The S-400 Missile Defense System: Why Does India Need It?

The S-400 Missile Defense System: Why Does India Need It?

The S-400 Missile Defense System, a state-of-the-art air defense system, is set to strengthen India’s security posture amidst regional tensions.

The S-400 Missile Defense System

Nato countries like to call it The SA-21 Growler. It’s manufactured by a Russian company named Almaz-Antey. It’s a long-range surface-to-air missile capable of engaging any aircraft, cruise missiles, UAVs. S-400 Missile is the upgraded version of S-300, which was a huge success. a further upgrade is being made in this series which will be S-500.

S-400 Missile was put in place to defend the Russian capital, Moscow. In this picture, you can see it’s on movable vehicles. It has various radars in the back of the vehicle. It looks quite a beast.

S-400 Missile System
S-400 Missile System at Victory day Parade

It’s portable, and it takes 5-10 minutes to install it anywhere, and it’s ready to fire. The vehicle’s radar system tells the target approaching sides. S-400 has three different kinds of missiles. 

The S-400 system that is put to defend Moscow doesn’t have the longest range missile in it, which has 400 km. Instead, they had the second type of missile in place, which has a range of 200 km. It’s still more potent than any of its competitors.

S-400 Missiles Types: 

 The S-400 Missile Defense System: Why Does India Need It?
S-400 Russia

S-400 prime missile is 48N6 series with powerful propulsion. With 143kg of explosives, It’s capable of hitting targets up to 250 km. S-400 Triumph also has a medium range of ground-to-air missiles 9M96E and 9M96E2. Design to impact fast-moving targets like Fighter Aircraft within the range of 120 km.

The third and final missile, S-400, uses the 40 N6 missile series, which has the claimed range of 400 Km. It uses an active homing radar system to intercept targets at a great distance. This missile may be used against AWACS, J-STARS, EA-6B support jammers, and other high-value targets.

It can track 100 airborne targets and can engage six of them simultaneously.

S-400 Missile Triumph Radars

As NATO calls it, The Gravestone. official name is 92N6E. the successor of S-300 Radar 30N6E as known as “flap lid.”

92N6E radar is an I/J-Band multi-function phased-array trailer-mounted engagement radar with digital beam steering. The 92N6E multi-functional radar with a 400 km range. Capable of tracking 100 targets. This radar specializes in target accessioning and tracking even in adverse weather. The IFF technology can track 100 targets while scanning mode and prioritize six targets concurrently for missile engagements.

Why does India need it?

 The S-400 Missile Defense System: Why Does India Need It?
S-400 In India

India is in a hostile neighborhood. both the neighboring countries have attacked India in the past. India never attacked them first, though. If we compare China and Pakistan with their airforce strength, Pakistan has over 20 fighter squadrons with upgraded F-16s and inducting J-17 from China.

China has 1700 fighter planes. Including 800 4-gen fighters along with many stealth aircraft. Considering this as a threat, India needs to be well equipped.

As Indian airforce chief B.S Dhanoa once said, “No country in the world is facing the kind of “grave threat” that India is confronted with, “the intentions of adversaries can change overnight,” and India needs to be prepared for such an eventuality. 

The air chief also said that India’s neighbors are “not sitting idle,” highlighting that countries like China are rapidly modernizing their air force. The Indian Air Force “needs to match their force level,” he said. Submission of S-400 in Indian forces will surely help. 

The road so Far:

China had a deal with Russia way before India in 2015. Beijing had signed an agreement to buy six S-400 battalions, and delivery started in January 2018. 

China is the first country to deal directly with the Russian government. Turkey and Russia signed a deal back in 2017 as well. in Response USA threatened not to deliver the F-35 Aircraft.

With the acquisition of S-400, there is baggage to come by, which is the USA sanctions. With China buying the S-400 missile system, the USA made a bold move and imposed sanctions on China.

The USA had prepared act CAATSA for Russia first, but it was later for Iran and North Korea. Under this act, any country that buys military equipment from a Russian government will face USA sanctions. That’s what happened with China, which never thought that the USA could impose sanctions on an economically strong country like China. This game of sanctions will be played for a long time, so we will see what happens.

However, sanctions or not, New Delhi will surely get the S-4OO missile system very soon.


In conclusion, the S-400 Triumph Missile Defense System is a critical component in the defense strategies of countries worldwide. Its advanced capabilities and versatility make it a formidable deterrent against a wide range of aerial threats. As India prepares to acquire this system, it underscores the importance of staying ahead in the realm of defense technology. While geopolitical challenges may persist, the S-400 remains a vital asset in safeguarding national security and maintaining peace in an ever-evolving world.