India’s decision to procure five batteries of S-400 surface-to-air missile at an estimated cost of $6 billion to $7 billion from Russia will be used to protect the national capital.
The Defense Acquisition Council approved the purchase of five S-400 Triumf missiles earlier this month.
"Of the five batteries, four will guard four quadrangles that the national capital, New Delhi is divided into and the fifth to cover redundancy reason," Former Air Marshal PK Barbora of the Indian Air Force said.
The US publication National Interest states, "The whole range of aircrafts include F-15s, F-16s, F/A-18s would find it difficult to breach the sensors of the missile system."
A former fighter pilot with the Indian Air Force, Rajiv Tyagi however stated that the weapon systems are not acquired for cities but will be deployed as per threat perception and can be dynamically deployed as battlefield scenario develops.
“These will most probably replace the OSA-AK-M amphibious wheeled AA missile launchers. These can fire three types of missiles, differentiated by range and speed. But it will be several years before we fully replace the existing squadrons,” Tyagi said.
It is important to understand that these are mobile combat systems. Their optimal utilization would be in their mobility, he added.