruise missiles at a long range.
The Indian Air Force has deployed the first S-400 Triumf air defence missile system in the Punjab sector near Pakistan border. The deployment is to take care of any aerial threat from either Pakistan or China.
The deployment of the air defence system is expected to provide a major boost to India's air defence capabilities. The parts of the Russian missile system had started reaching India earlier this month. The unit is expected to be operationalized in the next few weeks.
India had signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) with Russia in October 2018 to procure the S-400 defence system in a deal worth around Rs 35000 crores. Under the deal, five squadrons would be provided to India for tacking air threats from up to 400 km.
First S-400 Triumf air defence system deployment
The deliveries related to the first squadron are expected to be completed by the end of this year. The equipment will be brought to India from Russia through both sea and air routes.
After the deployment of the first squadron, the Indian Air Force will focus on India's Eastern borders and provide resources for training of personnel within the country to handle the air defence system.
The Indian Air Force officers and personnel have received training on the system in Russia.
What is S-400 Triumf air defence system?
The S-400 Triumf is a mobile, surface-to-air missile (SAM) system that was developed by Russia's Almaz Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering in 1990s as an upgrade to the S-300 family. The air defence system was brought into service in April 2007.
China was the first foreign buyer of the Russian air defence system in 2014. Later, several countries including India, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Belarus and Serbia have acquired or expressed interest in the system since.
The S-400 air defence system has been described as "one of the best air-defence systems currently made" and among the most advanced systems.
Why is it important for India?
The deployment of the S-400 Triumf air defence system will provide a major boost to Indian capabilities to shoot down any enemy fighter aircraft and cruise missiles at a long-range.
The procurement of the system will provide an edge to India in the south Asian skies. The S-400 missile defence system is equipped with four different missiles that can engage with enemy aircraft, ballistic missiles and AWACS planes at a long range of 400-km, 250-km, medium range of 120-km and short range of 40-km.
Many experts have hailed the acquisition as a game-changer for Indian Air Force.
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