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Question:  Explain the significance of S-400 for India’s aerial defence. Highlight possible implications of S-400 arrival on Indo-US ties.


Answer:  India had bought five units of S-400 air-defence system from Russia even after opposition from US. The S-400 is considered a pioneer in air-defence as it can perform its functions with precision.

Salient features of S-400

  • Fast reaction time
    The S-400 has a short reaction time of five minutes for getting ready and hitting the target. In comparison, US-made Patriot has a reaction time of twenty five minutes.
  • Cost efficient
    The cost of each battery of S-400 is around $500 million. In comparison, the US Patriot defence system battery costs $1 billion each.
  • Larger area coverage
    The area of aerial coverage of S-400 is higher than compatriot defence system. The system can engage all aerial targets and not just missiles.

Significance for India

  • Tackle two front attacks
    The S-400 system has the capacity to tackle aerial attacks from two fronts in eastern and western borders of the country.
  • Easy integration
    The S-400 has Russian origin, making its integration into defence infrastructure more easily. In addition, the control system is mobile and operator has previous exposure to Russian systems.

Implications on Indo-US ties

    The US law is aimed at sanctioning countries that have economic deals with countries such as Russia, Iran and North Korea. There are chances that sanctions are imposed on India.
  • Military cooperation affected
    Indo-US military cooperation is one of the major highlights of ties. The sharing of military intelligence can be affected if US feels Indian systems are compromised.

Thus, S-400 is critical to India’s air defence. It will protect our eastern and western borders along with critical infrastructure. The concerns expressed by US have to be resolved soon.

Updated on 19 Nov 2021 |   Added on .19 Nov 2021  |  by admin