Russia says to sign S-400 air defense deal with India

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin will seal a deal with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an upcoming visit to deliver Moscow’s most advanced air defense system, the Kremlin said yesterday.

“An agreement on the delivery of S-400 ‘Triumph’ anti-missile defense systems and other deals will be signed as a result of the talks,” Russian news agencies quoted Putin aide Yuri Ushakov as saying, without specifying a timeframe.

Putin will meet Modi in the Indian state of Goa on Saturday on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit involving the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The Kremlin earlier this week said the talks with Modi would focus on “a wide range of matters of bilateral relations, especially trade and economic ties.”

The S-400 is Russia’s most modern air defense system and has been deployed to Syria, where Moscow is conducting a bombing campaign in support of long-time ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The system can track some 300 targets and shoot down around three dozen simultaneously over a range of several hundred kilometers.

India has signed a series of key defense deals under Modi as part of a $100 billion upgrade of its Soviet-era military hardware, making it an attractive proposition for arms exporters.

In September, after nearly a decade of discussions and setbacks, India signed a deal to acquire 36 French Rafale fighter jets for 7.9 billion Euros.-AFP

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