Modi-Putin sign $5 bn S-400 air defence quipment deal: What is it?

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday held the India-Russia annual summit after which eight pacts, including on cooperation on India’s ambitious human space mission project Gaganyaan, were signed.

Official sources said the two countries also signed the $5 billion (over Rs 40,000 crore) S-400 air defence system deal after talks between the two leaders in Hyderabad House.

Talks with President Putin have given new direction to the bilateral strategic partnership, Modi said in a press statement after the 19th India-Russia annual summit.

Pacts were also inked in the fields of space, nuclear energy, railways and space.

A crucial MoU was signed between Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the Federal Space Agency of Russia ‘ROSCOSMOS’ on joint activities in the field of human spaceflight programme Gaganyaan.

India and Russia are committed to cooperating in the fight against terrorism, Modi said.

President Putin said the two countries have agreed to step up cooperation in combating the menace of terrorism and drug trafficking.

What is S-400?

It is an air defence missile system that can take down enemies’ aircraft in the sky from the surface itself.

The S-400 is known as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system, capable of destroying hostile strategic bombers, jets, missiles and drones at a range of 380-km.

The S-400 Triumf — NATO calls it SA-21 Growler — is a modern long-range surface-to-air missile (MLR SAM) system developed by Russia. First used in 2007, the S-400 is an upgrade of the S-300 series of missile systems put in place for the defence of Moscow. The missile system was manufactured by Almaz-Antey.

The missile system integrates a multifunction radar, autonomous detection and targeting systems, anti-aircraft missile systems, launchers, and command and control centre. It can provide a layered defence as it is capable of firing three types of missiles.

The S-400 defence system has been deployed in Syria in 2015 to guard Russian and Syrian naval and air assets. Russia has also stationed S-400 units in Crimea to strengthen its position in the annexed peninsula.

Here are some facts about the S-400 missile system

  • Very critical to IAF’s India Integrated Command and Control System (IACCS)
  • Useful for offensive strategy
  • The system consists of four separate missiles
  • It has the capability of engaging 36 targets at one time, simultaneously
  • They will cover the entire range and altitude envelope from close quarters to nearly 570 km
  • A single unit has eight launchers, 112 missiles & command & support vehicles
  • Each unit will have up to 32 missiles on launchers at any time
  • The launchers contain the 48N6 missile series
  • The missiles have high-explosive fragmentation warhead
  • Tombstone radar goes deep up to nearly 600 km away
  • Made by government owned Almaz-Antey, NATO has designated it as SA-21 Growler
  • It is considered as a major threat because of its long range
  • Can spot enemy air dominance and help ground forces
  • Drones too can be destroyed by this
  • It is already deployed in Syria by the Russia
  • Russia’s First Air Defence Corps got this missile in 2007
  • The S-400 is comparable to the Patriot anti-ballistic and anti-aircraft missile system
  • The S-400 Trimuf can engage all types of aerial targets such as aircraft, ballistic and cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), which are within the range of 400km, at an altitude of up to 30km
  • It can track 100 airborne targets, including super fighters such as the American built F-35, and engage six of them simultaneously.
  • China is in the process of deployed this system