Russian production problems: a new delivery delay for the Indian S-400?
Russian production problems: a new delivery delay for the Indian S-400?
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| Gaétan Powis | Source : Air&Cosmos 496 mots

Russian production problems: a new delivery delay for the Indian S-400?

Russian industry is under pressure to supply equipment to the forces deployed in Ukraine and is trying to make up for the many losses. However, this policy is forcing the Russian military industry to reduce production of equipment for export, as confirmed by an Indian parliamentary commission. Although no equipment was mentioned, these are probably the last deliveries of S-400s, all of which were originally scheduled to be delivered by April 2023.

Industrial need

Faced with unexpected Ukrainian resistance and numerous material losses, the Russian Armed Forces are in great need of holding new equipment, vehicles, ammunition,... directly from Russian military industries. However, the losses are far too great; with an average of 150 tanks lost each month, the factories can only build 110 tanks (20 new tanks and 90 taken out of storage and revised according to The Economist). The most visible consequence is the shipment of old equipment. Obviously, the sending of old generation T-72 and T-80 tanks was predictable but these tanks were not enough as Russia is bringing out T-62s and more recently, T-54s from the 1950s (article on the subject). Russian industrialists are also put under pressure by the political power which absolutely must avoid any military collapse due to a lack of materials, ammunition, etc. Therefore, the entire Russian military-industrial complex supports the military effort in Ukraine and this does not only stop at Russian tanks: T-90S, the export variant of the T-90, have been transferred to Ukraine, as confirmed by the 6 T-90S put out of action. It seems that these tanks had been transferred from India in order to test a future modernized version for the Indian T-90S.

Export delays

As a result of focusing on full support for the war in Ukraine, industrialists are no longer able to export their productions or are forced to slow down their export production. This information is further confirmed by Reuters: at a parliamentary committee, an Indian Air Force (IAF) official confirmed that a "major delivery" planned for this year will not take place. No system was named, but it is most likely the $5.43 billion contract to equip five Indian regiments with S-400 Triumf (SA-21 Growler) long-range anti-aircraft systems. Moreover, as specified in the Indian newspaper The Hindu, the final delivery date is only moving backwards: in July 2019, the last S-400s were to be delivered by April 2023. Once the invasion of Ukraine is launched, the final date moves back: in August 2022 when Alexander Mikheyev, the president of the Russian industrial complex Rosoboronexport, specified during the Army Expo 2022 exhibition that the last S-400s should arrive in India by the end of 2023. Thus, if it is indeed the S-400, the statement in the parliamentary committee thus allows to confirm that the final delivery is postponed to 2024.

These systems are very important for India because the ground-to-air capabilities of these Armed Forces are limited to very short, short and medium range systems. This is without taking into account India's geopolitical situation: it is under pressure from China and Pakistan over the highly contested Kashmir region and absolutely needs to increase its military capabilities. It should be noted that this need is so pressing that the United States did not sanction India after the purchase of the Russian S-400s in contrast to the S-400s purchased by Turkey.

The cover image shows a Russian S-400 launcher.

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