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‘US warns India over S-400’

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    25th Jan, 2021

The US has yet again warned India that it could face sanctions over it acquiring five Russian Almaz-Antei S-400 Triumf self-propelled surface-to-air (SAM) systems for $5.5 billion.

Context

The US has yet again warned India that it could face sanctions over it acquiring five Russian Almaz-Antei S-400 Triumf self-propelled surface-to-air (SAM) systems for $5.5 billion.

About

What is S-400?

  • The S-400 is a mobile, surface-to-air missile system (SAM) designed by Russia.
  • It is a successor to the S-200 and S-300 air defence systems.
  • It integrates the 91N6E multi-function panoramic radar with a 600 km range, autonomous detection and targeting systems and launchers.
  • It can fire four missile types with strike ranges of between 400 km and 40 km to provide multi-layered defence against incoming fixed wing and rotary aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and ballistic missiles at altitudes of up to 30 km.
  • The S-400 is organised around the 30K6E administration system, with protection against jamming.
  • It can simultaneously locate 72 targets and track another 160 alongside, compared with PAC-3s 36 and 125 respectively.

Which countries have CAATSA imposed on them?

  • So far, the US has imposed CAATSA on Turkey and China for taking delivery of two S-400 systems each.
  • As part of the sanctions, the US removed Turkey, a NATO ally, from the F-35 joint strike fighter (JSF)
    • A White House statement declared that the F-35 cannot coexist with a Russian intelligence collection platform, as that can be used to learn about its advanced capabilities.

Why India chose the S-400?

  • Better option: India opted for the Russian S-400, believing it to be more efficient, cheaper and above all, acquirable from a long-standing materiel supplier, that entail no political strings or strategic obligations.
  • Much ahead of THAAD: It is the most dangerous operationally deployed modern long-range SAM (MLR SAM) in the world, considered much ahead of the US-developed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD).
  • Multi-faceted: The S-400 system is operationally more versatile, accurate and multi-faceted in all aspects compared to its US rivals.
  • Inflexible protocols with US: Conversely, all defence purchases from the US are governed by a slew of inflexible protocols signed by Delhi and Washington over the past decade.
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