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India to start receiving third S-400 air defence missile squadron from Jan-Feb next year from Russia

New Delhi: Notwithstanding its ongoing conflict with Ukraine, Russia will start supplying the third squadron of the S-400 air defence missile system to India from January-February next year.
"Indian teams including Air Force personnel were in Russia for the equipment. The supplies for the third squadron are planned to begin from early next year in the January-February timeframe," defence sources told ANI. The sources said the only issue between the two countries regarding the supplies is that of making payments in view of the international restrictions on financial transactions with Russia.
India has already operationalised its first two squadrons of missile systems. The first two squadrons have been deployed to take care of the Ladakh sector along with the sensitive Chicken's neck corridor in West Bengal and the entire northeastern region.
The system with its missiles of different ranges 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 five squadrons of the S-400 air defence missiles from Russia over three years and deliveries of all units are expected to get over by end of the 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 also taken part in exercises and the adversaries have been rattled as they are aware of the additional capabilities of the 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 have 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 route by the Russians who are taking no chances in view of the ongoing international scenario.
India and Russia are also working closely on the joint production of the AK-203 assault rifles in Amethi and some of the machinery from there has already arrived at the production area.
Russia has been one of the biggest suppliers of weapon systems to India and all three forces have relied heavily on military supplies.
In the last few years, India has acquired weapons from Russia's rival, the US, as well as European countries including France but still has more than 50 per cent critical fighting systems from Russia in the Air Force and the Army. (ANI)

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