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06:58 AM, May 13, 2019
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S-400 (image: The National Interest)

The United States has now offered Lockheed Martin’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and Raytheon’s Patriot Advance Capability (PAC-3) missile defence systems for India to choose over Russian S-400 Triumf systems, after offering the US-made systems to Turkey.

New Delhi signed a deal with Moscow last October for five S-400 defense systems consisting of 8 launchers for $5.4 billion. America imposes secondary sanctions known as Countering American Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) against countries that buy Russian military equipment. The CAATSA was passed to punish Russia for its interference in the US elections and its involvement in Ukraine.

Washington is understood to have pledged to grant a sanctions waiver to India last September despite its plans to buy the S-400s; however, the waiver expired in early May.

"I think it would be an unfortunate decision if they (India) chose to pursue that (Russian S-400). We are very keen to see them make an alternative choice and we're working with them to provide potential alternatives,” Assistant Defence Secretary Randall Schriver told the House of Representatives Armed Forces Committee in Washington during a hearing on US Military Activities in Indo-Pacific region in March this year.

Washington has failed in its attempt to persuade its NATO-ally Turkey to buy the US-made systems and ditch the $2.5 billion contract for the Russian S-400s. Turkey has remained unfazed despite threats of sanctions, and well as its plan to remove Ankara from the F-35 programme.

"When Turkey signs an agreement, Turkey keeps its promise.

We signed this agreement and certain payments were made. I don't think the arguments and concerns here have a lot to lean on," Fuat Oktay, Turkey's vice president told Kanal 7 last week when asked if Ankara would persist with its intention of acquiring the Russian systems.

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