“Our commitments under the contract will be fulfilled. India will receive the systems on time, at the agreed date and without any delays,” said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov at a press conference on Wednesday.
The senior diplomat also stressed that the missile systems — one of Russia’s most advanced anti-aircraft weapons — would significantly strengthen India’s air defense capability.
During a visit to India on October 5 last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a contract with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to deliver five regiment sets of the S-400 systems worth 5.43 billion dollars.
Moscow and New Delhi had signed an intergovernmental agreement on the sale of five units of the air defense systems during the 17th India-Russia summit back in October 2016 in the Indian coastal region of Goa.
Citing an unnamed military diplomat, Russia’s TASS news agency reported on Wednesday that India would receive its first regiment set in the fall of 2020.
Last week, the Indian government told Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s bicameral parliament, that it would begin receiving the air defense systems from Russia from October next year and that the deliveries would be completed by April 2023, the NDTV reported on Wednesday.
The S-400 system, whose full name is the Triumf Mobile Multiple Anti-Aircraft Missile System (AAMS), is an advanced Russian missile system designed to detect, track, and destroy planes, drones, or missiles as far as 402 kilometers away. The advanced system, which went into service in 2007, can also be used against ground objectives.