Wednesday, May 29, 2024

IAF Set To Conduct Maiden Firing Of S-400 Missiles, A Game Changer In Air Defence Capabilities

By Staff Correspondent

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is preparing to conduct the maiden firing of the advanced long-range S-400 air defence system’s missiles on Indian territory, according to senior defence officials. While the IAF had previously conducted trials of the Russian-origin missile system in Russia, this marks the first time it will be fired in India.

“The firing is planned to be held very soon using one of the small or medium-range missiles against a fast-moving aerial target,” said the officials.

The S-400 air defence missile system boasts a range of missiles capable of effectively shooting down fast-moving fighter jets or cruise missiles at a maximum capacity of 400 kilometres. The first two squadrons of the S-400 system have already been deployed at strategic locations to bolster India’s air defence capabilities, covering the Ladakh sector and West Bengal’s Chicken’s Neck Corridor.

“The first squadron is in Punjab, and its elements have been deployed so that they can look after the Pakistan border as well as in the northern and western sectors,” added the officials.

With its ability to engage enemy fighter jets, unmanned aerial vehicles, and ballistic and cruise missiles, the S-400 system is a significant addition to India’s air defence arsenal. India and Russia had signed a deal worth over Rs 35,000 crore for five squadrons of S-400 air defence missiles, with all deliveries expected to be completed by the end of 2023-24, though potential delays may arise.

The IAF, which has recently acquired indigenous MR-SAM and Akash missile systems and the Israeli Spyder quick-reaction surface-to-air missile systems, believes that the S-400 will be a game changer in enhancing its air defence capabilities. The system has also participated in exercises, raising concerns among adversaries due to its superior abilities compared to the Chinese system.

Currently, both China and India have stationed their S-400 air defence systems along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), underscoring the increasing significance of air defence capabilities in the region. The IAF’s acquisition and operationalisation of the S-400 system are expected to bolster India’s air defence posture and significantly impact regional security dynamics.

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