China readies to deploy S-400 Triumph. India is still negotiating

Russians delivered S-400 Triumph, to PLA just last week. It is currently the best surface-to-air missile system designed to complement China’s home-grown defence capabilities. Russia’s news agency, TASS, quoted the source as saying that a first test firing was imminent and could even happen within the next few days.

The S-400 Triumph is capable of engaging all types of aerial targets, including tactical and strategic aircraft, ballistic missiles and hypersonic jets, most likely even the United States’ fifth-generation F-35 stealth fighters can be targeted. The platform has a range of 2,400km (1,500 miles), the S-400 can engage up to 36 targets simultaneously with as many as 72 missiles at altitudes of between 5 metres (16 feet) and 30km (19 miles).

Beijing signed bought the S-400 Triumph system in 2014. To further augment its capabilitiesit also ordered 24 Su-35 fighter jets and took delivery of 14 of them at the end of last year.

This makes Chinese air force ( People’s Liberation Army Air Force) to be one of the most formidable forces in the region.

Indian Air force, meanwhile, continue to suffer from inadequate fighter aircraft and aging SAM defence capabilities. While India doesnt have any capability near to that of S-400, the ingenious Akash missile program is clearly not working. A Comptroller and Auditor General report released in 2017 stated that 30 percent of the missiles have failed when test fired. Of the twenty missiles fired, two missiles failed to launch due to booster nozzle failure and the rest had lower than required velocity or fell short of their target. In addition, due to lack of adequate storage facilities, the life span of the missiles have been lowered by three years.

On S-400, the defence minister said earlier this month that negotiations with Russia for the S-400 missile deal have almost come to conclusion. The deal has been in discussion for the last few years. The defence minister also said it may take two and a half to four years to implement the S-400 missile deal after it is signed. The irony is the fact that India wants to procure the long-range missile systems to tighten its air defence mechanism, particularly along the nearly 4,000-kilometre-long India-China border, an from the look of it , they may be deployed in Chinese Tibet long before the Arunachal Pradesh

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