In a key development, the United State Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) stated that India will deploy the S-400 missile defence system that it has received from Russia to defend itself against threats from its immediate neighbours: Pakistan and China by next month.

India started receiving the delivery of the S-400 missile defence system from Russia in December last year, Lieutenant General Scott Berrier, Director of Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) told Senate Armed Services Committee during a recent Congressional hearing, according to PTI. Berrier further added that as of October 2021, India’s military was seeking to procure advanced surveillance systems to bolster its land and sea borders and boost its offensive and defensive cyber capabilities.

India remains postured to respond to perceived militant threats: DIA

Speaking about India and Pakistan’s relationship, the pentagon official stated that despite recommitting to the 2003 cease-fire, India remains postured to respond to perceived militant threats, and it has continued counterterrorism operations inside Indian-administered Kashmir. According to PTI. He further added that occasional skirmishes between Indian and Pakistani troops will continue, and a high-profile attack in India by Pakistan-based terrorists risks an Indian military response.

On the Indo-Chinese relationship, the director of DIA said that their relations remain strained following the fatal clashes in the summer of 2020 between their respective forces along with the Western sector of the Line of Actual Control (LAC). He further added that in 2021, both sides held multiple rounds of high-level diplomatic and military talks that resulted in a mutual pullback of forces from several standoff points. However, both sides maintain close to 50,000 troops along with artillery, tanks, and multiple rocket launchers, and both are building infrastructure along the LAC, he said according to PTI.

It is pertinent to mention here that India fast-tracked the deployment of the S-400 Triumf missile system with the assembling of the first two consignments of S-400 already commenced earlier. Notably, India, during the India-Russia summit in 2018 in New Delhi, informed that it inked a $5.43 billion deal for the purchase of five S-400 systems for its “long term security needs.”

What is S-400 missile system?

The S-400 Triumf is a mobile surface-to-air missile system developed by Russia’s ACDB ME (Almaz Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering). It is among the most advanced air defence system currently available in the market. The missile system was designed with the aim to exterminate tactical and strategic aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, and hypersonic weapons.

India’s Junior Defence minister Ajay Bhatt had said the S-400 Missile is “a potent system in terms of its operational capability to provide continuous and effective air defence system to a very large area. With the induction of this system, the air defence capability of the nation will be significantly enhanced.” Meanwhile, the Indian military personnel are also being trained to operate the S-400 missile system. Earlier, Vyacheslav Dzirkaln, a top official of Almaz-Antey, said that a “sufficient” number of the Indian armed forces underwent training to operate the equipment.