New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will sign a deal this weekend with Russian President Vladimir Putin to acquire Moscow’s most advanced air defence system.
India will sign up to acquire five S-400 ‘Triumph’ anti-missile defence systems for $5 billion or 39,000 crores, said sources.
Mr Putin will meet PM Modi in Goa tomorrow on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit involving the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
The S-400 is Russia’s most modern air defence system and has been deployed to Syria, where Moscow is conducting a bombing campaign in support of long-time ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The system can track some 300 targets and shoot down around three dozen simultaneously over a range of 400 kilometres. The sensitive radars of the system are thought to be able to detect even stealth aircraft which present a very small radar cross-section and are often impossible for other systems to track.
The five missiles India is acquiring will likely provide large cover around high-value installations including nuclear power plants and key government centers. They are also expected to provide India with a missile-shield for protection against Pakistani or Chinese nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.
An agreement with Russia to build frigates for the Indian Navy would also be signed on Saturday, as well as a deal to set up a joint venture in India to build multi-task Kamov-226 helicopters.
India has signed a series of key defence deals under PM Modi as part of a $100 billion upgrade of its Soviet-era military hardware.
In September, after nearly a decade of discussions and setbacks, India signed a deal to acquire 36 French Rafale fighter jets for 7.9 billion euros ($8.8 billion) to bolster its military against an increasingly assertive China.