ISLAMABAD: India is eying on procuring most sophisticated defence missile system from Russia but the difference on price is causing delay.

Indian media has reported that Rs40,000 crore deal to procure S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems from Russia is yet to be concluded mainly due to differences over price which India would look to sort out during its Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's upcoming visit to Moscow, the official sources said in New Delhi on Sunday.

India wants to procure the long-range missile systems to tighten its air defence mechanism, particularly when China has been ramping up its military manoeuvring along the nearly 4,000km Sino-India border. In 2016, India and Russia had signed an agreement on 'Triumf' interceptor-based missile system which can destroy incoming hostile aircraft, missiles and even drones at ranges of up to 400km. S-400 is known as Russia's most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system.

China was the first foreign buyer to seal a government-to-government deal with Russia in 2014 to procure the lethal missile system and Moscow has already started delivery of unknown number of the S-400 missile systems to China. The sources said Sitharaman will travel to Moscow within the next six weeks and she may push for sealing the long-pending deal at the earliest. "Sealing the S-400 deal will be a major focus of Sitharaman's visit to Russia," said a source familiar with the deal, which would be one of biggest with Russia in recent years.

Negotiators from both countries have been in talks for over one and half years for the purchase of at least five systems of S-400 which are capable of firing three types of missiles, creating a layered defence. The S-400 is an upgraded version of the S-300 systems. The missile system is manufactured by Almaz-Antey and has been in service in Russia since 2007. The sources also said that no decision could be taken on the long-pending fifth-generation fighter jet project with Russia.