WHAT INDIA’S S-400 MISSILE DEAL WITH RUSSIA SIGNIFIES
Headquarters of Defense Research and Development Organization, Sept 2008. Wikimedia, Commons
Hindustan Times-Oct 8
The conclusion of the multi-billion dollar deal for S-400 air defense systems – albeit done in a low key manner, with the contract finding no mention in the remarks by Prime Minister Narendra Modi or President Vladimir Putin after their annual summit – underscores why Russia will remain the main supplier of hi-tech military gear for the foreseeable future. That India decided to go ahead with the deal despite the US threat of action was a clear signal that New Delhi intends to stick with its independent foreign policy, and retain the autonomy of acquiring advanced defense hardware from the best possible source. Such contracts have to be finalized keeping in mind India’s national security interests, not those of others, and if the US truly considers India an ally in the Indo-Pacific region and a counterbalance to China, it will understand and provide the necessary presidential waiver.
First published in: Hindustan Times