New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: With an aim to counter China and Pakistan, the Indian Air Force (IAF) will likely deploy the first regiment of the S-400 Triumf missile systems at an airbase in Punjab. The deployment, as per top military officials, is expected to be completed by February.

The officials, speaking to news agency PTI, said that the IAF is planning to deploy S-400 in such a way that "it can cover parts of the border with China in the northern sector as well as the frontier with Pakistan."

"The transportation of various critical components of the missile systems as well as its peripheral equipment to the site of the deployment is going on," the officials said.

India, which in October 2018 had signed a USD 5 billion deal with Russia, will get five units of the S-400 air defence missile systems.

By deploying the S-400 systems, the balance of power in the region is expected to shift towards India's favour as the air defence system can neutralise threats from over 400 km away.

Though it should be noted that China already has the system and has deployed it along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh after the border standoff with India.

'Warning from the US'

The United States of America (US) under former president Donald Trump had threatened India with sanctions against the S-400 deal with Russia.

However, the Biden administration has not yet clarified whether it will impose sanctions on India under the provisions of the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) for procuring the S-400 missile systems.

The CAATSA, which was brought in 2017, provides for punitive actions against any country engaged in transactions with Russian defence and intelligence sectors.

The US has already imposed sanctions on Turkey under the CAATSA for the purchase of a batch of S-400 missile defence systems from Russia.

Following the US sanctions on Turkey over the procurement of S-400 missile systems, there were apprehensions that Washington may impose similar punitive measures on India.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said last month that the S-400 missile defence deal between India and Russia has a very important meaning for the Indian defence capability and it is being implemented despite the US attempting to "undermine" the cooperation.

"So far, everything is proceeding as planned. The agreements are being fulfilled. We see attempts by the United States to undermine such cooperation and impose the purchase of its own weapons on India and follow US conceptions of how the region must develop," Lavrov had said.

(With inputs from PTI)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma