S-400 deal may be finalised by March 31


Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the Missile system.

Mains level: Background and the complexity of the deal.


Deal is in the final stage

  1. The contract negotiations for the purchase of the S-400 Triumf long range air defence systems are in the final stages, and are expected to be closed by March 31

Background of the deal

  1. India is planning to buy five systems that is expected to cost about Rs. 39,000 crore and is considered one of the most potent Surface to Air missile systems in the world
  2. It can track and shoot down a range of incoming airborne targets at ranges of upto 400km
  3. In 2016, the two countries had concluded the Inter-Governmental Agreements for five S-400 systems and four stealth frigates after which the contract negotiations began to conclude a commercial contract

It is a very complex deal

  1. Officials termed the negotiations as “very complex” as there were thousands of pages of documentation to be discussed
  2. Russia has already conveyed to India that the deal should not have any offset clause as it is a strategic system


S-400 missile system

  1. The S-400 Triumf, previously known as the S-300PMU-3, is an anti-aircraft weapon system developed in the 1990s by Russia’s Almaz Central Design Bureau as an upgrade of the S-300 family
  2. It has been in service with the Russian Armed Forces since 2007
  3. The S-400 uses four missiles to fill its performance envelope: the very-long-range 40N6 (400 km), the long-range 48N6 (250 km), the medium-range 9M96E2 (120 km) and the short-range 9M96E (40 km)
  4. The S-400 has been described, as of 2017, as “one of the best air-defence systems currently made”