Nirmala Sitharaman
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to leave for Russia in the first week of April.

India and Russia are likely to seal a deal of Rs 39,000 crore for the S-400 Triumf air defense missile system next week. The commercial contract with Russia will be signed by defense minister Nirmala Sitharaman during her maiden visit to Moscow.

The report comes just a few days after a report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) said that India is the largest buyer of arms in the world and has spent more on importing weaponry over the past five years than any other country.

Here are a few quick facts about the S-400 Triumf missile system:

  • India will acquire 5 advanced S-400 Triumf missile system, which is considered to be one of the most expensive air defense missile systems in the world.
  • These surface to air missiles can detect, track and destroy hostile strategic bombers, stealth fighters, spy planes, missiles and drones at a range of up to 400 km and altitude of 30 km.
  • Though the S-400 can take on medium-range ballistic missiles, it cannot destroy cruise missiles.
    S-400 Triumf air defence system transporter erector launcher
    S-400 Triumf air defence system transporter erector launcher.Wikimedia Commons
  • The S-400 missile system is also equipped with a battle-management system of command post and launchers, acquisition and engagement radars, and an all-terrain transporter-erector-launcher vehicle, The Times of India reported.
  • As the S-400 has a 2.5 times faster firing rate than its predecessor, the S-300, the surface-to-air missile will add more teeth to Indian's Air Force.
  • The S-400 missile system has a tracking range of 600 kilometers and can engage up to 36 targets at one time, Business Today reported.
  • Reports say that S-400 is not only capable of protecting a city during a war but can also destroy Pakistan's short-range Nasr (Hatf-IX) nuclear missiles. The Nasr missiles were developed by Pakistan to counter India's "cold start" strategy.
  • The acquisition of the S-400 in India's armory will bring the air bases of Pakistan and China's Tibetan bases under India's striking range.
Nasr 1
The S-400 can destroy the Nasr nuclear missiles of Pakistan. In Picture: Nasr 1 being fired.Wikimedia Commons
  • If the deal is inked, then the 5 missile systems will be in India's possession in 54 months, a defense ministry source told TOI.
  • The deal will make India the second buyer of the S-400 Triumf missile system, after China.