Russia to deliver last two squadrons of S-400 air defence missiles to India by 2026

Russia will deliver the last two squadrons of S-400 air defence missiles systems to India by the third quarter of 2026.

The S-400 will help in making India’s air defence system stronger, India Today reported citing defence sources aware of the matter.

The overall deal, worth over Rs 35,000 crore, was intended to be fulfilled by the end of 2023-24, but this timeline may now be delayed due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

“The two remaining missile squadrons of the S-400 air defence missile system are going to be supplied by August 2026 and will help in making our air defence system further stronger,” defence sources said.

India has already received three squadrons of the air defence missile system out of the five ordered in 2018.

Furthermore, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has activated the three S-400s received from Russia.

“The type of deployments that have been made suggest that we have at the moment almost 1.5 squadrons each on China and Pakistan front,” sources explained.

The system will also be complimented by existing air defence systems including the Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) of the three services.

The first three squadrons have been operationalised in the northern and eastern sectors respectively, and have taken part in aerial exercises as well.

Notably, the first squadron arrived in December 2021, the second in April 2022, and the third in March 2023.

The third squadron is stationed near the Pakistani border to protect against aerial attacks on Punjab and northern Rajasthan.

The system can take on enemy ballistic and cruise missiles, fighter aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) flying at distances upto 400 kms.

Besides this, the S-400 has been designed to defeat electronic warfare aircraft, airborne early warning and control systems, and reconnaissance aircraft.

The Indian Air Force, which has recently received various indigenous and Israeli missile systems, anticipates that the S-400 will significantly enhance its capabilities.

The force is also developing its own long-range defence system, Project ‘Kusha’, in response to Chinese military deployments across the Line of Actual Control.