https://www.oneindia.com/india/what-aji ... 88286.htmlWhat Ajit Doval had told the US ahead of the Indo-Russia S-400 Missile Air Defence deal
In September National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval had visited the United States and held a string of meetings with several officials including his counterpart John Bolton. In focus was the deal with Russia and India made out its case for the purchase of the Russian made S-400 missile systems. At the meeting Doval pointed out the need for this deal. He said that the integrity of the American military platforms in service with the Indian Air Force would not be compromised if India went ahead with the Russian deal. He also cited the 70 year history of military hardware acquisitions from Russia and pointed out that nearly 64 per cent of the military inventory in India is from Russia. Doval was tasked with convincing the trump administration that the S-400 deal does merit a US presidential waiver from the provisions of the Countering America's Adversaries Through the Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
The American lawmakers however have allowed the possibility of a presidential waiver. Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman had said that, India has maintained its sovereignty as regards to its relationship with countries. We shall maintain it in all earnestness, she also said.
A waiver from the US President Donald Trump is essential. US defence contactors such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Sirkorsky who supply critical equipment to India the C-17, C-130 J transport aircraft, Apache and Chinook helicopters, will come under sanctions in the absence of a waiver. Deputy Director of the Asia Programme and South Asia senior associate, The Wilson Centre, Michael Kugelman tells OneIndia that Putin visit itself will not affect US-India ties in a big way. Washington understands that New Delhi is a longstanding friend of Moscow's and that there will naturally be plenty of high-level exchanges between the two.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________https://thewire.in/security/india-s-400 ... -us-caatsaHow India Walked a Tightrope to Ink the S-400 Missiles Deal With Russia
That India was constantly looking over its shoulders for US approval to sign a contract for a system critical to its national security does not bode well for its relationship with Russia, which has stood by India, politically and militarily, for decades.
The signing of the S-400 Air Defence Missile System (ADMS) deal is good news for India and its military. However, the uncertainty that dogged the inking of the contract till the last moment – it was not clear until this morning if this would happen – was suggestive of the looming shadow of the United States on India’s foreign policy. This cannot be good for the future of India’s bilateral engagements with other countries, especially Russia.Military criticality
But first, the military criticality of S-400 for India. India has bought five regiments/units or 40 launchers (each regiment/ unit will have two batteries with four launchers each), and about 1,000 missiles. Interestingly, 70% of purchased missiles are of very long range (400 km) and long range (350 km) category and the rest have lower ranges of 300km and 250km. The S-400 surveillance radar with the range of 600 km and 360 degree coverage can track 70 targets. The S-400 is not an upgraded version of S-300 ADMS – this was offered to India in 1998 – as is commonly believed, but has an entirely different technology, radar capability and missiles.
While S-400 will have no transfer of technology or defence offsets, Russia has agreed to set up maintenance facilities in India; help integrate the S-400 with India’s indigenous Akash surface to air missile system (which was made with Russian hand-holding and is still not more than 40% accurate); expedite procurement despite having a full order book till 2022; and consider the transformational S-500 system (with capability to kill low-earth satellites) currently under trial, for sale to India.
.....The looming shadow of the US
While the military requirement of the S-400 ADMS programme has been clear from the beginning, the political willingness became murkier over the years. Several times the government of India came close to signing the contract but always dithered at the last moment. Even today’s contract signing was preceded by weeks of uncertainty, stemming from the fear about US slapping Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanction Act (CAATSA) upon India.
Apparently, a month ago when Russian officials came to India to do the groundwork for the impending summit meeting between Prime Minister Modi and President Putin, national security advisor Ajit Doval told a senior member of the Russian delegation that he would not commit on signing of any contracts till he had consulted a few friends. To leave none in doubt, he added that he would be travelling to the US soon, and only after his visit would the government make up its mind about inking the contract.
Obviously, he was looking for more than an assurance from the US that India would be exempted from CAATSA. This was clearly humiliating for the Russian delegation, which comprised senior members of Kremlin’s inner circle. The government of India continued to send mixed signals to its Russian counterparts, so much so, that till this morning nobody knew for sure if the deal would be done.
Traditionally, summit meetings are prepared well in advance. Both sides know what commercial agreements would be signed, because they require a lot of paperwork, which has to be prepared in advance and vetted by both sides. What’s more, most defence contracts involve several sub-contracts with different entities. Till Putin’s departure from Moscow for India, his aides had no clue about which contracts, if at all any, would be signed during this visit. The only thing that they had clarity about was that the contract for additional Mi-17IV helicopters would not be signed due to lack of funding during this summit meeting, the Indian ministry of defence had informed Russia weeks ago.
This is nothing short of embarrassing for a government that projects itself as the sole custodian of national security and upholder of strategic autonomy. That the government of India was constantly looking over its shoulders for approval to sign a contract for a system critical to its national security, does not bode well for its relationship with Russia, which has stood by India, politically and militarily. Remember the May 2018 Wuhan summit followed by the Sochi summit in which Modi sought out Putin as the guarantor of his peace talks (on disputed border) with President Xi Jinping after the June 2017 Doklam crisis. This is not all. Russia is the only country which has given restricted technologies to India.