DAC Clears Triumf Missile System Deal
India is fast moving forward with the S-400 Triumf Missile deal with Russia as the Defence Ministry is clearing the hurdles despite the looming threat of US sanctions. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by the Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has reportedly approved the “minor deviations” in the Rs.39000 Crore deal that had emerged during the recently concluded Indo-Russia commercial negotiations. The deal gained preliminary approval from the DAC in 2016.
According to sources, the S-400 procurement case will now go to the finance ministry for clearance and the PM-led Cabinet Committee on Security for the final nod. The country’s top political leadership will decide when the actual contract can be inked. As per the deal, India will procure five squadrons of S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft or anti-missile systems from Russia.
The clearance comes days after US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley had said in an interview with India’s NDTV earlier this week that the issue of Russian defence contract with India would be discussed during the first round of 2+2 US-India talks, involving ministers of foreign affairs and defence from both sides. The talks did not happen and is slated for a future date.
The missile system can detect, track, and destroy hostile strategic bombers, stealth fighters, spy planes, missiles, and drones at a range of up to 400km and altitude of 30km. Radars (primary acquisition one has 600-Km range) can track hundreds of targets simultaneously. It can intercept even ballistic missiles with velocity of 4800 metres per second. Russia boasts that the S-400 can radar-lock and shoot down even the fifth-generation stealth fighter aircraft.
According to the plan, India will induct first squadron in two years after the contract is signed and complete the deal within five years. IAF will integrate S-400 with its IACCS (Integrated air command and control system) network of sensors and weapons to further enhance their lethality and plug gaps in the country’s airspace.