India has begun work on deploying the S-400 Triumf advanced surface-to-air missile defence system, with the first unit to be made operational in April, HT learns. While the Narendra Modi government remains tight-lipped about the entire project, officials with direct knowledge of the matter have told Hindustan Times that all five units will be deployed in depth areas to tackle the threat from China.
All the five units of the S-400 system, which can take down a hostile aircraft or missile at a range between 40km and 400km, are expected to be operational by next year. The S-400 system was purchased from Russia through a $5-billion deal signed in October 2018.
The Indian Army and the Chinese PLA are locked in a stand-off across the 597km-long Ladakh LAC since May 2020, with Beijing reluctant to restore the April 2020 status quo ante in Gogra-Hot Springs and restore India’s unhindered patrolling rights in Depsang Bulge in Daulet Beg Oldi (DBO) sector and Charding Nullah Junction (CNJ) in Demchok sector.
PLA has already deployed two S-400 systems across LAC in Ngari Gar Gunsa (opposite Demchok) and Nyingchi (across Arunachal Pradesh) with the remaining three deployed to tackle the threat from the Indo-Pacific.