India and Russia signed an inter-governmental agreement for the procurement of four (some sources say five) regiments of Russian-made S-400 Triumf advanced Air Defense Systems (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) on October 15 in Goa, India at the sidelines of the eight BRICS summit. The deal, along with 17 other cooperation agreements, was signed in the presence of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“An intergovernmental agreement has been signed today, under which the Russian side has undertaken to deliver S400 Russia [to India],” the head of the Russian state-owned defense and technology conglomerate Rostec, Sergey Chemezov, told reporters, according to RT. Russia expects a $4.5 billion commercial contract to be signed by the middle of 2017. “We will then start preparing the contracts and I hope that in the first half of 2017 we will complete and sign these contracts and the production will start. I believe the delivery will begin somewhere in 2020,” Chemezov added.
India is only the second country after China, which ordered six S400 Russia Missile System units in 2014, to receive one of Russia’s most advanced air defense systems. “S400 Russia Missile System it is our newest system. We are currently equipping our own military forces with it and we are making an exception only for our closest allies, such as India and China, ” said Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. “The fact that we have reached agreements with both India and China [regarding S-400 Missile System delivery] shows a lot. It shows that Russia exports its most advanced technologies to the countries it trusts, with which it is building strategic partnerships.”
The Indian Ministry of Defense’s Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) cleared the S-400 purchase in December 2015. The new weapon system, capable of engaging stand-off jammer aircraft, Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, and both ballistic and cruise missiles in an electronic countermeasures environment—will be a significant boost to India’s so called anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capabilities.