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SOURCE: Rajesh Kumar/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

According to latest media reports, Russia is pushing India to go for additional short-range Tor-M2 Air defense system along with Medium range ill famous Buk-M2/M3 Air defense system to make S-400 long-range air defense system which India is buying to make one complete Russian Air defense ecosystem to effectively tackle the variety of threats in all possible scenarios.

India on other hand has opted to procure only very-long-range 40N6 (400 km) and the long-range 48N6 (250 km) missiles which are part of the S-400 missile family and has left out medium-range 9M96E2 (120 km) and the short-range 9M96E (40 km) since India already has low and medium tier Air defense system in place.

Indian military planners are also exploring options of connecting S-400 system to India’s Ballistic Missile Defence Programme which means it will be integrated with India’s swordfish long range Tracking radar which is part of India’s BMD Program to act as effective second-tier cover against Chinese origin short/medium range ballistic missile which is in abundant with arch-rivals Pakistan.

India’s medium range MR-SAM (70km) along with its low tier Akash Mk1/S (25 km) and Akash Mk2 (35 km) will form the second line of air defense grid which will work in tandem with Mobile units of QR-SAMs. Russians are not convinced that whole Indian and the Israeli/Russian combination of air defense system can be an effective combination which can work as an ecosystem. Russians are still pressing that India procures Buk-M2/M3 and Tor-M2 which are already tried and tested to work with S-400 radars and systems than with the Indian and Israeli Missile system.

Russians have also questioned the need for India procuring National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System-II (NASAMS-II) which is an advanced air defense system to defend the National Capital Region (NCR) from aerial attacks from Washington at estimated at $1 billion. Russians are also wary of Washington pushing New Delhi to abandon its plans to procure S-400 system and are actively pushing New Delhi to procure neither MIM-104 Patriot or Theater High Altitude Area Defense called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD).

Washington to meet New Delhi’s security needs is also comfortable with the joint development of a new Interceptor missile system which could supplement New Delhi’s need for S-400 system from Russia. India reportedly is also working on long range XRSAM Air Defence Missile system will consist of one or two different type of missile system . Experts will argue that missile systems of different origins usually provide better fail safe system against electronic jamming then opting for missiles from same country and ecosystem.

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