Issue Brief on “Indian Deployment of S-400 Systems in the western state of Punjab”

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On December 21, 2021, the Russian and Indian news agencies announced that India deployed the first battery of state-of-the-art S-400 Air Defence System (ADS) purchased from Russia on its territory.[1] The deployment was made in the western state of Punjab bordering Pakistan.

As per news reports, India deployed the S-400 ADS in the Punjab sector to counter aerial threats from Pakistan and China (India’s regional rivals with whom India has multiple disputes).

The deal for the acquisition of S-400 ADS by India, worth US$ 5.5 billion, was signed between Russia and India in October 2018.[2] One year later, India reportedly made an advanced payment of US$ 800 million to expedite the production & deployment of the advanced ADS by September 2021.[3] A step that might have originated from the insecurity and desperation of Indian policymakers that was stemming from several regional developments that year: intensification of border dispute (in India’s north) with China that led to heavy militarization in the sector; the February 2019 Balakot misadventure against Pakistan; and August 05 revocation of Article 370 & 35-A of the Indian constitution regarding the special status of Illegally Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJK).

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