Russia and India are in the final stage of negotiations to purchase Triumph S-400 air defense missile systems. The contract is expected to be signed in the first week of April, the Economic Times reports with reference to internal sources.
According to the Economic Times, the contract might be signed during the first visit of Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to Moscow in early April. Indian Air Force representatives note that the procurement of the S-400, developed by Russia, is imperative to tackle possible threats from China and Pakistan.
Sitharaman is also expecting to move ahead with the discussions on the joint development of fifth generation fighter aircraft or FGFA, the newspaper writes.
The Triumph is the newest, long-range, anti-aircraft missile system. It is designed to destroy aircraft as well as cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles, and it can also be used against ground targets. The S-400 has a range of 400 kilometers and is capable of destroying targets at an altitude of up to 30 kilometers. The missiles have been in service with the Russian Army since 2007.
The FGFA project is part of the current “Made in India” government policy. The Russian Sukhoi experimental design bureau is working with the Indian Hindustan Aeronautics company on this venture. Earlier, the Economic Times reported that the agreement on experimental design works would last for six years, and that India and Russia would invest 4 billion dollars each in the development of a prototype. The total cost of production of 127 fighters is estimated at 25 billion dollars.