The Indian Air Force is working to deploy its new S400 air defense system, acquired from Russia. India’s first S400 unit would be operational in April and would be deployed to “deep areas to meet the Chinese threat”.
The IAF previously described the S400 as a “game changer” given the air defense system’s advanced sensors and multitude of missiles. The S400 uses four types of surface-to-air missiles with ranges from 40 km to 400 km. Missiles can shoot down multiple types of targets such as airplanes, cruise missiles, bombs, and some types of ballistic missiles.
The versatility of the S400 has led Pakistan to view its Indian takeover as a threat, with the system capable of shooting down planes even in Pakistani airspace. An expert on China’s military told Defense News last week that Beijing could give Pakistan access to hypersonic weapons to fend off the S400.
Hypersonic weapons traveling at more than five times the speed of sound are difficult to track for most existing surface-to-air missiles and radars. Richard D. Fisher is a Senior Fellow at the International Center for Assessment and Strategy.He has testified before the US Congress on China’s military advances and has written extensively on Beijing’s military.
He told Defense News: “It is very likely that to the extent that China has helped North Korea’s new Hypersonic Glide Vehicle (HGV) missile warhead, it has or will help a Pakistani truck in a similar way, or will,” he said sell the DF17. Or Beijing now has the option of allowing North Korea to sell its truck to Pakistan.