Russia to deliver S-400 air defense missile systems to India by the end of 2021

According to information published by "The Hindu" website on April 13, 2021, India could receive the first Russian-made S-400 air defense missile system by the end of 2021. During the edition 2021 of Aero India that was held in February 2021, the Russian state defense agency Rosoboronexport confirmed the delivery of S-400, NATO code-named SA-21 Growler to India.
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Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missile launcher unit. (Picture source Otvaga)

In 2015, India announced its plan to purchase Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air defense missile systems. A contract worth $5.43 billion was signed during a visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to India in October 2018. In January 2021, Indian soldiers were in Russia to train and operate the S-400 missile system.

According to the SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) arms trade database, India has purchased 20 S-400 missile systems as well as 650 48N6 missiles from Russia. The 48N6 is a Russian-made vertical tube-launched, solid fuel, single-stage, long-range, Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) used to destroy aerial targets as aircraft, cruise missiles, UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), and ballistic missiles.

The S-400 is one the most popular air defense missiles which is in service with Russia, Algeria, China, Turkey, and now India. In November 2015, it was reported that Russian armed forces had deployed the S-400 missile systems in Syria.

The S-400 entered service with the Russian army in 2007 to replace the old S-300P and S-200. A battery of S-400 consists of a mobile launcher unit, radar, detection and targeting systems and command control vehicle. Radar and command systems include the surveillance radar 64N6 Tombstone 3D or 96L6E 3D System, Low altitude radar 76NG Clam Shell, Fire control Radar with the 36N85 Flap Lid, Control System 86M6E, and operation station 54K6E.

The S-400 uses the 48N6 missile series. These missiles are able to destroy aerial targets at a maximum range of 250 km and are capable of intercepting ballistic missiles across a 60 km radius, using in both cases a 143 kg high explosive fragmentation warhead.

The S-400 Triumph can also destroy Tomahawk cruise missiles and other types of missiles, including precision-guided ones, as well as AWACS aircraft, at ranges of up to 400 km. It can also detect stealth aircraft and other targets at all altitudes of their combat employment and at maximum ranges. This air defense missile system can simultaneously engage 36 targets.