Russia Unable To Deliver Second Batch Of S-400 SAM To India, Amid Crippling Western Sanctions

Delay anticipated in the delivery of the second regiment of the S-400 Triumf advanced surface-to-air missile defence system to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in May from Russia. Top sources have confirmed to Global Defense Corp, “there has been no delivery of the second S-400 air defence system. What has arrived is a training system including simulators and not the S-400. The delivery of the second system was to start next month. The scheduled delivery of the second squadron of the S 400 is set to begin in May.”

The delivery of the second regiment is now expected to be delayed by at least a few months due to the Ukraine-Russia crisis, sources said.

“Russia has given an assurance none of the systems will be delayed and the delivery will be as per schedule. However, the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war has caused a delay in the delivery of the second S-400 air defence system which was expected to arrive next month. When the Russian Foreign affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov visited India recently, the issue of the pending deals was discussed. India was given assurance that all the deals which were in the pipeline will be completed and delivered on time,” a senior officer confirmed to Global Defense Corp.

As has been reported by Global Defense Corp, in March the Russian envoy to India Denis Alipov in response to a media query mentioned that international sanctions imposed by the West and its allies will not impact the delivery schedule of the S-400. At a media meet in New Delhi he acknowledged India’s stand at the UN and had stated that both Russia and India are strategic allies.

According to reports, IAF Vice Chief Air Marshal Sandeep Singh had told the media at a press briefing that there will be no significant impact of the US sanctions on the bilateral relations between the two countries. He had also highlighted the current difficult geopolitical situation and stated relations with Russia and the US remained strong.

As reported earlier, the first S-400 that was received in December 2021, has already been deployed in the Western sector along the Line of Control with Pakistan, and the second one will be deployed in the east when it arrives later this year. The equipment is coming from Moscow through air and sea routes.

Under the contract which is worth $4.5 billion, the IAF will get S-400 Triumf ‘SA-21Growler’ which is a long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system, and this will help in further strengthen India’s Air Defence. To operate the system, around 100 IAF personnel of IAF were trained in Moscow on the S-400.

CAATSA Sanctions

The US has not yet taken a decision to impose sanctions on the delivery of s-400 to India. Though the US has been putting a lot of pressure on India to stop taking any military weapons from Russia including the air defence system.

While the US has been putting pressure on India not to accept delivery of the Russian defence system, President Biden’s administration is unlikely to sanction India under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) for procuring Russian S-400.

Responding to questions on CAATSA during his recent visit to the US for the 2+2 dialogue, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar had said: “This is the law of America and whatever has to be done on it, they have to do it.”

SWIFT Sanctions

Both countries had already formalized the mode of payment – Rupee-Rouble and the banks were identified to make the process of payment smooth just for S-400 air defence at that time. However, due to the ongoing Ukraine-Russia crisis, the West led allies have removed Russia from the global SWIFT system and imposed stringent sanctions.

A high level team from Russia is coming to have talks with Indian officials about currency swap – the talks from the Indian side will be led by Dammu Ravi, Secretary – Economic Relations, Ministry of External Affairs. During talks top officials from Reserve Bank of India, and other senior officials will be present. The focus is to identify the banks on both sides which will execute the swap system.

The first tranche of payments for the S-400 was in Indian currency.

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