US Congressman cautions India against acquiring Russia’s S-400 Triumf air defence missile

As India gets set to seal the S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems with Russia for the Indian Air Force, US Republican Congressman Thornberry has cautioned the Modi government asserting that it could complicate US’s ability to work on “inter-operability with India”.

“There is a lot of concern in the US in both the administration and the Congress regarding the S-400 (missile) system. And there is concern that any country, and it is not just India that is looking at clearing it, but any country that acquires that system will complicate our ability to work out inter-operability,” Republican Mac Thornberry, the chairman of the House Armed Services, told a group of journalists.

The S-400 Triumf air defence missile meant for the Indian Air Force has run into rough weather with US President Trump having signed an act in August last year according to which countries trading with Russia on defence and intelligence sectors would face sanctions.

The missile system is billed as a game-changer by the Indian military for its ability to counter ballistic missiles and stealth aircraft like those China is developing. India and Russia signed an agreement in principle for the S-400 deal in 2016. According to media sources, the US is warning India that the Russian deal could jeopardise its purchase of Predator military drones, which New Delhi would like to use against terror launch pads across the LOC.

The US law designed to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin for the 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and involvement in the Syrian civil war has put several US allies in a quandary including Indonesia and Vietnam who regularly buy Russian armaments.

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