Russia believes that India does not need to buy an American missile shield it is currently in discussions for since the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile launching system is better and a deal for it is likely to be signed between the two countries soon.
Discussions are on and the deal should be inked before the end of this year to fit into the production cycle, said Dmitry Shugaev, director of Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation (FSMTC).
“We don’t see any need to buy the (American) NASAM (National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System) as India is acquiring the S-400, which provides an umbrella, comprehensive cover,” said Shugaev.
India’s defence ministry had last month cleared the NASAM II for a possible purchase. “The US system has a restricted working area and has no missiles that are originally designed for it. What it uses is an adjusted version of an air-to-air missile,” said Shugaev.
Arguing that the Russian system is better, the official said that final discussions are on for signing the S-400 and it will hopefully be done during the upcoming bilateral summit between India and Russia in October. “We believe it is logical and natural that the contract is signed during the upcoming summit.
There is no pressure but we hope that it will get signed by the end of this year,” he said.
He said that the contract needs to be signed this year for S-400’s producer, Almaz Antey, to fit the order into its production plans. Russia is already supplying the air defence system to China and Turkey.
The US recently gave India’s possible purchase of the S-400 special exemption from its sanctions on Russia, averting further complications in India-US ties.