The United States is concerned over India’s plans to sign a deal with Russia to procure the S-400 air defence system. The deal is worth Rs 40,000. Chairman of the US House Armed Services Committee Mac Thornberry said that India’s move would hinder the military ties between the two countries. According to Thornberry, concerns about India’s potential purchase of the S-400 have been conveyed to different levels of the US government.
Members of US House Armed Services Committee in India were of the opinion that procuring the Russian system would also make it difficult for the US to share sensitive technology with India in the future. “There is a lot of concern in the US administration and Congress with the S-400. There is concern that any country that acquires the system will complicate the ability of interoperability (with US forces),” reported Economic Times quoted Mac Thornberry as saying.
Thornberry also said that India should consider the decision to purchase the Russian missile system. India is likely to Ink the deal for procuring S-400 Triumf missile system before October’s annual summit between Prime Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The US had announced sanctions against Russia for its alleged involvement in meddling in the US presidential elections. Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) came into effect in January. Many US lawmakers and experts are of the opinion that India should be exempted from CAATSA.
In April this year, India has issued a Request of Information for the purchase of 110 fighter jets worth $15 billion. The two US-based companies Lockheed Martin and Boeing are pitching their respective fighter jets. Both the companies have agreed to transfer the technology to India. The US is planning to shift entire production line of Lockheed Martin F-16 jet in India. It will be interesting to see whether the US will put under CAATSA after India inks deal with Russia to acquire the most advanced air defence system.
S-400 is an advanced version of S-300. The missile system is capable of travelling at a rate of 4.8 kilometres per second (17,000 km/h; Mach 14). The missile system can destroy incoming enemy fighter jets, missiles and even drones up to the range of 400 km. This missile system is manufactured by Almaz-Antey and is serving Russian Military since 2007.