Govt on S-400 deal: 'Sovereign decisions are based on threat perception'
New Delhi, July 3: In the wake of US pressure to scrap the S-400 missile deal with Russia, India on Wednesday said it takes sovereign decisions based on entire spectrum of security challenges facing the country.
The comments were made by Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik while replying to a question on the billion dollar deal with sanctions-hit Russia.
"Government takes sovereign decisions based on threat perception, operational and technological aspects to keep the armed forces in a state of readiness to meet the entire spectrum of security challenges," he said in a written reply.
The minister was answering a question on whether countries including the US have expressed concerns on the deal and apprised India of the same. The US has been maintaining that that New Delhi's deal to procure the lethal missile system from Moscow will have "serious implications" on India-US defence ties.
India signed an agreement with Russia last October to procure a batch of the S-400 missile defence systems at an estimated cost of Rs 40,000 crore. India went ahead to seal the deal notwithstanding the US's warnings against it.
India believes that it meets the US waiver criteria for procuring the S-400 missile defence system from sanctions-hit Russia. Last month, India conveyed to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that it will go by its national interest on the missile deal. The US announced sanctions against Russia under the stringent Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) for its alleged meddling in the American presidential election in 2016.
India wants to procure the long-range missile systems to tighten its air defence mechanism, particularly along the nearly 4,000-km-long Sino-India border. The S-400 is an upgraded version of the S-300 systems. The missile system, manufactured by Almaz-Antey, has been in service in Russia since 2007.