INTERNATIONAL - Russia and India have signed a major defense deal worth more than $5 billion (R73bn) for the supply of advanced S-400 surface-to-air missile systems during President Vladimir Putin’s visit to New Delhi on Friday.
The deal was signed on the sidelines of the summit between Putin and Prime minister Narendra Modi, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
The threat of US sanctions against buyers of Russian weapons -- imposed most recently on China -- is not expected to affect the Indian contract, which covers five regiments worth, Putin’s foreign affairs aide Yuri Ushakov said.
The missile system has been in service since 2007 and is a popular Russian arms export.
It can shoot down aircraft and missiles at a range of 400 kilometers (about 250 miles). Turkey also is planning to buy the S-400, despite U.S. opposition to the purchase by a fellow NATO member.
"The S-400 is a booster dose for the Air Force," Indian Air Force chief Birender Singh Dhanoa said at his annual press conference in New Delhi on October 3.
Also on the table is a deal worth $3 billion for four frigates from Russia for the Indian Navy. Two of these frigates would be built in a Russian shipyard and two more at India’s state-owned Goa Shipyard.