‘Proceeding on schedule’: Russia begins supply of S-400 air defense systems to India

New Delhi: Director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Dmitry Shugaev has said that Russia has started the delivery of the S-400 Triumph surface-to-air missile system to India.

“The supply of S-400 air defense systems to India has started and is progressing on time,” Shugaev said.

India and Russia signed a contract for the purchase of S-400 missiles in October 2018. The S-400 missiles have already entered service in China and Turkey.

Alexander Mikheev, the head of Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, told Sputnik in August that talks were underway with seven countries in the Middle East, the Asia-Pacific region and Africa to supply S-400 air defense systems.

The delivery of the S-400 missiles is expected to coincide with the visit of Vladimir Putin to India. As reported by PTI, Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to visit India next month for a bilateral summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. According to a PTI report, the summit is expected to yield significant results in boosting ties in several areas, including defense and security. The summit is said to review the regional security scenario, including developments in Afghanistan.

Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Petrushev visited India in September this year after a telephonic conversation between Modi and Putin regarding developments in Afghanistan.

It is also expected that before the summit, the two countries may hold the inaugural two plus two foreign and defense ministerial level talks in Moscow. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited India in April this year. The purpose of his visit is said to have been to lay the groundwork for the annual India-Russia summit.