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A year has passed since India received the third S-400 Triumf air defense system from Russia, but the remaining two systems remain outstanding, casting a shadow of uncertainty over the completion of the high-profile deal.

Initially planned for late 2023, the final two S-400 deliveries have been delayed, fueling speculation about potential roadblocks. Concerns centered around:

  • Western sanctions: Sanctions aimed at Russia’s military-industrial complex, coupled with challenges in establishing an alternative payment mechanism, were seen as potential hurdles.
  • Payment disagreements:¬†Reports suggested disagreements between India and Russia regarding payment terms,¬†further complicating the situation.

This week, Rosoboronexport, the Russian state arms exporter, assured that the S-400 contract is on track, dismissing claims of delays. However, India remains cautious, hoping for completion in 2024 without receiving concrete commitments from Russia.

The $5.43 billion S-400 deal, signed in 2018, holds strategic significance for India. The first two deployed systems reportedly guard crucial borders with China and Pakistan. Acquiring the remaining units would significantly bolster India’s air defense capabilities.

As geopolitical tensions simmer and India seeks to strengthen its defense apparatus, the timely delivery of the final S-400 systems becomes even more crucial. Whether the remaining units arrive in 2024 as India hopes, or face further delays, remains to be seen. The resolution of this saga will be closely watched by the international community, with implications for both India’s defense aspirations and its complex relationship with Russia.