The US opposes India’s acquisition of S-400 Russian anti-aircraft missile systems exerting the same amount of pressure on New Delhi as on Ankara. The US State Department officials told reporters that India’s decision to purchase the S-400 would have a negative impact on US-Indian military cooperation. But defence experts talking to EurAsian Times suggest that Washington is keen to ensure that both India and Turkey do not go ahead with the S-400 purchase, as the so-called stealth technology of the F-35’s gets compromised.
In addition, Washington indicated that the purchase of S-400 by India will violate the sanctions imposed by the US law via the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
“One should pay attention to the US concern over the purchase of S-400 by Turkey, which is a key US ally and a NATO member. Such concern will re-occur if India, a key defence partner of the US, also purchases the S-400 air defence system, ”the sources in the US foreign office made it clear to Indian journalists.
According to the US foreign office, the radar system, which is the most important component of the S-400, will jeopardize the secrecy of the American fifth-generation fighter jet – F-35. The reason for putting pressure on Turkey to abandon the S-400 deal with Russia lies precisely in this.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, recently re-elected for a second term, is under pressure from the United States because of his defence policy. India signed a contract with Russia to acquire the S-400 air defence system in October 2018. Deliveries of the first batch of the S-400 worth almost $ 5.5 billion will begin in November 2020.
A representative of the Indian government reportedly stated that due to the sanctions imposed on Russian defence companies, New Delhi has so far only managed to pay partially for the deliveries. Indian officials are hoping that the Donald Trump administration, which seeks to prevent the growth of Chinese influence in the Asia-Pacific region, will make an exception for India on this issue.
The United States and its European NATO allies fear that radars on S-400 systems can detect and track the F-35s, which will make them susceptible to the omnipotent Russian S-400 missiles in the future. For a long time, the US has been persuading Turkey to abandon the purchase of Russian S-400s, but Turkey has been firm on its decision.
Russia and Turkey signed a contract to supply Ankara with the S-400 Triumph SAM system in 2017. Turkey acquires four S-400 divisions, the contract amount is $ 2.5 billion. Delivery of the first S-400 batteries to the Turkish side is expected in July of this year, and in October they will take up combat duty.