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Russia begins S-400 deliveries to India

Russia is expected to complete deliveries of the S-400 system to India by 2023. (Janes/Peter Felstead))

Russia has started delivery of the first of five Almaz-Antey S-400 Triumf S-400 self-propelled surface-to-air missile systems to the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Dmitriy Shugaev, head of Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC), told the Russian Sputniknews agency on 14 November that delivery of the first S-400 system will be completed “on schedule” by the end of 2021. All further deliveries were “going [ahead] as planned”, he added.

India's Ministry of Defence declined to comment on the matter. However, IAF Air Chief Marshal V K Chaudhari declared at his annual press conference in early October that the first S-400 regiment would be inducted within this year.

Senior Indian military officers told Janes on 15 November that the first S-400 squadron is expected to become operational by early 2022. They said each squadron will include two missile batteries, long-range acquisition and engagement radars, and all-terrain transporter-erector vehicles, all of which will be transported to India via air and sea routes.

In the coming weeks, these elements would all be assembled, following which the first S-400 system will undergo acceptance trials by the IAF under Russian supervision. IAF personnel, including technicians, have been training in Russia since mid-2019 to operate and maintain the S-400.

India ordered the S-400 systems in October 2018 for USD5.5 billion. The remaining four are expected to be delivered to the IAF by April 2023.

Despite this, India continues to face potential US sanctions over its S-400 procurement through the US Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which was enacted in August 2017 in response to Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014.

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