In a big boost to India’s air-defence capabilities, Russia has started delivery of the much-awaited S-400 missile system for deployment on schedule this year, official sources have confirmed. Russia has started delivering the S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile system to India, the director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) Dmitry Shugaev has said.
India had procured the S-400 system from Russia in 2018 for $5.2 billion. It will be the main pillar of the Indian Air Force`s defence grid. The delivery of parts has already begun through sea and air routes, sources said.
India had bought five units of the system in 2018 and had made the first tranche of the payment, $800 million, a year later.
The deal with Russia has been a thorn in the relationship between India and the US as several American officials have, in veiled messages, raised the specter of sanctions if India goes ahead with the purchase.
India has refused to junk the deal despite sanction threat from the United States.
The US had imposed sanctions on Turkey in December 2020 over its purchase of the same system.