Russia has started the production of S-400 long-range surface-to-air defence missile systems, with plans to deliver them to India by 2025.
Russian deputy chief of mission Roman Babushkin said that the initial batch of the missile systems will be delivered by October this year, with the remaining batches expected to join the Indian Air Force (IAF) by 2023.
In May 2018, India and Russia completed negotiations for the procurement of S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems to be deployed with the IAF in a deal valued at approximately Rs400bn ($5.92bn).
The initial agreement was signed between the countries in 2016.
India Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre said that the system can offer air defence coverage to vulnerable areas or points.
Manufactured by Russian state-owned company Almaz-Antey, S-400 is an upgraded version of the S-300 and is capable of engaging and destroying targets such as cruise missiles, stealth aircraft, drones and medium-range ballistic missiles.
Press Trust Of India reported that the missile was earlier available only to the Russian Defence Forces and has been in service in the country since 2007.
Recently, members of the Iraqi Parliament announced that the country was considering the purchase of the system.
Lawmakers in the country noted the government’s decision to go ahead with negotiations for the purchase of these missile systems.
According to a Pentagon report titled ‘Iran Military Power’ in November last year, Iran showed interest in purchasing S-400 systems and Bastian coastal defence systems from Russia.
In July last year, Turkey’s Ministry of National Defence took delivery of the first components of S-400 systems in Ankara and later on announced plans in November to start their testing in spite of pressure from the US to stop the programme.