NEW DELHI (Sputnik) – India may complete the rollout of new S-400 air defenсe weapons it bought from Russia at a Punjab air base near the Chinese and Pakistani border in February, the Republic World news website said on Saturday.
The first regiment of Russian missiles was being moved to the northern frontier province of Punjab and it would take the air force at least six weeks to complete the deployment, the website added.
India signed a $5.4 billion deal with the Russian arms maker Almaz-Antey in 2018 for the purchase of five surface-to-air missile systems as a deterrent against the neighbours, who lay rival claims to border territories.
Relations between India and Pakistan have been particularly strained after New Delhi had stripped the state of Jammu and Kashmir of the semi-autonomous status in August 2019. Pakistan, which controls part of the region, slammed India’s decision and cut diplomatic ties with the country. China, which controls some 20% of the Kashmir region, also criticised New Delhi’s decision. India, however, argued that was “an internal matter concerning the territory of India” and added that the change of Jammu and Kashmir’s status would “ensure integration and empowerment” in the region.
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