Russian President Vladimir Putin will arrive in New Delhi for a two-day visit on Thursday for the 19th India-Russia annual bilateral submit. During this visit, the two countries are expected to sign a deal for India to purchase the S-400 missile defence system from Russia. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Vladimir Putin will also discuss issues like counter-terrorism, radicalism, extremism, cyber security and security challenges in the AfPak (Afghanistan-Pakistan) region. They are expected to sign a joint statement on 5 October 2018.
Why The S-400 Missile Defence System Is Important For India
- The S-400 missile defence system is one of the world’s most sophisticated shields against incoming ballistic missiles. An upgraded version of the S-300 system, it has been in service since 2007.
- It is responsible for defending Moscow and was also deployed in Syria in 2015. The long-range surface-to-air defence missile system has the capability of being deployed in less than 5 minutes.
- It can fire three types of missiles in order to create a layered defence. It can trace 300 targets and conduct all types of aerial attacks around three dozen targets over a 400 km range simultaneously.
- The total estimated value of the contract is said to be more than $5 million. Negotiations for the deal had run foul of the US law, CAATSA, put in place by the Trump administration.
- The law, Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, is meant to deter nations from buying Russian weapons. The US has, however, agreed to grant India a waiver from its provisions.
- Referred to as Russia’s most advanced missile defence system, the S-400 was first sold to China in 2014 and Moscow has started delivering the missile systems to Beijing.
- In January this year, India had successfully tested an Advanced Air Defence Missile system which shoots down other missiles mid-air, joining an elite club of countries which have such technology for air defence. Only the United States, Russia and Israel have this technology at the moment.
- Russia and India may also mutually agree to sign a deal on the supply of Mi-17 helicopters.
- Other agendas of the annual summit will be trade and economic cooperation, cultural and people ties, energy security, science and technology, tourism, connectivity, nuclear power plants and space.
- More than 20 documents are expected to be signed between the two nations at the end of the discussions.