Induction of S-400 missile systems a 'sovereign decision' based on threat perception: Govt

Induction of S-400 missile systems a 'sovereign decision' based on threat perception: Govt
© Provided by The Times of India

NEW DELHI: India on Friday said the induction of the Russian S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile systems was a “sovereign decision” based on existing threat perceptions, even as the US is yet to clearly spell out whether the procurement will lead to financial sanctions under its domestic laws.

“The government is aware of all developments that may impact procurement of defence equipment. The government takes sovereign decisions based on threat perception, operational and technological aspects to keep the armed forces in a state of readiness to meet the entire spectrum of security challenges,” junior defence minister Ajay Bhatt told Lok Sabha in a written answer.

“The S-400 Missile is a potent system in terms of its operational capability to provide a continuous and effective air defence system to a very large area. With the induction of this system, air defence capability of the nation will be significantly enhanced,” he added.

India has now begun to get initial deliveries of the first S-400 squadron from Russia, which will be operational on the north-western sector early next year, as was earlier reported by TOI.

All five mobile squadrons of the highly-automated S-400 systems, under the $5.43 billion (Rs 40,000 crore) contract inked with Russia in October 2018, will be progressively delivered by 2023. The S-400 system can detect, track and destroy incoming strategic bombers, jets, spy planes, ballistic missiles and drones at a range of 380-km.

The US has imposed financial sanctions on China and Turkey for inducting the S-400 systems from Russia under CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act). Enacted in 2017, the US law seeks to prevent countries from buying Russian weapons or Iranian oil.

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