Indian Air Force (IAF) has reportedly started deploying the first squadron of the S-400 Triumf air defence missile system.

According to an ANI report, the S-400 missile system is being deployed in the western state of Punjab.

A government official was quoted by the news agency as saying: “The first squadron is being deployed in the Punjab sector. The batteries of the first squadron would be capable of taking care of aerial threats from both Pakistan and China.”

This comes a month after it was reported that Russia commenced the deliveries of S-400 surface-to-air missile system to India. The deliveries related to the first squadron are expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Sources told ANI that the related equipment is being brought to India through sea and air routes.

Originally, India signed a purchase agreement in 2015 to procure the S-400 system. The $4.5bn deal was subsequently finalised in 2018.

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The deal despite concerns raised by the US.

An upgraded version of the S-300 family of surface-to-air missile systems, the S-400 is designed to engage enemy aircraft, ballistic missiles and uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAV). It can be used to fire four different types of missiles with ranges 40km, 120km, 250km and 400km.

India is slated to receive five squadrons of this surface-to-air missile system.

Earlier this year, IAF officers went to Russia to receive training on the system.