Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said S-400 air defence missile systems will be delivered to India in strict accordance with the schedule.
“The advance payment has been received and everything will be delivered in strict accordance with the schedule, within about 18-19 months,” Borisov told state-owned broadcaster Rossiya-1.
Last month, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar was in Moscow to meet his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov to discuss ways to further advance bilateral cooperation.
Following the signing of a long-anticipated $5.43 billion contract in October 2019 for the delivery of 5 battalions of S-400 long-range surface to air missile systems to the Indian armed forces, and subsequent requests from Delhi to accelerate the delivery schedule and allow India to manufacture some missile components under licence, the CEO of Russian state arms exporter Rostec Sergey Chemezov has elaborated on the schedule for delivery.
Deliveries are reportedly set to begin in 2020, and will be completed by the end of 2025. This means the Indian armed forces will on average receive a full battalion almost every year, and will be the world’s largest foreign operator of the S-400 by around the year 2022.
With payments for the system already transferred and manufacturing having begun, Delhi appears to have avoided pressure from the Western Bloc to cancel the payment in favour of a Western manufactured system – although whether the United States will respond with economic sanctions remains to be seen.
A senior US official has left open the possibility that Washington may not impose sanctions on India for buying the Russian Triumf S-400 missile defence system but require New Delhi to tighten defence technology security to prevent snooping by Moscow.
The State Department official, who addressed Turkey buying the Russian S-400 missile defence system, did not directly address India acquiring the same system when it was raised during a briefing on Thursday, but brought up security issues in cooperating with India.