India and Russia recently signed $5.4 billion (Rs. 39,000 crore) deal to acquire the S-400 surface-to-air missile defence system, which will give Indian military the much required air dominance. It will give India the capability to track multiple incoming targets, including missiles, aircraft, and unmanned aerial vehicles, up to 400km in distance and 30km in altitude. For instance, if deployed on Indo-Pak border, the S-400 systems could easily track any aircraft flying well outside the country’s border, and destroy them within seconds. In turn it will also help stop the advance of ground troops and become a game changer in the event of a war. The system can engage up to 36 targets at a time and simultaneously launch 72 missiles.
Russia has deployed S-400 in Syria which due to its high efficiency, shot down all of the missiles aimed at four key Syrian airbases. In a battlefield where S-400 is deployed even advanced jet fighters with stealth capabilities will find it difficult to operate.
India will start receiving the system in 2020. In total, the country will receive ten battalions of the system, with a battalion normally consisting of 8 launchers, 112 missiles, and the associated command, radar and support vehicles.
Experts say a sophisticated system like S-400 would fill critical gaps in India’s defence capabilities, and would help it counter air threats in view of China’s rise and perceived threats from Pakistan.
The deal also tilts the equation of conventional weapons (between India and Pakistan) especially in India’s favour. It is not hard to imagine that it would be a difficult for Pakistan to come on terms with this news.
Moreover, if a report in BBC Hindi to be believed then a rider clause in the agreement has been added by India which prevents Russia from selling the S-400 Missile System or any similar or advance Air Defence System to Pakistan under any circumstances. This means Pakistan would never get it, no matter how hard it tries, and ultimately it had to rely on other versions.
In fact, such is the importance of the S-400 system that Pakistani military recently expressed their interest to acquire them to deter any threat from India. However, now it looks India’s neighbouring country has to wait permanently.
Watch the deployment of S-400 system: