India will soon buy one of the world’s most powerful air defence missile systems – the Russian S-400 Triumf. The Triumf (NATO name SA-21 Growler) can destroy incoming hostile aircraft, stealth fighters, missiles and drones at ranges of up to 400 km. According to TOI
, the proposal to purchase around a dozen S-400s was mooted by the IAF and the Defence Minister will “soon” take it on. Other than the Triumf, IAF will be having 15-km-range 4 Israeli Spyder quick reaction missile systems by February 2017. The IAF and the Army will also be inducting indigenously made Akash air defence system for a total of Rs.25,080 crore. It has a range of 25 km. DRDO and Israeli made MR-SAMs with a range of 70 km will be inducted into the IAF and Navy from 2016-17 onwards.
Vitaly V Kuzmin
But the long range Triumf will be India’s biggest air defence system and much needed too given the force multiplying spree its neighbour on the other side of the Himalaya is on. China already placed an order of six S-400 batteries worth $3 billion deal with Russia last year. By 2017, Beijing will start inducting the missile defence system.
Depending on when India signs the deal with Russia, the missile defence system can take anywhere from a couple of years to several years for arriving in India. It is learnt that China’s signing the deal with Russia set alarm bells ringing in all neighbouring countries in East, South-East and South Asia. The technologically superior S-400 Triumf rivals US Patriot PAC-3 system. Its range and accuracy give the defending country a massive air superiority over others.
The Triumf has three kinds of missiles that can target anything in the sky at ranges from 120 to 400 km. They have variable flight speeds up to hypersonic modes.
Though it is not proven, Russians claim that the Triumf can shoot down America’s 5th
generation stealth fighters such as F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II. The TOI report says that the proposal comes just ahead of Parrikar’s impending visit to Russia, to be followed by the Modi-Putin summit in Moscow in December.