So, what’s special about the S-400 Triumf, that even the US is wary of it? As said above, Russian experts proclaim that the S-400 system can shoot down fifth-generation fighter jets, like America’s most advanced F-35s! The system has 8 launchers, a control centre, a powerful radar and 16 missiles that are available for reload. The system is capable of firing three types of missiles, hence creating a layered defence for any country that owns it.
The S-400 system, which is referred to as the ‘Growler’ by NATO countries, is capable of tracking 300 targets and can shoot down around three dozen of them within a range of up to 400 kms! The tracking range of S-400 actually goes up to 600 kms! According to a blog by Rakesh Krishnan Simha in “Russia & India Report”, the S-400 can hit targets at a whopping speed of 17,000 km an hour. This is faster than any aircraft in the world! Simha goes on to call the S-400 the “daddy” of Iron Domes. America has developed the F-35 fighter jet as a ‘missile killer’. Lockheed Martin has reportedly claimed that the F-35 can ‘jam’ anything that is directed at it. But, with its speed, the S-400 would not be an easy system to shake off for America.
The S-400 is actually an upgraded version of the S-300, had previously only been available to the Russian defence forces. It is said to have 2.5 times faster firing rate than its predecessor. It is manufactured by Almaz-Antey and has been in service in Russia since 2007. The S-400 has also been deployed by Russia to Syria.
Needless to say that with such a big range and speed, the S-400 Triumf would be a very formidable deterrent against any incoming threats from Pakistan. India will get the system for a price of nearly Rs 40,000 crore. According to a TOI report, India plans to deploy three S-400 systems in the west (read Pakistan) and two in the east (read China). The S-400 would help check short and medium range ballistic missile threats. Once India signs the deal, it will become the second purchaser of this system after China, which had struck a deal with Russia for S-400 last year. China will start getting the defence system from 2017 onwards.