Amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict, S-400 deliveries to India has faced interruptions, yet two additional squadrons are slated for arrival within the next two years.
"As you all know our contract was for five squadrons but we could only receive three. Due to Russia-Ukraine war, there was a hindrance in the deliveries. But in the next two years two more squadrons (S-400 missile systems) will be hopefully delivered,” Indian Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari said Tuesday at an annual press conference ahead of the Air Force Day that is to be celebrated on October 8 in Prayagraj.
India and Russia signed a $5.43 billion deal for S-400 air defense systems on October 5, 2018, despite the looming risk of U.S. sanctions. Initial delivery plans aimed for completion by the end of 2020, with operational readiness achieved in October 2020. The first S-400 squadron arrived in December 2021, deployed in Punjab. The second squadron commenced delivery in April 2022, positioned along the China-facing border in eastern India, and the third squadron was delivered in February 2023.
Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari also mentioned that the Defense Ministry has approved the development of five units of Project Kusha, an indigenous version of the S-400 missile system. "We are also using the Indigenous Project Kusha for indigenous long-range air defense system," he stated.
The Indian version is a multi-layered missile system with a 400-kilometer range, developed in partnership with the private sector.