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S-400 deliveries to India starts. Why the US is not intervening

Written by The Frontier Post

Zhanna Odnozerkina
Deliveries of the Ru-ssian S-400 Trium-ph air defense system to India are proceeding in accordance with the schedule, Moscow has already begun the transfer of equipment, said FSMTC director Dmitry Shugaev. The deal, concluded in 2018, continues to displease the United States, which calls on all partners to abandon cooperation with Russia in the military sector. Despite this, Delhi is unlikely to face sanctions.
Russia has begun supplying the first batch of new-generation S-400 Triumph anti-aircraft missile systems to India, said Dmitry Shugaev, director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC). The transfer of equipment is proceeding in accordance with the schedule, the first division will be delivered by the end of 2021, he told RIA Novosti.
According to a contract signed between Moscow and Delhi in 2018, India will receive five regimental S-400 kits. They will cost the country $ 5.43 billion. Prior to that, Russia supplied Triumphs to China and Turkey.
The S-400 is known as one of the most advanced highly mobile and integrated systems of radars and missiles of various ranges (there are four of them in total) in the Russian military-industrial complex. “Triumph” is capable of destroying combat aircraft, drones, cruise missiles at a distance of up to 400 km. The distinctive features of the S-400, which made an impression on foreign buyers, were its mobility and high combat and technical characteristics., in particular, wrote with reference to a senior US Air Force official that the deployment of one S-400 system would cover the entire spectrum of air threats. According to some reports, the Indian government has rejected US offers to buy competitors of the Triumphs – Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD).
The purchase of Russian weapons often provokes a categorical protest from Western countries. In the case of Turkey, which is negotiating with the Russian Federation on the delivery of the second batch of complexes, the United States imposed economic sanctions against the management of the country’s defense industry and several of its leaders. Washington recently warned Ankara that buying a new batch of Triumphs would almost certainly entail new restrictions.
The reason for the Am-erican-Turkish dispute over the S-400 was the fact that the United States refused, according to President Re-cep Erdogan, to sell its Pat-riot air defense system to Turkey on adequate terms. Washington demanded $ 3.5 billion for it and refused to provide offset obligat-ions. Subsequently, Ankara opted for the Russian Tri-umphs for $ 2.5 billion and was excluded from the F-35 stealth fighter program, losing about $ 1.4 billion.
The United States has already warned Turkey against new purchases from Russia, but Erdogan takes a firm position on this issue: no country has the right to dictate to the Turks from whom and what systems of protection they acquire, the head of state said. Ankara denies accusations that Tur-key is endangering NATO defenses by its actions.
India has not become an exception in the context of conflicts over trade ties with Russia in the military sphere. In 2018, when the contract for Triumphs was signed, US President Donald Trump warned Delhi about possible sanctions under the CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions) law. In fact, this is a bill that allows Washington to impose sanctions against any state that interacts with the Russian defense sector.
On the same basis, for example, Turkey suffered.
And the reason for dissatisfaction with the actions of India turned out to be the same F-35: the United States assumes that in the countries that are armed with the S-400, their high-performance aircraft will not be in demand, since with a high degree of probability “Triumphs” and the following models of air defense systems from Russia will be able to detect American “invisibles”.
Despite strong objecti-ons from the United States, in 2019 India made the first tranche of Russia’s paym-ent for the S-400. The im-plementation of the agreement, as stated in the Russi-an Federation in December, is progressing successfully, despite the threat of sanctions from Washington.
At the same time, with India, unlike Turkey, the US is in an ambiguous situation. If the sanctions aga-inst Ankara are taken decisively, then the measures of influence on Delhi are causing concern in the US Senate. In October 2021, two senators – Republican John Cornin and Democrat Mark Warner – wrote an appeal to President Joe Biden, calling for the withdrawal of possible sanctions against India because of the Triumphs, since this would almost certainly harm developing relations between countries, including energy sector, technology and diplomatic relations.
“We believe that the application of CAATSA sanctions could have detrimental consequences for t-he strategic partnership wi-th India, but at the same t-ime, not achieve the intended goal of curbing Russian arms sales,” the letter said.
Military cooperation bet-ween India and the US is g-rowing every year. In 2020, the turnover amounted to about $ 3.4 billion.

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