SOURCE: ABHOY ROY / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
India’s defense acquisitions council has given its final approval to an agreement to purchase S-400 air defense missile systems from Russia, despite Washington’s opposition, S-400 procurement most likely will see the wrath of the United States Government on India since no exemptions were given to India not only on procurement of S-400 system but also on existing procurement plans of purchase of frigates and Joint venture with Russian companies on BrahMos-NG and BrahMos-2K .
Under the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) virtually dealings with all Russian defense companies are banned that means even procurement of any new weapons system or additional capabilities to the existing systems will attract US Scanners and it will simply be of no use for India even if it drops plans to procure S-400 from Russia .
One way or the other CAATSA will affect India’s dealing with Russia in support of existing systems in service for decades. Worst case scenarios according to Indian defense analysts are that US Defence Companies might be reframed from participating in Indian tenders clearing paths for European and Russian companies in various defense tenders which New Delhi will float in coming years.
With CAATSA Sanctions, United States wants India to slowly move away from Russia and start procuring US Arms thus boosting its own export of weapons to India but it is unlikely to happen due to trust deficit which New Delhi and Washington have harbored against each other even after both countries have concluded defence deals worth billions of dollars in last two decades .
Under provisions available in CAATSA, US Government can up its heat on India and might even force US-based Defence companies from backing off from on-going contractual obligations with defense contracts signed with New Delhi even risking providing maintenance support for the defense equipment that India has already bought from the US.
Indian Defence analysts call it Doomsdays scenario unlikely to happen but if it does become a reality then US-based Defence companies will not only be kicked out of India and Blacklisted. Angry New Delhi might even allow inspection of this sensitive systems to Russian and Europeans experts to help them manage in absence of US support which US Defence companies fear the most.
It is unlikely that US Government will carry out any such stupid moves which can harm its Interest in India but under President Donald Trump presidency almost all major American allies have seen unwanted heat from US administration and discomfort even when there are clear signs that US actions against its own allies are only helping rise of China in the new global order .