S-400s deployed in Punjab to counter China

S-400s deployed in Punjab to counter China
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S-400s deployed in Punjab to counter China

Highlights

The first of the S-400 Triumf advanced missile systems acquired from Russia have been deployed in the Punjab sector by the Indian Air Force with reports saying that the batteries of the first squadron can counter aerial threats from both Pakistan and China.

New Delhi: The first of the S-400 Triumf advanced missile systems acquired from Russia have been deployed in the Punjab sector by the Indian Air Force with reports saying that the batteries of the first squadron can counter aerial threats from both Pakistan and China.

Seen as being one of the most advanced aerial defence systems in the world, the S-400 packs an ability to take on everything from drones to ballistic missiles.

The S-400 Triumf, which has the Nato designation of SA-21 Growler, is a mobile, surface-to-air missile system that is "capable of engaging aircraft, UAVs, cruise missiles, and has a terminal ballistic missile defence capability", according to the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Last month, China moved long-range bombers previously parked in Beijing to the PLA's Western Theater Command, within striking distance of India. Though Delhi responded at the time by sending its Mig-29UPG and Su-30MKI fighter jets to airbases near the Chinese border, the new S-400 deployment could be a longer-term defensive move.

Made by the Moscow-based Almaz Central Design Bureau, the S-400 comes with a "multifunction radar, autonomous detection and targeting systems, anti-aircraft missile systems, launchers, and command and control centre". The missile system is capable of taking on practically any aerial target within a range of 400km and can "simultaneously engage 36 targets".

It can be activated within five minutes, is "twice as effective as the previous Russian air defence systems" and has the flexibility to be "integrated into the existing and future air defence units of the air force, army and navy".

Though India aims to safeguard itself against Chinese aggression, Moscow has also sold the S-400 system to Beijing, which poses a risk to Taipei. China first purchased the system from Russia in 2015, and delivery began in January 2018. That same year, China tested it in the Taiwan Strait.

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