The former air chief maintained that defence deals should not be dragged into politics as it delays the process of procurement. (Photo Credit: ANI file)
Terming the India-Russia S-400 deal as the ‘game changer’, former Air Force chief BS Dhanoa on Saturday said that there’s an urgent need to expedite the defence acquisition process. Dhanoa, who was addressing an event in Mumbai, said, “I have always said that S-400 is a game-changer. It is a very good deal by the government to get S-400.”
India signed a deal worth USD 5.43-billion deal with Russia to purchase five S-400 systems during the 19th India Russia Annual Bilateral Summit in New Delhi on October 5, 2018.
The former air chief maintained that defence deals should not be dragged into politics as it delays the process of procurement.
"See, for example, the Bofors deal case -- it's a very good gun but the whole thing got mired in controversy," he said.
Former Air chief Dhanoa added that many agencies that do audits in the deal, slow down the defence modernisation.
He reiterated that the situation would have been entirely different if Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman were flying Rafale fighter jet and not MIG21 during the dogfight with Pakistani jets after India conducted airstrike in Balakot last year.
According to Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, the S-400 missile systems are likely to be delivered by early 2021.
S-400 will provide India a defensive shield as it would protect India from missile attacks, destroying them in the air only.
According to defenseworld.net report, the maximum target speed that S-400 can notch up to is 4.8 kilometres per second. The S-400 has an operational range of 400 kms which makes it one of the best defence systems of its class.
(With inputs from ANI)