Russian S-400 missile air defence systems are seen during a training exercise at a military base in Kaliningrad region

New Delhi: Despite its ongoing conflict with Ukraine, the Russian government is working towards applying the third S-400 air defence systems to India in time by January -February next year. The Indian inspection teams were in Russia recently along with Indian Air Force personnel who visited the production facility there.

The Russian side has told us that they would start supplying the third squadron of these potent missiles by January-February 2023, top sources said/

The first two squadrons have already been operationalised in the northern and eastern sectors respectively and have taken LM aerial exercises too, they said. The system with its missiles of different range can take on enemy ballistic and cruise missiles, fighter aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles flying at distances up to 400 kilometres.

India has signed a deal worth over Rs 35,000 crore to acquire dove squadrons of the S-400 air defence missiles from Russia over three years and deliveries of all units are expected to get over by next financial year. The S-400 is believed to be a game changer by the Indian Air Force which has strengthened itself in terms of the air defence capabilities in a big way in the last few years with the arrival of the indigenous MR-SAM and Akash missile systems along with the Israeli Spyder quick reactions surface to air missile systems.

The S-400 missile systems have taken part in exercises and the adversaries have been rattled as they are aware of the additional capabilities of Indian system over the Chinese ones, sources said. Now both China and India have their respective S-400 air defence systems deployed along the Line of Actual Control.

The deployment of the missiles has been planned in such a way that the entire northern to eastern sector with China would be covered by them.

The system is being transported to India by both air and sea routes. India and Russia are also working closely on the joint production of the AK-203 assault rifles in Amethi soon and some of the machinery from there has already arrived at the production area.