After Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited India in April 2021, it was disclosed that by November 2021, Russia will be delivering the initial batch of S-400 missiles to India. This is considered one of the most advanced air defence missile systems in the world and presently India needs it to cover large areas against Chinese fighters. In today’s Guarding India video, we will tell you all the details about India’s new S-400 missile. You may watch our YouTube Video covering all the details by clicking here or may continue reading this article.
The full name of the S-400 system is S-400 Triumf and it has been developed by the Russian Almaz Central Design Bureau. In 2018, India ordered five S-400 regiments from Russia at a cost of 5.43 billion USD or ₹40,000 crores.
For beginners, S-400 is an advanced air defence system that has four main components. Number 1 radar. Number 2 missiles. Number 3 Launcher Vehicle. Number 4 Command and control system.
Coming onto Component number 1 means the radars of the S-400 system. To begin with, the S-400 system has multiple radars out of which two are most essential. To detect any enemy missile, it has 91N6E Big Bird acquisition and battle management radar which can track any enemy aircraft, drones, ballistic missiles, and cruise missile flying in a 600-kilometer radius. This radar is so powerful that it can track 300 targets simultaneously.
The 600-kilometer range of 91N6E Big Bird radar implies that an S-400 missile system locates in Amritsar, India will not only be covering the entire Pakistan but also be monitoring any aircraft flying over Afghanistan’s capital Kabul. The second most important radar of the S-400 system is the 92N6E radar which is a fire control and target tracking radar. Besides this, for deploying any S-400 battery in complete automated role it has 96L6 Cheese Board 3D surveillance and tracking radar. Additionally, the S-400 system has the capability to integrate data received from various legacy radars and the Indian Air Force (IAF) may further customize it for a seamless interface with existing Indian air defence network sensors.
The second component of the S-400 is the air defence missile. Most of You will be surprised to know that S-400 system does not has one but five different missiles whose ranges vary from 40 km to 400 kilometers. Now I will be telling you about all these missiles one by one. The shortest-range missile of S-400 system is 9M96E missile with a 40-kilometer range which can be used to destroy low flying cruise missiles like Pakistani Babur missiles. After this comes 9M96 and 9M96E2 missiles with a 120-kilometer range which are high-speed interceptor missiles. These missiles can destroy any fighter jet, UAV or short-range ballistic missiles like Pakistani Ghaznavi and Shaheen ballistic missiles. After this S-400 system has a 48N6E2 missile with a 200-kilometer range and 48N6E3 missile with 250-kilometer range which can shoot down the longest range Pakistani ballistic missile means Shaheen-III missile with 3000-kilometer range.
Finally, the longest-hitting and most lethal missile of the S-400 system is the famed 40N6E and it can destroy any target within 400-kilometer range. The 40N6E missile with its 400-kilometer range is widely considered as the best air defence missile in the world and it can easily destroy high-value aircraft of enemy aircraft like AEW&C system and aerial refueler aircraft. Surprisingly, the 48N6E3 missile with 250-kilometer range and 40N6E missile with 400-kilometer range has an astonishing speed of Mach 14 means 17200 kilometers per hour due to which it can destroy any medium-range ballistic missile or hypersonic missile. Another benefit of a 400-kilometer range of the S-400 system is the fact that an S-400 battery deployed on the India Pakistan border can destroy any Pakistan Air Force fighter jet while being deep inside Pakistan. Similarly, an S-400 battery deployed at Sikkim can not only save the entire North East from any Chinese Air Force attack but also can destroy any Chinese fighter like J-10 or J-11 while flying over the Tibetan capital Lhasa.
The third component of the S-400 system is its Missile Launcher Vehicle. The missiles of the S-400 system are mounted on SP85TE2 launchers which can store a mix of all missiles of the S-400 system due to which the enemy can never know which missile is located where? The S-400 launcher has been fitted on the Russian BAZ 64022 high mobility 6×6 truck which can go in any kind of terrain. As per our sources, the S-400 air defence systems coming to India will be built using Russian trucks because to mount S-400 on Indian trucks will require a lot of time-consuming trials and we require this air defence system urgently. In the future Indian HMV may be used in this system however the possibilities of the same remain low.
Finally, the fourth and most important part of the S-400 system is the 55K6E Command and Control system which is fitted onto the Ural-532301 mobile command post vehicle. This command post has large LCD screens and powerful computers that display all the targets within 600 kilometers. The command-and-control system of S-400 can also work in fully automatic mode in which requires no human interference right from tracking to interception. Not only this the Command-and-Control system of S-400 can also exchange the target information with Indian Air Force AEW&C System, Ground-based Radar, and other air defence systems like MRSAM and Akash.
Due to these advanced systems, S-400 has been called an Air Force killer because it can monitor airspace in a 600-kilometer radius and can track 300 targets simultaneously. This fully automatic system can destroy any enemy fighter, UAV, ballistic or cruise missile in the 400-kilometer range. For engaging 36 targets simultaneously, the S-400 system can launch 72 missiles of different types. In fact, a single S-400 system can destroy any attack by an enemy air force. S-400 will be the first air defence system of the Indian Air Force that will have the capability to destroy the J-20 stealth fighter of the Chinese Air Force.
Recently, after the analysis by Dr Subramanian Swamy, the use of Chinese electronics in the S-400 system was discussed at great lengths within Indian media. These discussions pointed out that our S-400 Air defence system can be compromised due to use of Chinese electronics. However, the Russian Government has reassured the Indian Government and advice it to be carefree on this aspect. Presently, an Indian Air Force team is in Moscow for training which will be assessing the Russian progress on this issue and will brief the matter to the Indian Air Force and Indian Ministry of Defence with proper explanation and presentation. India will get its first S-400 air defence system in November 2021 and we hope that by 2025, India will have all five S-400 Regiments.
Finally, on behalf of Team Guarding India, I would like to say that the S-400 system of the Indian Air Force is an extremely powerful air defence system that can destroy not only the Pakistani ballistic missile but also the Chinese Stealth fighters. Presently, India urgently requires an S-400 air defence system as after the induction of the S-400, the Indian Air Force can dedicate more fighters for offensive operations.