SOURCE: SAJEEV RT / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
Last year India signed a deal worth of around $5.43 billion to procure S-400 missile defense system from Russia, which irked the US who opposing India to do not buy weapons from Russia, the main reason behind the US opposition to the deal is Russian invasion in Ukraine, and its aggression in Azov sea and the partial block of Kerch Straight, which US and West sanctioned Russia to not do business with other nations.
India is one of the major customers to Russian weapons, most of Indian military equipment has the trace of Russian origin, from Assault Rifles to the mammoth nuclear submarines, So It’s hard for India to move away from the Russian weapon market, as spares and engineering support does require Russian assistance.
However in the last 10 years, India slightly moved away from some of the formidable weapon systems which were supplied by Russia to the US, The better example is the Russian IL 38 SD and Tu 142 ASW aircraft. Which were replaced by more modern US-made P8I Aircraft even customized with some Indian subsystems, The same goes for the C17 and C130 J procurement by cutting the Russian offer of IL 476. India also considers the Airbus A330 MRTT as the replacement of IL 78. This actually shows the Russian heavy lifters completely vanished from the IAF replaced by US and Western Systems.
As not only the above, Recent cancellation of the long-standing flagship a project like FGFA and the MTA as came into consideration as India mainly the Air force moving away from the Russians for its wings.
While comes to Airdefense, almost all Soviet/Russian SAM systems were replaced by either Indian or Israeli systems, as some nice examples of, S125 was replaced by Akash, New layer of defense using Israeli Spyder and Indo Israeli Joint Venture of Barak 8 SAM systems. Moreover, the stalled Biho SPAAG acquisition and the problematic MANPAD acquisition also comes into play. This AD network vanished almost all Soviet-era AD Systems into Israeli and Indian made systems.
India has an AFNET (Air force Network) Which incorporates civilian Radars, Air force Radars, and the dedicated Air force Satellites, This gives the IAF a complete picture of all flying objects inside and outside Indian Airspace. The secondary nod of the AFNET is called IACCS ( India’s Integrated Air Defence Command and Control Systems ) which oversees the security of Indian Airspace.
Here comes the S400 into play. As stated above, Almost all AD systems were Indian and Israeli or West based systems, the US has no issue to supply and share its secure communication codes to India, such as the upcoming Predator deal, Apache deal and even if India goes for the future Fighter aircraft acquisition program with the US.
One thing has to be noted here about all the previous deal which was signed with the US, whether the P8 or C17 doesn’t have the top notch secure communication links which were replaced by the Indian subsystems, the reason is the CISMOA which is altered as COMCASA for India. Only after signing the COMCASA agreement the US approved the sale of top notches US systems like Predator Drone and THAAD missile defense system.
If India Buys the S400, India will integrate the S400 into existing AFNET, The same network where Indian Israeli and upcoming US equipment is connected. Integrating the S400 into the AFNET surely compromise the communication links which the US kept as a top-level secret, which is designed to fight against the Russians and Chinese one day. So the US is not happy with a Russian system in its network.
A standalone S400 system which was excluded from existing AFNET will not make sense. So if India buys the S400 It must integrate it into existing AFNET. It will irk the US to stop sharing or exporting top notch the US made Military systems. As no 5th Gen Fighter program in Indian Air force the air force might consider the US made F35 as the short term solution too.
When Turkey was considered in this scenario, the US explained the same to Turkey, while Turkey says ” We will use the S400 as a standalone system only and we will not integrate into the existing layered network”. As no one ready to buy the Turkish Story, The US to suspend its major NATO ally Turkey from the F35 Program. So It’s important to India either to walk out from the S-400 by favoring the more sophisticated defense systems from the US or Buy the S400 which shows no results in Syria.
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