India and Russia are holding talks to locally manufacture components of the Russian-made S-400 Triumf air defence systems in India, it is learnt.
“Yes, we are discussing the localisation of S-400 production with India,” diplomatic sources said. However, they refused to specify which components of the S-400 could be produced in India. A similar agreement over local production exists between Russia and Turkey, which also is buying the systems from Russia.
Sources noted that Moscow saw no problem in arriving at an agreement with New Delhi since India was already license-producing Russian Su-30 fighter jets and the T-90 tanks. “Russia has developed the BrahMos missiles with India on the Indian territory and together with Indian scientists,” they added.
The BrahMos is a derivative of the Russian-made P-800 Oniks over-the-horizon supersonic anti-ship cruise missile and is said to be one of the world’s fastest cruise missiles currently in operational use.
In recent years, India has been slowly but steadily indigenising a number of subsystems of the missile, including a new seeker and missile booster. Russia still supplies the BrahMos’ ramjet propulsion system and seeker technology, with India contributing the inertial navigation system and fire control system.
The S-400 can be armed with a host of different missiles including the air defence system’s most advanced interceptor, the 40N6E, in addition to an improved variant of the 48N6E2, as well as the 9M96E and 9M96E2.
It has not been publicly disclosed what missiles Russia will deliver to India along with the transporter erector launchers (TELs), long-range surveillance radar target acquisition and engagement (fire control) radar systems, and command posts to be delivered.
India could decide to fit at least some of the Russian-made interceptors with indigenous technology, but it is unclear to what degree Russia will allow the integration of these Indian subsystems on the missiles.
India and Russia signed a $5.5 billion contract for five S-400 squadrons for service in the Indian Air Force during the 2018 summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russia President Vladimir Putin.
The US has threatened sanctions against India for the procurement of the Russian weapons systems under its Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).