The Indian Air Force inching closer to inducting Russian S-400 air defense missile systems as the trials have been completed.
The Russian missiles, at par with stealth fifth-generation fighters like the American F-35 jets, can shoot down fighter and surveillance aircraft, cruise missiles and drones at the range of 400 kms over enemy airspace itself.
According to reports, the trials were conducted on two separate occasions and it performed to the satisfaction of the users, air forces sources have said.
The sources qouted in an English daily claim that defense ministry is soon likely to start the process of initiating contractual negotiations with Rosoboronexport, the Russian agency which handles defence deals with foreign countries, including the fixation of price.
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The field valuation trials of the Russian air defence system were conducted by Indian Air Force in Russia.
India and Russia have been longstanding defence trade partners. The two nations signed an inter-governmental agreement on the sale of five S-400 in October 2016 at the 17 India-Russia summit for $5.8 billion.
In October 2015, India had decided to purchase the S-400 systems, which primarily have three kinds of missiles, with different capabilities. The missiles can fly at supersonic and hypersonic speeds to intercept all kinds of targets at ranges from 120 to 400-km.
The S-400 surface-to-air missile (SAM) system can "radar lock and shoot down" stealth fifth-generation fighters like the American F-35 jets.
The Russian missile system would be used by the IAF, along with the other new air defence systems coming up in the country including the India-Israel joint venture Medium range-Surface to Air Missile system and the SPYDER systems that India recently acquired from Israel.
Despite the high price tag attached with the five S-400 systems India is planning to acquire, the Indian Air Force is extremely happy to get the weapon system as it will give them an edge over Pakistan and bring them on par with the Chinese who have already installed this system, the sources told Mail Today.