India will get the mobile S-400 Triumf air defence missile system (NATO reporting name SA-21 Growler) by 2023 and Russia has confirmed that it working on the schedule after the issue of advance payment for the delivery of the long-range surface-to-air weapons platform was settled. "The contract for S-400s will be implemented in compliance with the accords reached and the documents signed. The issue of making an advance payment under the contract has been resolved. We are not commenting on the details," Russia’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation told TASS news agency on Thursday in Moscow.
The statement came within 24 hours of Russian Embassy in India Minister-Counsellor Roman Babushkin clarified that the missile system will reach the Indian armed forces in the next four years. "The term of the contract’s implementation is well known: by 2023, these systems must be delivered to India. Russia is ready to take all necessary efforts to follow the time parameters of this agreement. We proceed from the fact that the contract will be implemented in full in accordance with the interests of both countries and the accords reached. We intend to strictly comply with them," Babushkin said in New Delhi on Wednesday.
S-400 Triumf is currently the most advanced long-range Surface-to-Air-Missile system in the world which can track targets 600 kilometres away and hit them at a range of 400 kms at an altitude of even 30 kms. The S-400 can engage targets independently as well as connect with other radars to receive data from them.
However, the United States of America has expressed its apprehensions over the S-400 deal while claiming that the American auir defence systems were better than those developed by Russia. US Indo-Pacific Command chief Admiral Philip Scot Davidson had in July 2019 said at the the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado that US and India are still engaged in talks over the S-400 deal.
"We're still in dialogue with them about that S-400. India is acquiring the S-400. It's a Russian air defence system. That's a bit of a problem. Will you continue to dialogue? I, I think they intend to do that. I'm trying to clarify for them that the tactical and technical case that's so important here. US equipment is outperforming on the globe and you see this periodically come up against Russia, and US equipment is outperforming India's quite proud of their non-aligned policy status. They view this discussion about the S-400 as a policy issue and not a tactical and technical one. So we have got a little bit of ways to go there," he had said.
But both India and Russia have made it clear that there is no question of going back on the S-400 deal. The US has already sanctioned its NATO ally Turkey under Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) for buying the S-400 from Russia by throwing it out of the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter programme and stopping the delivery of the jets already paid for.