Two days after India and Russia inked the S-400 missile deal, despite the US’ sanctions warnings, Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Sunday said New Delhi follows an independent policy and was also keen on getting the Kamov helicopters and other weapon systems from Moscow.
India and Russia on October 5 signed a multi-billion-dollar agreement to procure the S-400 Triumf air defence system, which could attract sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).“Russians are very keen on associating with the Indian Army because we are very capable.
We are capable of standing for what is right for us,” General Rawat said at the inaugural General K V Krishna Rao Memorial Lecture at Manekshaw Centre in New Delhi.
“When Russians asked about the American sanctions, my reply was, ‘Yes, we do appreciate that there could be sanctions on us, but we follow an independent policy. You can be rest assured. While we may be associating with America in getting some technology, but we follow an independent policy’,” he said.
He said New Delhi was looking to get space-based systems and technologies from Moscow to enhance its space capabilities.“There is no end in sight to the manner in which we can cooperate with your country. I think the way forward is to see what is best for the nation, strategically important for us,” he had said.
The S-400 Triumf air defence system can engage up to 36 targets at a time and simultaneously launch 72 missiles.
The long and medium range air defense missile system, which Air Force Chief BS Dhanoa said will provide a much needed "booster" to the Air Force, is designed to destroy air attacks, including stealth aircraft and any other aerial targets.
The delivery of the missile systems, tipped to be over USD 5 billion, will start 24 months from the signing of the contract. Acquiring the missile system will help repulse the air attacks by India's adversaries, especially Pakistan and China.
The signing of the deal assumes significance as China, too, has signed a deal with Russia to procure the same missile system.
(With PTI inputs)