S-400 to protect India from countries with territorial ambition: Air Marshal Nambiar

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SHILLONG: The S-400 Triumf air defence missile system to be procured from Russia would provide requisite security to India from neighbouring countries with “territorial ambition”, a senior Air Force official has said. The S-400 Triumf is a next-generation mobile air defense system capable of destroying aerial targets at an extremely long range of up to 400 kilometres. The new missile defence system would give India an edge to protect its territorial integrity, Eastern Air Command’s Air Officer Commanding in Chief, Air Marshal R Nambiar, told reporters Friday. “The system would be in India in the next 23 months,” said Nambiar, who was one of the Indian delegates who had visited Russia for negotiations to procure the missile system. Notwithstanding the US pressure of sanctions, India inked the defence deal on October 5 during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin. As per the deal, New Delhi will get five regimental sets of S-400s for USD 5 billion. In its neighbourhood, India has countries with territorial ambitions and need to protect its boundaries, Air Marshal Nambiar said here. The signing of the deal assumes significance as China, too, has signed a deal with Russia to procure the same missile system. Nambiar said India is building its own air defence missile system known as Programme AD. The indigenous missile system, being built by the Defense Research and Development Organisation, is at an advanced stage of deployment, he said. He said the Rafale aircraft is far more superior in terms of performance compared to China’s fourth and fifth generation fighter aircraft like the recently-tested Chengdu J-20 stealth multi-role fighters. Nambiar has flight tested the Rafale aircraft.