The first unit of S-400 Triumf, the state-of-the-art air defence missile system bought from Russia, has been deployed in Punjab for protection against any strike from Pakistan and China. Among the most advanced such systems in the world, the S-400 is capable of protecting against rockets, missiles, cruise missiles and even aircraft attacks.
Defence sources said the system has been deployed at one of the five IAF bases in the state, which borders Pakistan. The system is already available with China, which deployed it along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh amid the border standoff. This move will provide a major fillip to India’s air defence capacity as the weapon system is capable of neutralising assets from over 400 km away. The unit deployed is part of the five squadrons bought in 2018.
The delivery of the first unit had started in November, according to Russian officials. Bought for over US$ 5 billion, the deal became contentious after it drew threat of sanctions from the US for engaging in large defence contracts with Russia. During his visit to India in November 2021, Russian Defence Minister Sergey Lavrov had said the deal was “pragmatically significant for ensuring India’s defence potential”.
In November, Dmitry Shugaev, director of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, stated that “supplies of the S-400 air defence system are proceeding as scheduled.”