The Indian Air Force (IAF) has taken significant steps to bolster its air defense capabilities along the borders with China and Pakistan by deploying three out of the five agreed-upon S-400 air defense missile squadrons. However, the remaining two squadrons’ delivery schedule has been affected by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and officials from both countries are set to meet soon to finalize the timeline.
India’s 2018-19 Defense Agreement with Russia for S-400 Missiles
In 2018-19, India entered into a crucial defense agreement with Russia to procure S-400 missiles worth ₹35,000 crore, aiming to acquire a total of five squadrons of these advanced air defense systems. These squadrons have already been operationalized in strategically important sectors. One unit is responsible for guarding both the China and Pakistan fronts, while one squadron has been specifically earmarked for each of these countries.
Delays Due to the Russia-Ukraine Conflict
The delivery of the remaining two S-400 squadrons, as per the agreement, was delayed due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. This situation has raised uncertainties about the final delivery timeline. It has been reported that the squadrons originally manufactured for India’s use were diverted for Russian military operations in Ukraine, further complicating the situation.
Collaborative Efforts to Finalize Delivery Schedule
Despite the challenges posed by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Indian and Russian officials are set to meet soon to discuss and finalize the delivery schedule for the two pending S-400 missile squadrons. These discussions are crucial for India’s strategic defense capabilities, and both sides are keen to ensure the timely deployment of these advanced air defense systems
Project Kusha: Procurement of the Indian Long Range Surface Air Missile System
In another development that underscores India’s commitment to enhancing its defense capabilities, the Indian Defense Acquisition Council has recently cleared the procurement of the Indian Long Range Surface Air Missile (LR-SAM) system under Project Kusha.
Approval for LR-SAM System Developed in Collaboration with DRDO
This decision came after the project received approval from the Cabinet Committee on Security. The LR-SAM system, developed in collaboration with the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), is a three-layered long-range surface-to-air missile defense system with the ability to strike down enemy aircraft and missiles at ranges of approximately 400 kilometers.